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Gary McManus, Thomas W. Schmidlin, and Christopher A. Fiebrich

A minimum temperature of −31°F (−35°C) was recorded at Nowata, Oklahoma, on 10 February 2011. This exceeded the previous record minimum temperature for Oklahoma of −27°F (−32.8°C). The Nowata station is in the Oklahoma Mesonet network. High pressure was centered over Oklahoma on the morning of the record with clear skies, calm winds, and a fresh snow cover of 38 cm at Nowata. A State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) examined the record, including the siting of the station, calibration of the thermometer, and depth of snow. The SCEC voted unanimously to approve the reading as the new lowest minimum temperature record for Oklahoma.

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Derek S. Arndt, Jeffrey B. Basara, Renee A. McPherson, Bradley G. Illston, Gary D. McManus, and David B. Demko

Atlantic Tropical Depression Five (2007) briefly strengthened into Tropical Storm Erin over the western Gulf of Mexico shortly before making landfall as a tropical depression near Corpus Christi, Texas, on the morning of 16 August 2007. During the overnight hours of 18–19 August 2007, nearly 3 days after landfall, Erin's remnant circulation strengthened over western Oklahoma, where sustained winds near the circulation's center exceeded 18 m s−1 for more than 3 h—the strongest reported during Erin's entire life cycle. Likewise, station pressure values reduced to sea level were lower at several measurement sites on 19 August than those recorded while Erin was classified by the National Hurricane Center as a tropical cyclone. During this period of lowest pressure, Erin developed an eye, an eyewall structure, and spiral bands, as observed by radar.

The reintensification occurred within the domain of multiple observing networks and platforms, which provided rich detail on the near-surface behavior of Erin and embedded processes. Erin's reintensification was not only unique in its magnitude, but also in the breadth of related available observations. This manuscript describes the intensification of Erin over western Oklahoma as observed by the Oklahoma Mesonet (1-min resolution), the Fort Cobb and Little Washita micronets of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Grazinglands Research Laboratory, and the National Weather Service's upper-air, Doppler radar, and surface observing networks.

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Jadwiga R. Ziolkowska, Christopher A. Fiebrich, J. D. Carlson, Andrea D. Melvin, Albert J. Sutherland, Kevin A. Kloesel, Gary D. McManus, Bradley G. Illston, James E. Hocker, and Reuben Reyes

Abstract

Since the Oklahoma Mesonet (the state’s automated mesoscale weather station network) was established in 1994, it has served a number of diverse groups and provided public services to foster weather preparedness, education, and public safety, while also supporting decision-making in agricultural production and wildland fire management.

With 121 monitoring stations across the state, the Oklahoma Mesonet has developed an array of technologies to observe a variety of atmospheric and soil variables in 5- to 30-min intervals. These consistent observations have been especially critical for predicting and preparing for extreme weather events like droughts, floods, ice storms, and severe convective storms as well as for development of value-added tools. The tools, outreach programs, and mesoscale data have been widely utilized by the general public, state decision-makers, public safety officials, K–12 community, agricultural sector, and researchers, thus generating wide societal and economic benefits to many groups.

Based on practical application examples of weather information provided by the Oklahoma Mesonet, this paper analyzes both benefits generated by Oklahoma Mesonet information to the public and decision-makers and ripple effects (spreading amplified outcomes/implications) of those benefits in the short and long term. The paper further details ongoing and anticipated Oklahoma Mesonet innovations as a response to changing needs for weather-related information over time, especially as a result of technological developments and weather variability.

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