Weather

Weekly Weather Recap – 15 April, 2022 

Welcome to this week’s OU Nightly Weekly Weather Recap! 

Norman, OK 

It was an interesting week across central Oklahoma, with multiple threats of wildfires, severe weather, and rollercoaster temperatures. 

Monday and Tuesday were dry days across the region, with elevated fire dangers in place due to warm temperatures, low dew points, and gusty winds. According to the US Drought Monitor, nearly 60% of the state is still under a severe drought as of this week.

Tuesday was among the most interesting weather days this week. Norman was under a slight risk for severe storms including large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes. Fortunately, Norman received no severe weather from this system. 

Winds began whipping behind the cold front on Wednesday, with gusts reported of 38 miles per hour in Norman, according to the NWS. Temperatures also dropped from the 80s Tuesday to the 50s Wednesday as clouds lingered in the morning before giving way to sunshine later in the day and again on Thursday. 

Severe Weather 

Monday night, a tornado emergency was issued for Faulkner county, Arkansas. According to the NWS Little Rock, the tornado was rated EF-1 and tracked 7.7 miles.  

A moderate risk for severe weather was in store for portions of Iowa on Tuesday, where several tornadoes tore through the state. Kaylan Patel captured this shot of a tornado near Gilmore City, which was posted by the NWS Des Moines. 

The tornado was given a rating of EF-2, with peak winds estimated between 115 and 125 miles per hour. One injury was reported from the storm, according to the NWS Des Moines

Additional tornadoes were reported Tuesday night around Salado, Texas just north of Austin, where 23 people were injured after an EF-3 tornado with maximum winds at 165 miles per hour struck, according to the NWS Fort Worth. 

Large hail also fell in the Lone Star State Tuesday night. One hailstone fell in Salado, Texas and measured 5.5 inches, which is larger than grapefruit-size. Gina Brown captured these photos reposted by KWTX News in Waco, which could potentially break the state record for the largest hailstone. 

On Wednesday, the severe threat shifted east and the moderate risk impacted portions of the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys. Damaging winds were widely scattered with 272 reports, according to the Storm Prediction Center

Fire Weather 

The Oklahoma and Texas panhandles have not gotten a break from the recent stretch of wildfires. Conditions have remained either critical or extreme this week, and red flag warnings were issued Wednesday. 

The dry, warm, and windy conditions sparked a series of wildfires on Tuesday. According to a tweet posted by Oklahoma Forestry Services, a wildfire in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma was only 15% contained as of Wednesday.  

Winter Weather 

The large storm system responsible for the severe weather this week also impacted portions of the Pacific Northwest in the form of snow. The NWS Portland tweeted some of the heaviest amounts reported this week across Oregon and Washington. 

The Northern Plains also got in on some of the snowfall this week. Blizzard conditions were felt across North Dakota as snow accumulations totaled over two feet in many locations, according to the NWS Bismarck

In addition to the heavy snow, high winds were also reported across the state on Wednesday, making travel dangerous. 

Your Easter Weekend Forecast 

Friday will be a warm day across much of middle Oklahoma. Temperatures will hit the mid to upper 80s across many portions of the state, with the chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms Friday night into Saturday morning. 

A marginal risk for severe weather is in effect for Norman, Oklahoma Friday night, with large hail and strong gusty winds being the primary threats with the strongest storms. 

A cold front will work its way through the state overnight Friday into Saturday, with off and on scattered rain showers and possibly a rumble of thunder or two through the first half of Easter Sunday. 

Easter Sunday is not looking to be a wash out, so don’t cancel any outdoor Easter egg hunts with your families! Temperatures will approach 70 degrees Sunday with a mix of sun and clouds in the afternoon. 

Your National Forecast 

The cold front responsible for this week’s multi-day severe weather event has finally moved off of the east coast. Friday will present a quieter weather pattern for portions of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. 

Another storm system will take shape in the Central Plains and Southeast this weekend, presenting the threat of showers and thunderstorms. Some storms may turn strong to severe Friday evening and into Saturday, with large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes possible. 

A slight risk for severe weather is already in effect for portions of the Deep South, including Jackson, Mississippi, on Easter Sunday. The NWS Jackson advises that these storms will begin after noon and will last well into the evening hours. 

The Southwest will remain dry and hot Friday, with fire conditions remaining critical according to the Storm Prediction Center. Portions of the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, and Colorado will see winds gusting over 20 miles per hour with humidity less than 15% through Friday. 

Humidity levels are expected to rise behind a cold front on Saturday in these areas, which will lower the threshold for wildfires to spark. 

The Northwest and Northern Plains will be gearing up for another round of heavy snowfall. The NWS Missoula, Montana urges residents of Montana and Idaho to remain weather aware as snow will reduce visibility on roadways and rain will freeze, creating localized slick conditions. 

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