NWS Forecast Office

Looking back and learning from May 24, 2011

May 24th, 2012 | By Keli Pirtle

On May 24, 2011, a series of 12 tornadoes swept across Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas, claiming 18 lives and leading Governor Mary Fallin to declare a State of Emergency for 68 Oklahoma counties. The one year anniversary for this tragic event serves as a reminder to continue to stay alert and be prepared for the threat of severe weather.


When Radar Met Wind Farm…

Jun 13th, 2011 | By James Murnan

It’s always raining near Spearville, Kansas. At least it appears to be when forecasters like Larry Ruthi look at radar displays. Turns out, what looks like thunderstorms are actually rotating turbine blades from a wind farm.


Flight of the Weather Balloons

Apr 15th, 2011 | By James Murnan

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. That saying certainly fits weather balloons. Today, the NOAA National Weather Service relies on the same principles established over two centuries ago.



May 12th, 2009 | By James Murnan

Lots of info about the ground-breaking tornado research project. Includes insights from Lou Wicker and Don Burgess with the NOAA National Severe Storms Lab.


2008 Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Forecast-Scale Activities

May 5th, 2008 | By Susan Cobb

This is the second week of the 2008 Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) EFP (Experimental Forecast Program) Spring Experiment held in the NOAA HWT at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla. Each spring during the climatologically most active severe weather periods, multi-agency collaborative forecasting experiments known as the HWT EFP Spring Experiment have occurred since 2000. A strength of the program is the involvement of scientists and forecasters throughout the meteorological community. Participating in the EFP this week will include visiting forecasters from NOAA/NWS Pendleton OR, NOAA/NWS Amarillo TX, and researchers from NCAR, Boulder CO, Colorado State Univ., North Carolina State Univ., Mitre Corp./FAA, and Environment Canada.


NOAA National Weather Service, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management offer weather radio programming

Apr 5th, 2006 | By Keli Pirtle

When the wind blows and storm clouds cover Oklahoma, residents can keep ahead of severe weather by tuning in to NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards, a 24-hour source of weather forecasts, watches and warnings provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service.

Staff from the National Weather Service Norman Forecast Office, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and the Oklahoma City Department of Emergency Management will be available to program weather radios from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (April 8) near the escalator in the Center Court area of Penn Square Mall. The event is free and open to the public.


Commerce Department awards Gold Medal to weather event simulator concept and development team

Sep 15th, 2003 | By Keli Pirtle

The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded its prestigious Gold Medal to the Weather Event Simulator (WES) Concept and Development Team for its pioneering work in creating nationwide simulation training capabilities for NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters. The team was made up of members from the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Norman, Okla.; the Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB), also located in Norman; and, the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS), at the University of Oklahoma.


NOAA storm researchers working to improve severe weather forecasts

Jun 5th, 2001 | By Keli Pirtle

Thunderstorms with lightning, hail, strong winds and tornadoes can be devastating, resulting in hundreds of deaths and millions of dollars in damage each year. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers and forecasters in Norman, Okla., are working toward improving the tools used to predict such storms. Their aim is to provide the public more time to prepare for severe thunderstorm events.


Four additional counties now receiving NOAA weather radio coverage

May 17th, 2001 | By Keli Pirtle

A new NOAA Weather Radio transmitter located in the Arbuckle Mountains of south central Oklahoma will now provide severe weather watch and warning coverage for four additional counties: Marshall, Love, Jefferson and Stephens. Signal strength tests conducted in the area indicated NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts can reach these areas. Coverage from this same transmitter will continue for Murray, Carter, Garvin, Pontotoc and Johnston counties.


Oklahoma groups honored by American Meteorological Society for efforts related to 1999 tornado outbreak

Jan 15th, 2001 | By Keli Pirtle

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman, Okla., the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, KFOR, KOCO and KWTV television, the Southwest Independent Repeater Association and the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, will all receive a special award from the American Meteorological Society for their actions before, during and after the deadly May 3, 1999 tornado outbreak.

The organizations are being honored “for outstanding and well-coordinated actions before, during and after the historic 3 May 1999 tornado outbreak in central Oklahoma, which prevented untold deaths and minimized the impact of the devastating storms.” The award will be presented Jan. 17 at the AMS 81st Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, N.M.