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Wild Weather 2011: Part 2

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A wildfire in northeast Oklahoma City in August 2011 destroyed several homes. A wildfire in northeast Oklahoma City in August 2011 destroyed several homes.
One of the many tornadoes that swept through Central Oklahoma on May 24. One of the many tornadoes that swept through Central Oklahoma on May 24.

I will continue with the wild and sometimes wicked weather we had in 2011. I ended off my last blog with the violent but surgical strikes from the tornado outbreak from May 24.

The event to come over the summer was not a 'carpet bombing' of wind or hail, but a 'scorched earth' season of stifling and blistering heat! Never in the Oklahoma record books has this state seen such extreme, high-end temperatures of that duration! There are so many records to share, but I will keep this blog to a few of the more incredible ones.

This was the hottest summer on record with an average temperature of 87.5 degrees. This blew away the old record set in 1980 by nearly 2 degrees! Oklahoma City set the most number of 100 degree days this summer with 63. This smashed the old record of 50 days set in 1980. I was a teenager that summer and remember it vividly. I never thought a summer could get hotter. Boy, was I ever wrong! The summer months actually started out all right, but once OKC hit the middle of June, the heat wave went nuclear powered all the way through mid September!

The drought that started during the summer of 2010 had a lot to do with the extremity of the temperatures. But they actually fed off each other as the summer progressed. One element exacerbated the other, almost like they were trying to one-up each other! The drought was extreme or exceptional across all of central, southern and western Oklahoma for the entire summer.

Extreme droughts and a windy state like ours do not make for a good combination! The wildfires were very intense and a threat many days during the spring and summer. Many homes and property were damaged or destroyed.

Ron Hays, Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, said that the spring crops planted were severely affected and many failed over the summer. He said the heat did more damage on crops than the actual drought in July and August. He finished by stating this is the worst year in Oklahoma agriculture since at least the 1950s, and maybe ever.

I will finish up my report for the wild events of 2011 next week. November brought an unreal display of elements unlike we have ever seen or felt!

I am glad to wish you a Happy New Year. Here is to a calmer 2012!

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