Oklahoma weather timeline - 2000-2009

Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Tweet

The Oklahoma Weather Timeline provides a decade-by-decade listing of interesting or disastrous events that have occurred in Oklahoma's weather history. For more detailed daily summaries (since 2003) please view the Oklahoma monthly climate summaries.


Timeline 2000-2009

2000 August: statewide precipitation of 0.14" marks driest August on record (since 1895).

2000 August-September mini-drought: 1.16 inches of precipitation, statewide, over the two months, was 5.5 inches less than normal. August’s statewide-averaged precipitation (0.16 inch) broke the 1936 record for that month.

2000 November-December: was the coldest such period on record for the state with a statewide-averaged temperature of 37.0 degrees.

2000 December 11-13 and 25-27: Major snow and ice storms struck statewide, especially powerful in southeast quarter. Power was lost to at least 120,000 homes and businesses, including 90% of the residents of McIntosh, Latimer, and Pittsburg counties. Extended power outages also led to disruptions of local water supplies in several areas. At least 27 fatalities were attributable to the extreme weather conditions, which extended well into January 2001. Total property damage in the state was approximately $170 million. The Christmas Day Ice Storm of 2000 may have been the worst since statehood. Interests in sixty-seven Oklahoma counties were eligible for federal disaster relief.

2001 May 27: Parts of central Oklahoma experienced severe winds in excess of 70 and 80 mph as powerful thunderstorms pushed through the state on Sunday, May 27. Approximately 160,000 residents lost electrical service for as much as a week. Damage estimates reached at least $500,000 for Oklahoma City, with many public buildings and homes damaged or destroyed. Damage estimates statewide were in the tens of millions of dollars.

2001-2002: Most of the northwestern two-thirds of Oklahoma suffered from protracted drought from late spring 2001 through early summer 2002. Damage was worst in the state’s western half, especially in the panhandle, where the 14-month June-through-July precipitation of 15.5" was exceeded (in a negative sense) only during the Dust Bowl years of 1936-37. The wheat harvest of spring 2002 was severely damaged. Agricultural damages among all crops and livestock easily surpassed $500 million, with a final number nearer to $1 billion. Agricultural disaster was declared in 30 Oklahoma counties.

2002 January 28-30: Much of northwestern Oklahoma was buried under more than an inch of ice, with some locations receiving more than four inches. More than a quarter-million homes and businesses were left without power; some 2,300 for more than three weeks. Damages exceeded $100 million. Soil temperatures above freezing helped prevent many of the transportation problems of the December 2000 ice storm. In all, 45 counties were included in a federal disaster declaration.

2002 December 3: A 50-mile-wide belt of freezing rain brought down many power lines from near Erick to near Pawhuska. The storm’s main area of damage was strikingly co-located with the primary damage belt from the catastrophic ice storm of January 2002. 14 counties were included in a federal disaster declaration.

2003 May 8-9: An outbreak of 33 tornadoes razed many parts of the state, with the most severe tornado damage being observed in central Oklahoma. Incredibly, the OKC metro area was hit by damaging tornadoes on back-to-back days. On the 8th, a tornado that developed in Moore intensified to F4 strength as it raked southeastern portions of OKC, heavily damaging the General Motors plant near Midwest City. Another tornado struck Bethany and parts of the northwest metro area on the following day. President Bush declared nine Oklahoma counties disaster areas. The Oklahoma events were embedded within a week that saw several outbreaks nationwide, setting the record for most tornadoes observed in the U.S. in one week (393).

2003-2004 May 17-March 3: On March 4, 2004, a small tornado touched down near Muldrow, ending a period of 292 days without a tornado in Oklahoma. This represented the longest such span since detailed tornado record-keeping began in 1950. It broke the previous record of 248 days, set in 1990-91.

2004 November: 6.12" statewide precipitation; wettest November on record (since 1895).

2005-06 Summer through late Spring: Severe short-term drought exacerbates winter fire season to produce catastrophic outbreaks of wildfire, particularly during the winter and early spring months. Several hundred thousand acres burn in a span of months.

2006 January: statewide temperature of 46.4 F becomes warmest January on record (since 1895). Breaks record set in 1923.

2006 April: statewide temperature of 65.5 F becomes warmest April on record (since 1895). Breaks record set in 1981.

2006 Spring (Mar-May): statewide temperature of 62.87 F becomes warmest Spring on record (since 1895). Breaks record set in 1963.

2006 December 19-20: The first of two successive ice storms strikes the central and eastern Oklahoma panhandle. More than an inch of ice accumulates on trees and power lines.

2006 December 29-30: Major blizzard strikes and western Oklahoma panhandle. Unofficial reports of up to 40 inches far exceed the official observation of 18 inches. Drifts up to 20 feet are reported. Twenty families had to be dug out of their homes in Cimarron County. A significant ice storm attacks parts of the central and eastern Oklahoma panhandle. Southeast Oklahoma experiences significant flooding associated with the large-scale disturbance.

2007 January 12-14: A catastrophic winter storm drops nearly 72 consecutive hours of precipitation on much of the state. 2-4 inches of sleet fell in the northwestern half while 2-3 inches of freezing rain blanketed areas south of Tulsa and east of Oklahoma. McAlester and Muskogee were particularly hard-hit, local accumulations approached 4 inches. The heavy coating of ice left 125,000 without power at the storm’s peak, and contributed to a preliminary total of 32 mostly traffic-related fatalities in Oklahoma.

2007 March: statewide temperature of 58.3 F becomes warmest March on record (since 1895). Breaks record set in 1907.

2007 June: 9.84" statewide precipitation; wettest June on record (since 1895).

2007 August 19: The remnants of Tropical Storm Erin, which made landfall three days earlier on the Texas Gulf Coast, unexpectedly intensified during the overnight hours of August 19th. Tropical Storm strength winds were observed for several hours in west-central Oklahoma. In fact, the storm was stronger over Oklahoma than at any time during its entire life cycle (including its marine period). Extensive wind damage occurred west of Oklahoma City, and severe flooding ravaged much of Oklahoma. More than nine inches of rain were observed in areas near Watonga, Fort Cobb and Okmulgee. Seven flood-related deaths were reported statewide.

2007 Summer: 18.02" statewide rainfall; wettest summer on record (since 1895).

2007 December 8-10: A major ice storm is placed almost perfectly over the state’s populated centers, bringing devastating consequences to the cities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and their suburbs. Nearly 700,000 customers are left without power. The University of Oklahoma is forced to postpone its fall finals and graduation ceremonies.

2008 January 7-8: An unseasonably warm and moist air mass initiated thunderstorm growth ahead of the dry line in Eastern Oklahoma.  These unusual January severe storms produced 3 confirmed EF-0 tornadoes as well as reports of straight line wind, large hail and flash flooding. 

2008 March:The statewide average precipitation for the month of March was 4.81 inches which made March 2008 the 6th wettest March on record.  This was helped by monthly rainfall totals of more than 14” for Southeastern Oklahoma locations such as Cloudy, Mt. Herman, and Talihina.  

2008 May: The state of Oklahoma saw 42 confirmed tornadoes during the month of May, 7 of which were considered significant.  Most notable was the EF-4 that tore through Craig and Ottawa counties before continuing on its 76 mile damage path to Missouri.  This tornado caused 6 fatalities and 150 injuries in Oklahoma alone.

2009 March 27-28:A strong, late-season winter storm handed Northwest Oklahoma nearly 2 feet of record setting snowfall.  Freedom, OK reported 24.0” while Laverne, OK in Harper County reported an astonishing 29.0” of snow. 

2009 May 1:A flash flooding event occurred in Northeast Oklahoma where over 7 inches of rain fell in a single day, which is more than the average monthly total of 5.02”.  In Pryor, Oklahoma, 5 of the 7 inches was recorded in just an hour, which caused more than 25 water rescues to be performed. 

2009 July 10:The highest ever Mesonet average temperature of 98.99 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded on this day at the Buffalo Mesonet site.

2009 December 24:Unusual blizzard and near-blizzard conditions took hold of the state of Oklahoma on Christmas Eve, as the winter storm tracked from extreme SW to extreme NE Oklahoma. This storm was so rare that it was only the second blizzard warning ever issued by the NWS in Tulsa.  Snowfall totals for this storm exceeded 10” locally in OKC and Wichita Falls, and 6” in Tulsa County with state-wide maximum wind gusts nearing 60mph.  This timely snowfall event allowed both Tulsa and Oklahoma City to record their first official white Christmases since 2002. 

2009 December: Oklahoma City experienced its snowiest December on record with 14.0” of snow, breaking the previous record of 9.0” set in 1915.

2009-2010 Winter: With 23.5” of snow, Oklahoma City placed 5th on its list of total seasonal snowfall records.