Another in a series of significant weather events affected parts of Oklahoma on June 14th, this time in the form of significant flooding. At Oklahoma City, the one-time precipitation deficit is no more, as the average June precipitation fell in just a few hours.
The event began late on June 13th, as thunderstorms developed over northwest Oklahoma. The thunderstorms developed ahead of a slow moving cold front that was located over southwest Kansas into the northern Texas panhandle. A large outflow boundary also extended eastward. The thunderstorms became more numerous as they moved along the outflow boundary. Strengthened by the new rainfall, the outflow boundary dropped toward central Oklahoma, and a moist low level jet or concentrated inflow from the south resulted in new thunderstorm development near the boundary.
The first round of significant rainfall impacted central Oklahoma around 3 am. This round moved east before another, longer lived, thunderstorm complex developed right over the Oklahoma City metro area. The outflow boundary was located south of Interstate 40, and the low-level jet transported warm and very humid air north of the boundary, where it was released into thunderstorm updrafts, creating very heavy, tropical rainfall. The location of the outflow boundary was critical in determining where the heaviest rain fell. Thunderstorms continued to develop over the southwest metro, and slowly moved northeast. Rainfall rates averaged one to two inches per hour, with some thunderstorm bands producing rates near three inches per hour.
The morning commute became a disaster area, as car after car became stranded in rapidly rising water. Roadways became raging rivers, and ponds, creeks, and rivers more than overflowed their banks. Navigating in and around the metro area became almost impossible, and many motorists had to be rescued by boat. Amazingly, especially considering the time of day at which this flood hit, no lives were lost in the OKC metro area, and no significant injuries were reported. The persistent heavy rainfall finally tapered off around noon.
The larger area of heavy rainfall moved south as the outflow boundary moved into southern Oklahoma. Significant rainfall developed over southwest Oklahoma by early afternoon, and flash flooding once again became a concern. Lawton seemed to be the hardest hit area, receiving between four and five inches, and several roadways become flooded.
Numerous motorists had to be rescued from the high water. One motorist, unfortunately, lost his life when his vehicle stalled in flood waters.
Back in Oklahoma City, additional periods of thunderstorms developed in the late afternoon and evening, but luckily the duration of the thunderstorms was relatively short. By the time it was all said and done, widespread totals of five to nine inches were reported over much of Oklahoma City. Some of the higher totals were in the north-central portion of the city where nine to twelve inches were measured (see Event Rainfall Totals list at the bottom of the page).
The cleanup effort continued several days later. The rivers that had flooded, some of them significantly, finally receded below flood stage by Wednesday afternoon, June 16th. The latest significant weather event to affect central Oklahoma, which was at least the fourth significant event during the last six months (a blizzard, tornado outbreak, hail storm, and now flood), came to an end. The hot, humid conditions that had been present for several weeks returned to the region, almost as though nothing had happened. But for hundreds of people whose homes and businesses were flooded, the scars remained.
Climatologically, June is the second wettest month of the year in Oklahoma City. The average rainfall for June is 4.63 inches. On June 14th, 2010, Will Rogers World Airport measured 7.62 inches of rain, propelling the city instantly above average for the month. The daily precipitation record for June 14th was broken (previous record was 3.95" in 1930), and the 2010, event also became the highest all-time daily precipitation total (see below). The event did not, however, break the record for a 24-hour period (which is allowed to cross over midnight). That distinction goes to October 19-20, 1983, when moisture from the remains of Pacific Hurricane Tico produced 8.95 inches of rain at Oklahoma City.
Event Rainfall Totals over Central Oklahoma (>5")
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
1245 PM CDT TUE JUN 15 2010
...SELECTED RAINFALL TOTALS OF 5 INCHES OR MORE...
AMOUNT SOURCE APPROXIMATE LOCATION
12.31 COCORAHS BRYANT AVE AND E 15TH IN EDMOND
11.85 SPOTTER AIR DEPOT BLVD AND HEFNER ROAD
11.47 MESONET BROADWAY EXTENSION AND WILSHIRE BLVD
10.73 COOP OB BRYANT AVE AND EDMOND ROAD
9.55 COCORAHS CLASSEN BLVD AND NW 48TH STREET
9.36 MESONET INTERSTATE 35 AND NE 4TH STREET
9.00 SPOTTER MACARTHUR AVE AND WILSHIRE BLVD
8.83 COCORAHS COUNCIL ROAD AND SW 44TH STREET
8.80 COCORAHS WESTERN AVE AND NW 150TH STREET
8.74 MESONET PORTLAND AVE AND NW 3RD STREET
8.59 COOP OB ARCADIA LAKE
8.47 COCORAHS MACARTHUR BLVD AND NW 50TH STREET
8.40 COCORAHS PENNSYLVANIA AVE AND SORGHUM MILL ROAD
8.06 SPOTTER MERIDIAN AVE AND NW 164TH STREET
7.91 COCORAHS MACARTHUR BLVD AND BRITTON ROAD
7.86 COCORAHS COUNCIL ROAD AND NW 23RD STREET
7.80 NWS OB WILL ROGERS WORLD AIRPORT
7.25 NWS OB WILEY POST AIRPORT
7.23 MESONET WESTMINSTER ROAD AND NE 63RD STREET
5.19 SPOTTER MACARTHUR BLVD AND NORTHWEST EXPRESSWAY
10.09 COCORAHS MIDWEST BLVD AND WATERLOO
7.60 COCORAHS 5 SSE GUTHRIE
7.31 COCORAHS KELLEY AVE AND WATERLOO
6.59 COOP OB 4.5 SSE GUTHRIE
6.36 COCORAHS 2 S GUTHRIE
5.52 MESONET 4 WSW GUTHRIE
6.90 COCORAHS MUSTANG ROAD AND SW 74TH STREET
6.78 COCORAHS CEMETERY ROAD AND SW 59TH STREET
5.89 COOP OB CUSHING
5.08 MESONET 5 E ORLANDO (LAKE CARL BLACKWELL)
5.58 COCORAHS 0.5 ESE TECUMSEH
5.34 COCORAHS 1 ESE SHAWNEE
5.34 MESONET 3 NNW SHAWNEE
5.27 COCORAHS 2 ENE SHAWNEE
You can follow the link on our home page, in the Top News in the coming days for more up-to-date information on the flooding.