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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Climate and Weather History

Where can I find basic, recent climate data for Oklahoma and north Texas?

For certain Oklahoma and north Texas sites, you can find detailed daily/monthly data in our CF6 (formerly "F6") Preliminary Monthly Climate Data section (follow the instructions on the page to get a CF6 for the location and month you want). For Oklahoma, you may wish to contact the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Most OCS data, and our CF6 data for Oklahoma City and Wichita Falls date back to the mid-1990s. Other CF6 sites date back to the summer of 2001. Please visit our Climate Section for more information. 

I need specific, recent weather information. How can I get that?

It depends entirely on the type of request. Generally, the more recent the data, the easier it is to look up, unless it's for a Cooperative site (see our map of these sites) or a primary climate station (Oklahoma City and Wichita Falls, in our area). When you send or phone in your request, be sure to include the location, time, and weather elements you need the information for. It doesn't hurt to specify which units you want, either, especially when requesting pressure information. Please be as specific as possible, since weather elements can take many varied forms (for example, "pressure" can be interpreted as sea-level pressure, sea-level pressure corrected for temperature, or simply the uncorrected station pressure).

I need weather information for a court case. How do I get it?

We cannot provide weather information suitable forcourt cases. The National Climatic Data Center is the national repository for climate records. Alternatively, the Oklahoma Mesonet is available if you need data from Oklahoma. Expert testimony may be obtained from private meteorologists.

Where can I get information on a specific major storm?

Usually, one of the best sources of information is the NWS office which has forecast responsibility for the storm's location. For example, the NWS office in Paducah KY has a section of their Web site dedicated to the spectacular Tri-State Tornado of 1925. See our map of the NWS offices and links to their Web sites.

What sources of climate information are available?

For the NWSFO Norman area of responsibility, please visit our various Climate Information pages. Daily temperature, precipitation, and wind records are in the Monthly Weather Summaries. The Oklahoma Climate Survey provides very detailed climate information for all of Oklahoma (for large requests, fees may apply). Similar information is available for Texas residents from the Office of the State Climatologist for Texas (OSC). The Southern Regional Climate Center also provides climate information for Oklahoma, Texas, and other states in the southern United States. Finally, the National Climatic Data Center provides both free and for-fee services.

How can I find out how many lightning storms affect various parts of the country?

After a rather long search of the Internet, I found nothing on-line. (If anyone reading this knows of a site with a map of lightning frequency, please let me know!) There is a printed publication, Thunderstorms and Lightning... The Underrated Killers, which is a preparedness guide from NOAA, FEMA, and the American Red Cross. Inside is a map of "thunderstorm days" across the contiguous United States. This is somewhat different than the number of lightning storms, in that there could be several storms in one day at the same location. The publication is available from the National Weather Service Office nearest you.

Does climate change in cycles?

Certain cycles do occur in climate, and in weather in general. Most are irregular and do not contribute to long-term forecasting very reliably. The Climate Prediction Center provides a lot of good information on this topic.


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