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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Forecasts

What counties are in the NWS Norman forecast and warning area?

In Oklahoma:

Alfalfa, Atoka, Beckham, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Mcclain, Major, Marshall, Murray, Noble, Oklahoma, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Seminole, Stephens, Tillman, Washita, Woods, Woodward

In Texas:

Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Hardeman, Knox, Wichita, Wilbarger

(See Map.)

Can I get a forecast for...?

Because our e-mail is not checked daily, we cannot answer specific short-term forecast requests through e-mail. There are many locations on the Internet that contain the official National Weather Service forecasts. For weather forecasts issued by the NWS Norman or other NWS offices, simply go to any NWS Forecast Office's main page (such as ours), near the upper-left corner, and enter the city, state (or Zip code) for which you want a forecast, then click "Go".

I'd like a forecast for more than a week in the future. Can I get that?

Long-range forecasts tend to be very vague, and do not usually help much for planning outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is far too complex to allow us to forecast rain, storms, etc., more than a few days in advance. Please check out the climate data available for the location of concern for an advance idea of your chances of getting wet, cold, or otherwise inconvenienced.

Some forecast discussions include unfamiliar abbreviations and terms. What do they mean?

The Detroit/Pontiac MI office has a list of most of the acronyms that the NWS uses, and the Tulsa OK office has a handy glossary of weather terms. Site identifier information is available from the NWS's Telecommunication Operations Center.

What do the precipitation chances mean, and how are they determined?

It depends. If the forecaster is sure there will be "measurable" precipitation (0.01 inches of rain or its frozen equivalent), the probability of precipitation ("PoP") corresponds to the amount of coverage that is expected in the forecast area. This forecast area may be a county, a group of counties, or some equivalent geographic area, and is specified in the Zone Forecast, Area Forecast, and Detailed Forecast. In other cases, the PoP is an approximation derived from a combination of the likelihood that precipitation will occur, and how much area it is likely to affect. For example, if a forecaster is 40% sure that rain will occur, and expects it to cover 70% of the forecast area, the PoP will probably be 30%. At this time, PoPs in official forecasts are always for the given 12-hour period ("today," "tonight," etc.), or what remains of it.

Computer models also produce a PoP. In their case, the probability of precipitation is for a given point location, and represents the likelihood that "measurable" precipitation will occur at that point in the given time period.


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