By all accounts, 2011 will go down as a record year in weather lore. Records were broken in several areas of the country but, by shear coincidence, Oklahoma seemed to be striving for the geoscience gold medal…and planet Earth didn’t disappoint.
The most memorable event for me is the May 24, 2011 tornado outbreak. The storms were difficult to chase, largely HP in structure, and moved at speeds well in excess of 25 mph. Obviously this makes the supercells difficult to navigate and keep up with. Here’s to hoping that 2012 has more classic supercells that aren’t moving at breakneck speeds. Of course, there were other numerous events including a new record minimum temperature of -31F set at the Nowata Oklahoma Mesonet site, record snowfalls with blizzard conditions, a new record for Oklahoma’s largest hailstone, and brutal, unrelenting summer heat that statistically make Oklahoma the hottest state in the country. Of course, we can’t forget the 5.6 magnitude earthquake that reminded us that Oklahoma is not only active meteorologically, but geologically as well.
In a last ditch effort to give OK another geoscience thrill, a 3.5 magnitude earthquake occurred just after 2:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. Perhaps this is just the final touch on an amazing year in natural events that won’t soon be forgotten.
Here’s to a peaceful, calm, serene 2012…Happy New Year everybody!