The recent earthquakes have many Oklahomans shaken up by this seemingly unusual occurrence. Since the weekend, we have had 31 earthquakes centered in Lincoln County. Of course, most of those are too weak to be felt over a widespread area. However, I have felt at least 3 in the Tulsa area. I never thought I would need to do this, but I have bookmarked the USGS website to track the earthquake activity here in Oklahoma. You can also do that by clicking here. I am no geologist, but it seems probable that minor tremors may occur in the coming weeks along the Wilzetta fault line in central Oklahoma. Earthquakes in our state are actually common, but the strength and frequency of them over the past week are more characteristic of the West Coast!
While the earthquakes were unusual, severe weather this time of year isn't. Although it's not April or May, a strong jet stream overhead with enough instability in place can set the stage for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes like we saw earlier this week. The recent twisters bring Oklahoma's tornado tally to 112 for the year. That is the second highest number we've seen since 1999 with the infamous May 3rd tornado outbreak. On top of that, the majority of those tornadoes have occurred in the eastern half of the state. We have no major severe weather prospects in the near-future and hopefully we won't raise the tornado count further in 2011.
Amidst the stormy conditions, our land soaked up several inches of drought-relieving rains. The map above shows the storm total from the past several days. Over half a FOOT of rain was measured in places like Muskogee… that's almost too much of a good thing.
Fortunately, the rumbling from above is done for now. A quiet weather pattern is with us for the next several days with high pressure in control. Temperatures will dip close to the freezing mark the next couple nights, but a general warm-up is forecasted as we approach the weekend. In fact, 70-degree high temperatures are expected just in time for Saturday and Sunday. That will come along with a gusty south wind, but no major cool-down is seen at least for the next week.
Be sure to get out and enjoy the crisp fall air and colors while they're still out! I'll hopefully have more information on why the foliage is more brilliant than previously thought in my next entry.
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