November 11, 1911: A Palindrome to Remember
Gary McManus, Associate State Climatologist
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
Oklahomans have grown accustomed to the fickle weather of the Great Plains, particularly during the transitional months of spring and fall. Many state residents have left the house dressed for a pleasantly warm autumn day, only to be caught unawares by the icy chill of an arctic blast. With experience comes wisdom, however, and most have learned to keep a trained eye on the weather forecasts. Imagine the surprise of the state’s burgeoning population on November 11, 1911, when weather forecasts were mostly limited to observations passed down the telegraph line, as they witnessed one of the most abrupt temperature swings in the state’s history. On that afternoon, Oklahoma City reached a record high temperature of 83 degrees. Soon thereafter, a “norther” barreled through the state, dropping temperatures more than 60 degrees in the span of a few hours. By midnight, the temperature at Oklahoma City had plunged to a frigid 17 degrees, the record low for that same date. Both records still stand, marking November 11th, 1911, as the only date in state history in which the record high and low temperatures were broken on the same day for a single location. National Weather Service forecasts indicate the milestones will be safe for yet another year. The high temperature for Oklahoma City today should hover in the 60s today after a low in the lower 50s.