Weather Events

October 2002

The precipitation totals in this wet month were highlighted by an 8.5-inch rainfall at the cooperative observing station in Cherokee (Alfalfa) on the 3rd, in association with storms that formed along a frontal boundary. This same weather system brought rainfall totals greater than 4.5 inches at several locations that day, including Woodward and Cedardale (both in Woodward County), Great Salt Plains (Alfalfa), and Alva (Woods). The excessive rainfall resulted in flash flood warnings for Alfalfa, Woods, and Woodward counties, forcing the closure of state highways 8 and 45 in Alfalfa County due to water over the roadways.


Additional rainfall pushed Cherokee's monthly precipitation total to a state-maximum of 13.02 inches, which shattered its previous October precipitation record of 7.88 inches, set in 2000. Nearby Helena (Alfalfa), with 11.08 inches of rainfall, shattered its October precipitation record, established in 1998, of 8.67 inches. Other impressive monthly totals include Reydon (Roger Mills) with 10.68 inches, Cedardale with 10.29 inches and Great Salt Plains at 10.28 inches. Normal October precipitation totals for these stations fall between 2 and 3 inches.

October 1, 2005

The Breckenridge Mesonet site reported nearly 3 inches of rain on this day.

October 1, 1988

A remarkable hail event occurred when severe thunderstorms in Grady and Stephens Counties produced hail accumulations one foot deep. The hail destroyed 150 acres of cotton in Stephens County.

October 2, 2007

The Medicine Park Mesonet site recorded winds of 75 miles per hour in the vicinity of severe storms.

October 2, 2006

Buffalo reported a high temperature of 100 degrees.

October 2, 1996

A cold front moved through the state, knocking over 30 degrees off of the daily high temperatures in the Panhandle.

October 3-4, 2002

The entirety of the state's severe weather struck during the first 6 days of the month. Various instances of large hail and wind damage were reported on the 3rd and 4th of the month, associated with the thunderstorms that produced the aforementioned flooding in northwestern Oklahoma. Two rail cars were blown off of the tracks 1 mile south of Enid (Garfield), while the nearby Mesonet site at Breckenridge (Garfield) experienced 70 mph wind gusts.

October 3, 2000

Strong winds hit Woodward at 66 miles per hour.  The Hollis Mesonet site recorded a high temperature of 106°F, setting a new state record for October.

October 4-9, 2000

Even though 1.4 inches of rain fell at Sallisaw (Sequoyah) over this period, the rainfall was not enough to end the Drought of 2000. This drought caused agricultural losses (fall-harvested crops, forage, and livestock) as great as $600 million.

October 4, 2008

A warm front lifted north, bringing moisture, as an upper-level storm system approached from the west. As a result, there were showers and storms that dropped up to 2 inches of rain in southeastern Oklahoma. Winds gusted over 40 mph in western Oklahoma and highs were above normal in the 80s and 90s. Tipton and Grandfield both reported a high temperature of 93.

October 4, 2004

The Ketchum Ranch Mesonet site recorded nearly 2 inches of rain after widespread showers and thunderstorms covered the state.

October 4, 1998

The dominant weather story of October 1998 occurred on this record-setting day when 20 tornadoes touched down in the state. The outbreak started at 3:25 PM and continued until 12:27 AM. The strongest storm appeared to be an F3 (severe) tornado that moved northeastward from Seminole County to Pottawatomie County. Tornadoes rated F2 (significant tornado) moved through Moore, along a 27-mile path from near Boley to Nuyaka. Other tornadoes were reported in the vicinity of Shawnee, Meeker, Pawnee, New Alluwe and Collinsville.

October 5-6, 2008

Showers and storms hit the state, with the storms on the sixth exceeding severe limits at times. Large hail (up to the size of half dollars) was reported in Comanche County, while heavy rain fell over southern Oklahoma.

October 5-11, 2001

Thunderstorms in the southwest produced several incidents of large hail. Virtually all of the precipitation was reported during the first half of the month. The greatest daily precipitation reports included: Tahlequah Mesonet (Cherokee) 10th, 4.33 inches; Madill (Marshall) 11th and Tishomingo (Johnston) 10th, 4.05 inches; Centrahoma (Coal) 11th, 3.90 inches; and Miami (Ottawa) 5th, 3.70 inches.

October 5, 2000

A surge of cold air moving throughout the state provided relief from the summer drought and transitioned to flood conditions.

October 5, 1995

The Freedom Mesonet site reported a daily average wind speed of over 27 miles per hour, while the Hooker station reported a gust of 60 miles per hour due to the passage of a cold front on the 2nd.

October 6-7, 2004

Very heavy rainfall was recorded, especially in southwestern Oklahoma. The Hobart Mesonet site reported nearly 5 inches of rain, while Apache recorded over 4 inches during this period. Flash flooding occurred mainly over the northeast in Caddo, Creek, Kiowa, and Tulsa counties.

October 6, 2005

The Bristow Mesonet site recorded over 3 inches of rain.

October 6, 2004

A supercell produced an F0 tornado near Walters. Earlier in the day, the same supercell had spawned an F0 near Burkburnett, Texas.

October 6, 1989

Thunderstorm winds in excess of 80 miles per hour uprooted trees and damaged businesses and mobile homes in Grady County.

October 7, 1992

Thunderstorm-related winds in excess of 60 miles per hour were reported at several locations. A small tornado in eastern Canadian County destroyed six mobile homes in southwest Oklahoma City, injuring two. High waves on Robert S. Kerr Reservoir in eastern Oklahoma sank a tugboat and two of the eight barges it was towing.

October 8-9, 2009


2-4 inches of precipitation were widespread in the eastern two-thirds of Oklahoma. Oklahoma City broke its record for rainfall on the eighth with more than 2 inches. Forty-seven instances of flooding were reported in eastern Oklahoma over this two-day period.

October 8, 1997

Heavy thunderstorms produced a small tornado near Billings along with large hail and strong winds in central and northeastern Oklahoma.

October 9, 2003

Up to 3 inches of rain fell over north-central and northeastern Oklahoma; Tulsa set a record daily rainfall amount with 2.86 inches, breaking the old record of 0.98 inches set back in 1937.

October 9, 2001

A rash of tornadoes, rare for October, struck western Oklahoma on October 9th. Cordell (Washita County) suffered 69 injuries, the destruction of 168 structures, and damage to 368 others when an F3 tornado swept through town. The storm caused approximately $7 million in property loss, and debris associated with the storm was deposited 160 miles to the northwest, near Perry (Noble). Two other F3 tornadoes missed heavily populated areas. One storm in Kiowa County traveled from near Gotebo to Mountain View, injuring one and destroying 5 houses and a school building. The other F3 tornado traversed a path from near Elk City in Beckham County to the vicinity of the Foss Reservoir Dam in Custer County. Ten lesser tornadoes were reported in Caddo, Beckham, Roger Mills, Washita and Kiowa counties, all in western Oklahoma. The twelve tornadoes were the second most reported in the state during October since the beginning of reliable tornado records in 1950. Other severe weather incidents reported on the 9th included: 69 mile per hour winds at Tinker air Force Base (Oklahoma), 61 mile per hour winds at the Arnett (Ellis) Mesonet site, and 2-inch hail near Cogar (Caddo).

October 9, 2000

Much of the state experienced an early first freeze of the season. The Mesonet sites at Hammon (Roger Mills), Canton Dam (Blaine), and El Reno (Canadian) all recorded temperatures of 16°F.

October 10-11, 2004

The remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew enhanced the moisture over Oklahoma, resulting in heavy rain. The Antlers and Centrahoma Mesonet sites observed over 4 inches, and Shawnee and Guthrie recorded just under 4 inches of rain. Much of the state received 1 to 3 inches.

October 10, 2001

Large hail and strong thunderstorm winds were reported in eastern Oklahoma.

October 10, 1973

A low pressure center that moved northeastward along a slowly moving cold front stalled over north-central Oklahoma, depositing record-breaking rainfall. The 24-hour total at Enid of 15.68 inches exceeded the previous record that occurred September 3-4, 1940, at Sapulpa. The rain at Enid actually fell in about 12 hours, with 75 percent of it falling in 4 hours. The severe flash flooding that resulted from the rainfall in Enid destroyed or severely damaged 300 homes and 40 businesses. In Garfield county alone property damages were estimated at $8 million, with damages to crops and land that climbed to $13 million.

October 11-15, 2008

The remnants of Pacific Hurricane Norbert brought moisture into western Oklahoma, as a surface low in the Panhandle kept winds gusting from the south at over 30 mph. As the remnants of Norbert interacted with a cold front, several rounds of showers were initiated on the 15th. Parts of the Panhandle received 3-4 inches of rain, while other areas of northwestern Oklahoma received 1-3 inches. This fairly strong cold front separated high temperatures in the 70s and 80s to the south and 50s in the north.

October 11, 2000

Low temperatures remained in the upper teens and lower 20s from the 9th to the 11th, causing significant damage to the state’s pecan crop.

October 11, 1973

Enid is on record for having the greatest daily precipitation report--15.68 inches of rain that fell during a 24-hour period.

October 12, 1986

In Lawton, the wind chill factor fell to more than 20 degrees below zero, just two days after an overnight low of 60 degrees.

October 14, 2007

A squall line moved across the state, leaving numerous high wind, hail, and heavy rainfall reports in its wake.

October 15-16, 2000

The Drought of 2000 ended with heavy rains, including 3.87 inches at Shawnee (Pottawatomie), 3.80 inches at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area at Sulphur (Murray), 3.39 inches at Norman (Cleveland), and 3.13 inches at the Lahoma (Garfield) Mesonet sites.

October 16, 1984

A strong low pressure system in Kansas caused wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour across the state.

October 17, 2007

The Eufaula Mesonet site recorded wind gusts up to 90 miles per hour, while wind speeds of 86 miles per hour and 85 miles per hour were reported at Kingfisher and Tulsa. These strong winds destroyed a tent at the Oktoberfest celebration in Tulsa, injuring 50. Five people were injured near Oologah when winds destroyed 15 to 20 mobile homes.

October 17, 1994

A pair of weak tornadoes touched down briefly five miles south of Aline and approximately six miles northwest of Ringwood.

October 18, 1998

The Meeker Mesonet site reported 7.55 inches of rain and Mannford noted 4.14 inches on the same day.

October 19, 2005

Severe weather plagued the far northwest part of Oklahoma as a cold front and a powerful upper-level storm joined forces. An F1 multiple-vortex tornado touched down in Harper County, damaging a roof and a barn. In the same county, golfball-sized hail combined with strong winds to break windows in a home near Lovedale (Harper County). In Woodward County, a wind gust of 90 miles per hour was reported.

October 19, 1983

Heavy rainfall, somewhere between 10 and 13 inches, caused flash flooding in the town of Apache. Eighty homes were flooded and reports say that the flood hit so quickly that nothing was saved.

October 20-29, 2000

After months of drought, this period brought successive rain-producing systems state-wide nearly daily. Farmers needing to plant winter wheat had patiently waited for rain and now had to wait for the fields to dry.

October 20, 1996

A rapidly developing low pressure system brought severe weather to most of the state. Baseball-sized hail fell in Stephens County and winds were estimated to have reached 100 miles per hour in Garvin and Murray counties.

October 21, 2000

A small tornado was sighted in Cotton County near Walters.

October 22-23, 2008

A cold front set off showers and severe storms, as well as brought the first freezing temperatures of the season. On the 22nd, Kenton reported a low of 24 degrees, a 75 mph wind gust was reported by the Camargo Mesonet site, and half dollar size hail fell near Laverne.

October 22, 2006

After a powerful cold front passed through the state, clear skies and light northerly winds dropped temperatures below freezing for most of the state. Highs eventually reached the 50s and 60s, while lows ranged from 18 degrees at Freedom to 38 degrees at Durant.

October 22, 2000

Tornadoes were spotted near Stonewall in Pontotoc County, southeastern Oklahoma City - one just southeast of downtown and one in Valley Brook, where F1 damage was reported - and in Canadian County near Calumet.

October 23, 2000

Mesonet rain totals - 9.15 inches at Anadarko (Caddo), 7.42 inches at Apache (Caddo), and 6.62 inches at Chickasha (Grady). Widespread flooding occurred in these cities and along the East Cache Creek and Washita River.

October 24, 1987

Strong thunderstorm winds in Lone Grove lifted the roof off a school gymnasium and toppled a 50-foot elevator onto a peanut storage warehouse in Madill.

October 25, 2000

More flooding at Woodward (Woodward) with 5.92 inches and Arnett (Ellis) 5.55 inches.

October 25, 1997

A major winter storm that formed in the southern High Plains of Colorado sank southward into the Texas Panhandle and then moved rapidly and forcefully northeastward across western Oklahoma. Far in advance of the storm, thunderstorms in southeastern Oklahoma produced hail, high winds, and a tornado near Stigler. High winds dominated most of western Oklahoma, and the western Panhandle was buried under wind-driven snow from a blizzard of major proportions. The Goodwell Mesonet site reported a maximum wind speed of 66 miles per hour for the day. Average wind speeds at Boise City for the day were 37 miles per hour and a National Weather Service observer reported 15 inches of snow at Kenton. This report from Kenton appears to be the greatest October snowfall ever reported in Oklahoma.

October 26, 1995

Strong thunderstorms in eastern Oklahoma produced the only severe weather in the state during October. A tornado that struck 10 miles southwest of Tahlequah in the Woodall area damaged 18 homes and two businesses and destroyed several barns. Other tornadoes were reported near Stilwell, Tahlequah and Spavinaw.

October 28, 2008

McAlester broke its daily record low temperature (previous record on this day was 26 F set in 1957) with a low of 24 degrees F.

October 28, 2000

The Boise City Mesonet site recorded a peak wind of 68 miles per hour.

October 29, 1999

Thunderstorms produced several reports of wind damage. Winds clocked at 66 miles per hour knocked over power poles and damaged some roofs in northeast Norman and southeast Oklahoma City. Twenty thousand customers were left without power in Norman.

October 29, 1993

Tulsa received 0.3 inches of snow, the earliest measurable snowfall ever reported there.

October 29, 1989

A powerful thunderstorm produced a tornado in Tillman County, and three reported funnels in Kiowa County. Golfball-sized hail was reported in Greer and Jackson Counties. Storm damage included downed power lines and uprooted trees in Stephens County.

October 30, 2004

Boise City recorded a low of 25 degrees.

October 30, 1994

Thunderstorms caused several reports of wind damage in many areas. Trees and power lines were blown down in Butler, Perry, and Pawnee. Winds in Glenpool tore awnings loose from some buildings and the Mesonet site at Weatherford reported winds of 72 miles per hour.

October 31, 1999

Four small tornadoes struck in Creek County causing little damage, but raising the number of tornadoes in Oklahoma during 1999 to a record 140. The previous record of 107 was set in 1957.