Weather Events

December 2008

Preliminary data indicates that 77 tornadoes touched down in 2008, well above the 1950-2007 average of 53.

December 3, 2005

The Durant Mesonet site recorded a high temperature of 84 degrees.

December 3, 1993

A low pressure system, which developed just south of the Red River, produced locally heavy rains in southeastern Oklahoma. Precipitation in excess of 7 inches was reported in the vicinity of Broken Bow and Idabel. Several schools closed in southern McCurtain County due to high water and some Idabel residents were forced to evacuate.

December 4, 2006

Nowata recorded a low temperature of -2 degrees.

December 4, 1999

In the wake of a passing system, Arnett and Laverne each reported 10 inches of snow as northwestern Oklahoma received its first significant snowfall of the 1999 season.

December 5, 2003

Kenton dropped down to a chilly 14 degrees overnight.

December 5, 1992

A snow and ice storm which hit nearly all parts of the state forced postponement of most of the state high school football playoffs.

December 7, 2005

An extremely strong cold front entered the state on the 6th, keeping high temperatures in the Panhandle below 15 degrees. Kenton and Boise City both reported a high temperature of only 10 degrees. Snow of up to a couple of inches fell over much of the state, keeping temperatures even cooler over the next few days.

December 8-11, 2007

A major ice storm struck Oklahoma, leaving 700,000 customers without power, killing 29, and leaving a large swath of snapped trees along the I-44 corridor. Areas of moderate to heavy freezing rain and sleet moved northeast over much of Oklahoma during this period, coating roadways, power lines, and trees. Both the Oklahoma City and the Tulsa metro areas were affected.

December 8, 2008

Associated with an approaching upper-level low, storms became severe in some areas, with 1 inch hail, strong winds gusting to over 60 mph, and the 23rd reported December tornado since 1950 in Oklahoma. This EF-1 tornado destroyed a mobile home and a barn near Broken Arrow close to midnight.

December 8, 2005

Kenton reported a chilly low temperature of -15 degrees.

December 8, 1998

An intrusion of cold air brought snow and temperatures in the teens to the Panhandle. In addition, subfreezing temperatures extended southward to Oklahoma City and Lawton, establishing new records for the latest autumn freeze at both locations. Snowfall reports included 4 inches at Regnier, 3.2 inches at Kenton and 2 inches at Boise City.

December 8, 1986

Rainfall in southern Oklahoma presented problems for peanut and cotton farmers. Unharvested peanut plants began to decay, forcing some farmers to abandon their crops. Some cotton that remained in the fields began to deteriorate and thus declined in market value.

December 9, 2008

Temperatures plunged after severe storms went through the state, causing rain to change to snow in northern Oklahoma. More than 3 inches of snow was reported in Grant County, while Major County measured 4 inches. Scattered areas of freezing rain and drizzle fell further south, keeping high temperatures in the 20s in northern Oklahoma and in the 40s in the south.

December 9, 2003

In the first winter storm of the season, snow and some sleet fell over northern Oklahoma as a strong cold front moved through the state. Snow accumulations in northwestern and north-central Oklahoma ranged from 1 to 3 inches, and wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour drifted the snow up to 3 feet high. Tulsa received up to 8.5 inches of snow in some areas, and nearly 10 inches fell in Osage County.

December 9, 2001

Overnight temperatures dropped below freezing over most of the state.

December 9, 1999


Thunderstorms in southwestern Oklahoma caused a state highway near Hydro to be flooded for a short time. There were also several reports of wind speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour associated with these storms.

December 10-14, 2008

Surface high pressure kept temperatures cold on the 10th, as low temperatures fell into the teens and 20s, with a few single-digit lows in the snow-covered areas of the northwest. Highs were in the 30s and 40s. Temperatures warmed up to the 60s and 70s by the 13th, while a strong cold front kicked up strong southerly winds, allowing temperatures to soar on the 14th. The unseasonably warm temperatures were not to last—the strong cold front roared through the state, rapidly dropping temperatures into the single digits in the northwest and brought a few spotty showers to the southeast.

December 11-13, 2000

The first of three important winter storm events swept through the state blanketing much of the state with snow. The southeast (McCurtain, LeFlore, Choctaw, and Pushmataha counties) received freezing rain, leading to power outages affecting about 3,900 customers.

December 12, 2003

North-central Oklahoma bore the brunt of another winter storm. Freezing rain fell, later transitioning into sleet and then snow. 8 to 12 inches of snow fell in Grant, Kay, Garfield, and Noble counties, while the south received up to three-quarters of an inch of rain.

December 12, 2001

Boise City (Cimarron County) reported an inch of snow.

December 12, 1993

Strong thunderstorms that developed in southwestern Oklahoma produced hailstones in excess of three-quarters of an inch in several counties. The Hollis Mesonet station recorded a wind speed of 74 miles per hour.

December 13, 2001

The Kenton Mesonet site (Cimarron) recorded a 7-degree temperature as a surge of cold air pushed through the state. The wintry surge triggered locally heavy rains when it reached the moisture-laden air of the state’s southeastern corner.

December 13, 2000

Heavy snow amounts were reported at Hollow (Osage) with 13.5 inches; Ketchum (Craig) with 13 inches; and Vinita (Craig), Pawhuska (Osage), and Bartlesville (Washington, but the reporting station is in Osage County) each with 12 inches.

December 14-15, 2008

Tulsa broke its highest maximum temperature record on the 14th with a high of 75 degrees (due to strong southerly winds that brought warm weather) only to tie the lowest maximum temperature on the 15th with a high of only 19 degrees (after a strong cold frontal passage). The highest temperature of this month, 79 degrees, was reported at Tipton and Waurika on the 14th.

December 15-17, 2008

After the cold front passed through the state, temperatures dropped into the single digits in the northwest. Combining already low temperatures with winds that gusted up to 30 mph, wind chills ended up below zero in this part of the state. In general, temperatures were about 30 degrees below normal across the state, leading to record cold maximum temperatures on the 15th at McAlester, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa. The cold weather stayed through the 17th, accompanied by light snow, freezing drizzle, and sleet.

December 15-17, 2001

Especially notable rainfall totals from the 15th through the morning reporting time, generally 7 am, on the 17th included (all in McCurtain County): 8.33 inches at the Mount Herman Mesonet site, 8.05 inches eight miles west of Broken Bow, 7.91 inches at Smithville, and 7.71 inches at Valliant.

December 15, 2007

1 to 3 inches of snow fell over northern Oklahoma, with up to 4 inches in Ponca City, Enid, and near Skiatook.

December 15, 2003

Strong, southwesterly winds gusted to 60 miles per hour, reducing visibility to near zero as the winds lofted snow and dust. Reports of reddish-brown dust film on cars came from as far away as Chicago.

December 16, 2001

Localized flooding was reported in LeFlore County along the Kiamichi, Poteau, and Black Fork rivers and in rural areas of McCurtain, Choctaw, and Pushmataha counties. Several cars were washed off of the road or simply stalled at low-water bridges.

December 16, 2000

Strong winds raked western Oklahoma on several days, most extensively on the 16th when 29 Mesonet stations recorded maximum winds of 50 miles per hour or greater. Camargo (Dewey) reported wind of 67 miles per hour and Minco (Grady) experienced 61 miles per hour.

December 17, 2005

Light rain and snow fell over the state, with most of the snow falling in the north. Later this day, freezing drizzle and light freezing rain fell over the Panhandle, resulting in dangerous driving conditions.

December 17, 2000

The Mesonet station at Hooker (Texas) recorded a peak wind of 69 miles per hour and neighboring Goodwell had winds of 64 miles per hour.

December 18, 2001

After a moderating period that brought southwestern Oklahoma temperatures in the 70s, a new blast of cold air, along with some real wintry weather, appeared in the state just before Christmas.

December 19, 2006

Heavy rain fell in western Oklahoma, resulting in 3 inches of rain in Butler and Cheyenne. On the same day, the Panhandle experienced a major winter storm. More than an inch of ice coated surfaces, and then snow of up to 5 inches fell on top. Thousands were left without power.

December 20-23, 2008

After a brief warm-up with temperatures in the 50s and 60s, a strong cold front on the 20th cooled the state once more. Single-digit lows returned to the northwest through the 22nd, while the 23rd brought lows in the teens as strong southerly winds brought moisture and slightly warmer air. The moisture that came with the winds gusting to 50 mph on the 23rd also led to freezing drizzle, creating slippery travel conditions until high temperatures rose above freezing.

December 21, 1998

An outbreak of cold air during the third week of December introduced sub-zero temperatures in some areas and treacherous freezing rain and drizzle in others. The temperature at the Kenton Mesonet site dropped to -8 degrees Fahrenheit. Mesonet data indicated that temperatures remained below freezing statewide through the 22nd and 23rd, with many areas not warming to 32 degrees until Christmas Day.

December 22, 2007

A powerful cold front brought frigid, blustery north winds, snow, sleet, and freezing rain. 1 to 3 inches of freezing/frozen precipitation fell in northern Oklahoma, with a maximum around 5 inches in Medford.

December 22, 2004

A rare snowstorm hit central and southern Oklahoma, dumping from a trace in central Oklahoma to 4 inches of snow at Durant. Numerous traffic accidents and school cancellations were reported due to slick and hazardous roads.

December 22, 2003

Hail of up to 1 inch fell near Ft. Towson.

December 22, 2000

The lowest temperature (-8°F) reported for December 2000 occurred at the Vinita (Craig) Mesonet Site.

December 23, 2002

A strong cold front, combined with a powerful upper level low pressure system, spoiled the pleasant weather on the 23rd, covering a good portion of northern Oklahoma in a blanket of snow. Miami (Ottawa) reported 15 inches of snow; Enid (Garfield), Hooker (Texas), and Grove (Delaware) received 12 inches; and Hinton (Caddo) received 10 inches; while 7 inches fell at both Blackwell (Kay) and Pond Creek (Grant). Much of the snow remained in place to give parts of Oklahoma their first white Christmas since 1975.

December 23, 1982

A tornado damaged a school, a park, a couple of businesses and about 30 houses in the Wright City area. Damage was estimated at $300,000.

December 24-25, 2008

A cold front overnight on the 24th generated light showers in southeastern Oklahoma and dropped temperatures from the 40s into the 20s.

December 24, 2004

After the snowstorm on the 22nd, Goodwell had a frigid low of -12 degrees on this Christmas Eve.

December 24, 1982

In the Tulsa area, a tornado accompanied by high winds destroyed 5 mobile homes, badly damaged 4 houses, and did minor damage to 20 homes. There was a lot of tree and power line damage. A volunteer fire department building was destroyed.

December 24, 2009


A Christmas Eve blizzard pounded the state with sleet, freezing rain, snow and winds gusting to over 60 mph. Oklahoma City recorded 13.5 inches of snow, breaking their record for the 24th as well as storm-total and 24- hour snowfall records. The snow was heaviest in central and northeastern Oklahoma, along and to either side of the I-44 corridor. The freezing rain that fell in southwestern Oklahoma combined with the strong winds to produce approximately $2 million in damages to electrical utility infrastructure and left thousands without power during the storm.  Nine people lost their lives as a result of this historic storm.

December 25, 2005

With warm temperatures (highs in the 60s and 70s), low humidities, and strong winds present, dangerous wildfire conditions continued throughout most of the state.

December 25, 2004

Southern Oklahomans had a White Christmas as the snow from the 22nd was still on the ground.

December 25, 2000

The Christmas snow and ice storm that paralyzed much of the state, but was especially severe in the southeastern one-fourth, was the worst winter storm event to hit Oklahoma since Christmas week of 1987. Western areas of the state experienced snowfall of up to 9 inches (Sweetwater, on the county line separating Roger Mills/Beckham) and created a pleasant, though inconvenient, winter holiday scene. Farther east, however, a mixture of sleet and freezing rain created havoc. Travel was disrupted, or in some cases halted, beginning late Christmas Day. Ice collecting on tree limbs and power lines led to power outages in many areas. By one estimate, at least 170,000 homes and businesses, including 90 percent of the residents of McIntosh, Latimer and Pittsburg counties, lost power as a result of the storm. Power still had not been restored in some areas as the month ended. Several McCurtain County locations reported a significant amount of precipitation (liquid-equivalent) over the three-day storm period, most notably: Valliant, 5.56 inches; Broken Bow, 5.14 inches; and Carnasaw tower, 4.33 inches. Damage to trees from ice build-up was significant throughout the region.

December 25, 1987

An ice storm left over 60,000 Oklahoma homes without electricity as wires began to collapse under the weight of the ice. The same winter storm also downed a 1900-foot communications tower in Coweta.

December 26, 2007

A fast-moving storm system dropped around 6 inches of snow in east central Oklahoma, while areas surrounding this portion of the state received only a dusting.

December 27-28, 2008

A dryline and cold front passed through the state overnight on the 27th and kicked off a round of storms, some of which exceeded severe limits. Scattered wind damage and golfball size hail were reported with the storms. Temperatures were in the 60s and 70s ahead of the cold front, but fell into the 30s and 40s behind the front.

December 27, 2005

One man died trying to assist family members whose homes were in the path of a fire that burned 10,000 acres in Hughes County. Muskogee and McAlester both reported a high temperature of 77 degrees.

December 28-30, 2006

Heavy rain fell in the southeast (more than 4 inches total), freezing rain fell over the central part of the state, and snow fell over the Oklahoma Panhandle. 4 feet of snow, with drifts of up to 20 feet, was reported in western Cimarron County. An ice storm warning was issued in Texas County, where a coating of one-quarter inch of freezing rain left thousands without power.

December 28, 1997

Strong winds led to significant blowing snow in the Panhandle, where Mesonet sites near Kenton and Boise City noted peak winds of 57 and 53 miles per hour, respectively.

December 28, 1986

The National Weather Service reported that moisture from a power plant in Mustang drifted over Bethany where it condensed and fell as snow. The NWS explained that a shallow layer of air saturated by the power plant steam was trapped near the ground by a higher layer of stable air. Over Bethany, where temperatures were below freezing, the moisture in the lower air layer condensed into snow that precipitated and dusted the city.

December 29, 2007

The Hooker Mesonet site reported a low temperature of -2 degrees.

December 29, 2006

Blizzard conditions were reported near Boise City, where the visibilities were less than or equal to a quarter of a mile, wind speeds were in excess of 35 miles per hour, and heavy snow fell.

December 30-31, 2001

Temperatures dived into the single digits in the northwest, bottoming out at one degree above zero as reported at Fort Supply (Woodward) on the 30th and by the Seiling Mesonet site (Dewey) on the 31st. 1 to 4 inches of snow blanketed the western half of the state. Retrop (Beckham) and Reydon (Roger Mills) were the lucky recipients of the 4-inch snowfalls. Less general 1 to 2 inch snowfalls were reported east as far as Scipio (Pittsburg) and Carter Tower (McCurtain). The snow, along with some ice accumulations, led to a spate of traffic accidents in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and points west. Twenty-five cars were involved in a series of non-fatal accidents near Weatherford that halted traffic on Interstate 40 for several hours.

December 30-31, 2000

A third winter storm brought another 3 or more inches of snow to much of the state. Konawa (Seminole) reported a 7-inch accumulation of new snow by the 31st. Twenty-two deaths between Christmas and New Year's Day, including a sledding accident and the drowning death of a child who broke through the ice on a frozen creek, were attributed to the weather.

December 30, 2002

The year ended on an ironic note, as a series of powerful thunder-storms moved across southern Oklahoma on the 30th, bringing widespread severe weather in a year which had experienced rather timid severe weather seasons. Heavy rainfall, damaging winds, and large hail were common throughout the region. The Tishomingo (Johnston) Mesonet site recorded a wind gust of 89 mph, and strong winds brought down large tree limbs 10 miles east of Lenapah (Nowata). Hail exceeding 0.75 inches in diameter was reported 1 mile west of Fittstown and 2 miles southeast of Ada (both in Pontotoc County), Ardmore (Carter), and Welch and Whiteoak (both in Craig County).

December 31, 1984

Freezing rain and sleet closed I-40 for 12 hours between El Reno and Elk City.

December 31, 2010


A strong cold front approached the state behind a weaker pacific front. As the weaker front passed through, it set off a round of severe storms in the far eastern sections of the state, including one storm that dropped a tornado near Westville in Adair County. The tornado traveled into Arkansas and killed three people right across the border.