The Lookout

Temperature swings over 60 degrees Celsius in one week in Okla. town

AP110209030789Residents in the Northern Oklahoma town of Nowata experienced a 61-degree Celsius shift in the weather this week after a cold front brought temperatures down to a record-setting -35 C.

Today, it's a balmy 22 C in Nowata. Yesterday, it reached 26 C .

"Isn't it crazy? I love it," Nowata resident Julie Koupe told local channel News on 6.

On Feb. 10, it was slightly colder in the region than it was on the South Pole, notes Tulsa World writer Cary Aspinall. More than 3,000 Nowata homes lost power and residents spent the next few days digging their cars and homes out of the snow. There was so much snow in Tulsa last week that city officials began debating provisional plans to truck it out of town.

On Thursday, the 26 C weather tied for the warmest Feb. 17 since 1907.

Climate scientists note that extreme swings in weather are associated with the gradual warming of the earth's climate. And the Oklahoma Climatological Survey has verified that the state's average temperature readings have been trending upward, with some year-to-year variations, since the late 1980s. You can read the survey's findings and recommendations here (pdf).

But broader climate trends notwithstanding, Oklahoma has long been known for its unpredictable weather. The local saying (attributed to Will Rogers) goes, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait five minutes." This time, Oklahomans had to wait a week.

(Postman delivers mail in Tulsa last week: AP)