Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

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The Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS), a research unit of the University of Oklahoma, was designated by the legislature in 1982 as a state agency responsible for providing climatological services to the citizens of Oklahoma. According to law, the director of the survey is the State Climatologist. OCS is required to "acquire, archive, and disseminate" weather data to decision makers in the state, publish climatological studies pertinent to Oklahoma, and represent the state in climatological matters. The Oklahoma State Climatologist is a member of the American Association of State Climatologists, and the survey is recognized by that organization as Oklahoma's outlet for climate services.

OCS maintains an archive of Oklahoma weather data, catalogues and reports on significant weather events, and answers media and public inquiries about the state's weather and climate. Regular reports contain data tables, maps, graphs, and commentary to summarize each month's weather events. Other reports, summaries, and research papers are issued at irregular intervals. The survey has gained an international recognition for providing emergency managers and teachers with training in the uses of weather data.

As part of its data acquisition efforts, OCS operates and maintains the Oklahoma Mesonetwork, a system of more than one hundred automated weather stations spanning the state, with at least one unit in each county. The Mesonet is partially funded by the state through the Regents for Higher Education and is jointly owned by Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. Reports from the remote stations, collected by radio-telemetry at fifteen-minute intervals, are processed and made available for immediate use.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Howard L. Johnson and Claude E. Duchon, The Atlas of Oklahoma Climate (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).

Howard L. Johnson

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