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July 16, 2014

Earthquakes, cold temperatures make for unusual July weather across Oklahoma

NORMAN — Significant earthquakes and record cold high temperatures are making this a July to remember. Early morning quakes with an epicenter two-and-a-half miles north of Harrah were felt by many in Norman and throughout central Oklahoma.

“We had one at 2:20 a.m. and one at 4:08 a.m.,” said Amberlee Darold, a seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

The first quake was measured as 4.1 magnitude and the second at 4.0 magnitude.

“Here in Oklahoma, we consider 4.0 magnitude and above as significant,” Darold said.

Depth is also a factor in quakes’ analysis.

“The first one was roughly at 6.5 kilometers deep, and the second was at 6.7 kilometers,” Darold said. “It was in the basement rock, which is where we expect earthquakes to be occurring. With all the conjecture of these earthquakes being manmade, it’s important to note that there wasn’t anything anomalous about the quakes based on the first analysis.”

The Enid News and Eagle reports that a third earthquake — measuring 3.0 in magnitude — was felt at 5:47 a.m. near Medford.

Earthquakes are geology not meteorology, but the weather also has been a bit freakish for July.

“We’ve had this really strong cold front that came through,” said Gary McManus, associate state climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. “We’ll probably end up seeing some of our coldest high temperatures on record for July with highs probably going to be in the 70s, and if it’s raining, it could be in the 60s, and that’s really going to be true on Thursday.”

On Monday, the Norman Mesonet recorded 0.41 inches of rainfall. The east side of town may have seen a little more, said Vivek Mahale, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

While the rain and cooler temperatures are welcome, the temperatures are unusual for July. Record cold high temperatures for July in the Oklahoma City metro is 74 degrees, which was set in 1967. The metro area is set to match or break that record.

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