weather

Temperatures are expected to reach potentially lethal levels this weekend in parts of the Southwest and the Plains. Forecasters say major cities including Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tucson, as well as parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, will reach highs above 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Zane LaCroix

UPDATE at 3:05 p.m. About 36,000 homes and businesses remain without electricity after an ice storm hit Oklahoma. The number of outages was estimated at 47,000 early Tuesday morning.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric reports nearly 46,000 outages, with more than 22,000 in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City suburbs of Bethany, El Reno, The Village and Yukon had a total of about 11,000 outages while Enid in northern Oklahoma had about 4,200.

Extreme Weather Hits Oklahoma Over Holiday Weekend

Nov 30, 2015
Nati Harnik / AP

Ice, flooding and earthquakes – Oklahoma saw all three over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. As residents wait for the power lines to thaw and the floodwaters to recede, Here & Now’s Indira Lakshmanan, speaks with state climatologist Gary McManus about the extreme weather conditions, and whether this is the new normal for the state.

Guest

Zane LaCroix

More than 53,000 homes and businesses remain without electricity after an ice storm hit Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. says more than 24,000 of those outages are in Oklahoma City. Enid and El Reno also reported more than 4,000 outages each.

The utility says it had 150,000 customers without power because of the wintry storm system that brought freezing rain, sleet and heavy rainfall to the state, but service has been restored to about 90,000.

It wasn't all in your head — last month was hotter than ever before.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report that July had the highest average temperatures in records since 1880.

And it's not just in the U.S. Average July temperatures around the world set heat records too, NPR's Kat Chow reports.

She tells our Newscast unit that:

"This confirms what NASA and a Japanese agency found using separate data.

Lightning strikes have killed at least 20 people in the U.S. so far this year, according to the National Weather Service. That's higher than the average for recent years, the service says.

Most people who are injured or killed by lightning, it turns out, are not struck directly — instead, the bolt lands nearby.

That's what happened to Steve Marshburn in 1969. He was working inside a bank and says lightning somehow made its way through an ungrounded speaker at the drive-through window to the stool where he was sitting.

For the past quarter-century, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been gathering data from more than 400 scientists around the world on climate trends.

The report on 2014 from these international researchers? On average, it was the hottest year ever — in the ocean, as well as on land.

Flood watches have been issued for areas of central and northern Texas, since Tropical Storm Bill came ashore and makes its way up the state. Rainfall of 4-8 inches is forecast in a band stretching from Texas up to Missouri, with some areas receiving up to 12 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

"These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods," the service's forecasters say.

Parts of Texas have barely had time to recover from the last round of flooding rains, but the National Weather Service is warning that there's more to come this week.

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