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.

A lot of news came out of the torrential rains that fell across the United States in May.

Now, we have hard numbers that put that in perspective: According to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information this past May was wettest month in 121 years of recorded history.

On average, the contiguous U.S. received 4.36 inches of rain. That's 1.45 inches above average and also the wettest May on record.

Last week, as a big storm bore down on Rockford, Ill., students in a Purdue University classroom prepared to track its effects using Twitter.

Using software jointly developed by Purdue, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service, they huddled around laptops to analyze a tiny sample of the tweets from the storm's immediate vicinity. They were looking for keywords like "damage" or "tornado" and for pictures of funnel clouds.

It's official: 2014 was the hottest year on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center crunched the numbers and came to this conclusion:

Winter has arrived in the United States: Over the next day or so, the jet stream will dip and bring some bone-chilling temperatures to a huge swath of the country.

Meteorologists at the Weather Channel say the winter storm will "bring a swath of snow more than 2,000 miles long from the Cascades and Northern Rockies across the Midwest and into the Northeast through Tuesday."