Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Peace Out 2013

2013: A year of ups and downs, joy and tragedy.
Photo from

Naturally, I did not have high hopes for 2013 as the number 13 is iffy. Did you know that Apollo 13 flew on Friday the 13th of April at 13:13? Obviously it proved unlucky...but they survived! I digress.  Anyway, 2013 turned out to be one of my most blessed years to date professionally and personally.

But let's start out with the nerd facts, recapping the crazy weather events in 2013.  Big moments include:
* Drought-busting rain for OKC as we closed out the year the 2nd wettest on record.
* On the flip side, the highest level of drought (exceptional) continues for Southwestern Oklahoma.
* MAY. 

I looked up last year's tornado count (NWS) and we didn't have any violent (EF-4, EF-5) tornadoes and 63 tornadoes total. This year, we had 3 violent tornadoes and 72 tornadoes total.  Did you know that in 2005 we had ZERO tornadoes in the month of May? It's true and remains a record.
Here's my handy dandy graphic overview. Thanks to the National Weather Service for compiling this data.  Since this is weather, I did not include earthquakes. Apparently, Oklahoma comes in second, behind California, for number of quakes. WHAT?!  

* Accomplished my first Century ride and my longest workout ever, a FULL aquabike.
* Bought a house! Big girl step!
* Fell in love with a firefighter. :)
* Rescued my sweet baby boy, Okie.
* Spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas at home with family. In the TV business, this is a true blessing.

Way to go, Kent!

* Promoted to weekday mornings.
* Tracked the largest tornadoes of my life including storm chasing the May 19 Lake
Photography by Bill McCullough for The New York Times
Thunderbird/Shawnee EF-4 tornado, May 20 Newcastle/Moore Tornado and May 31 El Reno Tornado (widest on record).  In 2 weeks I witnessed more than most meteorologists see in a lifetime.
Photography by Bill McCullough for The New York Times

* Featured in The New York Times Magazine as well as profiled for The 6th Floor, a blog for the New York Times. Shout out to Sam Anderson, you are an amazing writer!

* Witnessed and experienced my first big tragedy in the aftermath of the May tornadoes. My heart still aches for the Oklahomans impacted.

* We lost a pioneer in the science community, storm chaser Tim Samaras. 

Hello, 2014!

This year I hope we learn from the tragedies and continue to take initiatives to make sure every school has a storm shelter or safe room. In an ideal world, I would make sure every Oklahoman has a storm shelter.

What's Next?

On a personal note, I am taking on a HUGE endeavor this first full Ironman. If training and crossing the finish line isn't challenging enough, my co-worker Scott Hines and I plan on raising $200,000 for The Go Mitch Go Foundation in the fight against all blood and bone cancers.  I will explain the inspiration for this adventure in the next blog entry.

If you'd like to donate in the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma, please click here! Any dollar amount helps! HAPPY NEW YEAR!