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Carlson says the record rainfall prevented destructive wildfi res from threatening the state this summer, but an abundance of resultant vege- tation could cause problems later in the winter. “With all of the rain we’ve had, growing season vegetation becomes fuel when the dormant season starts, and there’s a lot more this year to burn.” Oklahoma’s wild weather culture demands residents adopt a height- ened sense of awareness, no matter the season. Mesonet K-12 Coordinator Andrea Melvin organizes weather and climate education programs for Oklahomans of all ages. “No one is immune to the hazards created by extreme weather,” she


says. “When we give children the tools they need to prepare and mitigate impacts, they become part of the solution. They are less likely to be paralyzed by fear if they know what to do.” Melvin reads weather storybooks to preschoolers, gives classroom pre- sentations, hosts teacher workshops and serves as a guest speaker for community and service organizations. Mesonet offi cials attend statewide festivals and facilitate two weather blogs, the Mesonet Ticker and the Ag Blog. “Without constant reminders about what to do when faced with each of the many weather hazards, the public forgets,” Melvin says. Those directly affected by Oklahoma’s drought or fl oods won’t soon forget how the extreme weather impacted their lives. McManus says climate models predict wet and cool conditions for the rest of the year, but regardless of the forecast Oklahoma’s Mesonet system stands ready to record whatever historical data comes its way.


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