Tulsa Climate & Monthly Temperature Overview – United States

Summer in Tulsa: Warm and Humid

Tulsa summers are characterized by hot and humid weather, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the low-90s Fahrenheit. The humidity levels can make the air feel oppressive, especially during the peak of summer. However, the evenings typically provide some relief from the heat, with temperatures dropping into the low-70s. Despite the heat, summer is a popular time to visit Tulsa, as the city hosts a variety of outdoor events and festivals.

Winter in Tulsa: Mild and Dry

Winter in Tulsa is generally mild and dry, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-50s Fahrenheit. Snowfall is relatively infrequent, and when it does occur, it typically melts within a few days. The lack of snow makes Tulsa a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts, as there are several nearby ski resorts. Additionally, the city hosts a variety of indoor events and activities during the winter months, making it a great time to explore the city’s museums, theaters, and restaurants.

Summer Season

Tulsa experiences scorching summers with average temperatures peaking in July at a sweltering 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). The humidity levels can be oppressive, making the heat even more uncomfortable. Days are long and characterized by abundant sunshine, as the city receives an average of 10-12 hours of sunlight per day. The lack of precipitation during this season further intensifies the heat, with average rainfall barely exceeding 4-5 inches per month. Outdoor activities are best enjoyed in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are slightly cooler.

Winter Season

In contrast to its hot summers, Tulsa’s winters are relatively mild. Average temperatures in January, the coldest month, hover around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Snowfall is not uncommon, with an average of 5-7 days of snow per year. However, major snowstorms are infrequent, and snow accumulation typically melts away within a few days. The daytime temperatures may climb into the 50s or 60s Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees Celsius), providing some relief from the chill. Winter evenings, on the other hand, can be quite冷 , with temperatures dipping below freezing.

Cloud Cover and Precipitation in Tulsa

Tulsa, located in the Great Plains region of the United States, experiences a wide range of cloud cover throughout the year. During the winter months, clouds are typically more prevalent, with an average of around 60% of the sky covered in clouds. This increased cloud cover is often associated with precipitation, as clouds provide the moisture necessary for rain and snow. In contrast, summer months generally have less cloud cover, averaging around 40%. This reduced cloud cover allows for more sunshine and higher temperatures.

Types of Clouds in Tulsa

The types of clouds observed in Tulsa vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. Cumulus clouds, characterized by their puffy, cotton-like appearance, are common in the summer months. These clouds typically form at low altitudes and often indicate fair weather. Stratocumulus clouds, which appear as a gray layer of clouds with occasional breaks, are also common throughout the year and can indicate precipitation. During winter, cirrus clouds, thin and wispy clouds composed of ice crystals, are often present and can signal the approach of a weather front.

Precipitation Patterns

Tulsa, located in the central United States, experiences a humid subtropical climate with distinct precipitation patterns throughout the year. The city receives an average annual precipitation of around 40 inches. Spring (March to May) is characterized by frequent thunderstorms, bringing heavy but often short-lived rainfall. Summer (June to August) is the wettest season, with consistent precipitation in the form of thunderstorms and occasional tropical depressions.

Seasonal Variations

During autumn (September to November), precipitation gradually decreases, typically occurring as drizzle or light rain. Winter (December to February) is the driest season, with occasional snowstorms that can accumulate a few inches of snow. The city’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico also influences precipitation, with tropical storms and hurricanes occasionally bringing heavy rainfall and strong winds. Overall, Tulsa’s precipitation is spread throughout the year, with distinct seasonal variations in intensity and frequency.

Rainfall Patterns and Trends

Tulsa, located in Oklahoma, experiences a humid subtropical climate with abundant rainfall throughout the year. On average, the city receives around 40 inches (102 centimeters) of precipitation annually. The wettest months are May and June, when thunderstorms are frequent and can bring heavy downpours. During these months, rainfall can exceed 5 inches (13 centimeters) per month. In contrast, the driest months are January and February, when precipitation typically drops to less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) per month.

Seasonal Variability

Rainfall in Tulsa exhibits a distinct seasonal pattern. The abundance of rainfall during the spring and summer months is attributed to the northward movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), a belt of low atmospheric pressure that brings warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. As the ITCZ shifts southward during the fall and winter, rainfall decreases, and colder, drier air masses dominate. However, even during the dry season, Tulsa occasionally experiences precipitation from passing cold fronts or Pacific storms. Overall, the city’s rainfall patterns are influenced by its location in the transition zone between humid subtropical and temperate continental climates.

Historical Snowfall

Tulsa, Oklahoma, has experienced significant snowfall throughout its history. The city’s highest recorded snowfall occurred on January 11, 1912, when 14.2 inches (36.1 cm) of snow fell. This snowfall was part of a larger storm system that brought heavy snow and ice to the central United States. Other notable snowfall events in Tulsa include:

  • December 26, 1939: 13.3 inches (33.8 cm)
  • February 23, 1940: 11.5 inches (29.2 cm)
  • November 25, 1950: 10.5 inches (26.7 cm)
  • January 15, 2018: 8.5 inches (21.6 cm)

Seasonal Snowfall

Tulsa’s winters are typically mild, with average temperatures hovering around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Snowfall is not common, but it can occur several times during the winter months. On average, Tulsa receives around 4.2 inches (10.7 cm) of snow per year. However, there can be significant variations from year to year. For example, during the winter of 2017-2018, Tulsa experienced several major snowstorms, resulting in a total snowfall of over 15 inches (38.1 cm).

Impact of Snowfall

Snowfall in Tulsa can disrupt daily life and cause hazardous road conditions. Schools and businesses may close, and travel can become difficult or impossible. In severe cases, snowfall can lead to power outages and other infrastructure damage. However, snowfall can also bring joy and recreation, providing opportunities for sledding, snowshoeing, and other winter activities. In general, Tulsa residents are accustomed to dealing with occasional snowfall and are well-prepared for the challenges it may bring.

Average Sunshine Hours

Tulsa, located in Oklahoma, United States, boasts an impressive average of over 2,800 sunshine hours annually. This equates to an average of approximately 7.7 hours of sunshine per day throughout the year. The sunniest month in Tulsa is July, with an average of 11.1 hours of sunshine per day, while the cloudiest month is December, averaging only 4.3 hours of sunshine per day.

Seasonal Variations

The duration of sunshine in Tulsa varies significantly throughout the year, largely influenced by seasonal changes. During the summer months, from June to August, Tulsa enjoys long days with extended periods of sunshine. In contrast, during the winter months, from December to February, the days are shorter, and the amount of sunshine is significantly reduced. The transition between seasons is gradual, with gradual changes in sunshine duration as the Earth’s tilt and the angle of the sun’s rays change over the course of the year.

Moon in Tulsa, United States

The moon is a celestial body that orbits Earth at an average distance of about 238,900 miles (384,400 kilometers). It is Earth’s only natural satellite and the fifth largest moon in the Solar System. The moon has a diameter of about 2,159 miles (3,474 kilometers), which is about one-fourth the diameter of Earth. The moon is not self-luminous, but reflects sunlight, which is why it appears to change shape as it orbits Earth.

The moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical, meaning that its distance from Earth varies throughout its orbit. The moon’s orbit takes about 27.3 days to complete, and it rotates on its axis once every 27.3 days, which means that the same side of the moon always faces Earth. The moon’s gravity has a significant effect on Earth’s oceans, causing tides. The moon also affects Earth’s rotation, causing it to slow down slightly over time.

Humidity Trends

Tulsa, Oklahoma, experiences significant humidity fluctuations throughout the year. In the warmer months (June to August), temperatures consistently exceed 80°F (27°C), and the muggy conditions can be oppressive. Relative humidity levels often climb above 60%, making outdoor activities uncomfortable and exacerbating allergies. Conversely, during the cold winter months, the air is much drier, with relative humidity levels often dipping below 40%. The lack of moisture in the air can lead to dry skin, chapped lips, and an increased risk of static shocks.

Seasonal Differences

The spring and fall seasons in Tulsa offer a more moderate humidity range. In the spring (March to May), as temperatures gradually rise, the humidity levels increase as well, typically reaching a comfortable mid-range of 50-60%. The fall season (September to November) brings a similar humidity pattern, with levels gradually decreasing as temperatures drop. However, it’s important to note that occasional cold fronts can bring sudden changes in humidity, making it advisable to check the forecast before planning outdoor activities.

Wind Patterns in Tulsa, United States

As a city located in the central plains of the United States, Tulsa experiences a continental climate with four distinct seasons. During the spring and fall months (March-May and September-November), Tulsa is typically characterized by mild, breezy conditions. Southwesterly winds prevail during these periods, bringing warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. The average wind speeds range between 8-12 miles per hour (mph), creating a pleasant and refreshing atmosphere.

In contrast, summer and winter months (June-August and December-February) exhibit more substantial fluctuations in wind patterns. During the summer, south-southeasterly winds dominate, carrying hot and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. These winds can reach speeds of up to 15-18 mph, contributing to the city’s oppressive heat and humidity. In winter, northwesterly winds become more prevalent, bringing cold and dry air from the northern Great Plains. These winds can be quite gusty, with average speeds ranging from 10-14 mph. During severe weather events, such as thunderstorms and hailstorms, the wind speeds can intensify significantly, posing potential safety hazards.

Spring: March to May

Spring in Tulsa offers a delightful blend of warm temperatures and vibrant greenery. As the city awakens from winter, the average temperature ranges from a comfortable 50°F (10°C) in March to a pleasant 70°F (21°C) in May. The skies are typically clear and sunny, providing ample opportunities to explore the city’s parks and outdoor attractions. The blooming flowers and lush gardens paint a picturesque landscape, making this an ideal time for strolls along the Gathering Place riverfront or visits to the Tulsa Botanic Garden. Additionally, spring events such as the Tulsa Arts Festival and the Oklahoma State Fair bring a lively atmosphere to the city.

Fall: September to November

Fall in Tulsa offers a beautiful respite from the summer heat with crisp, refreshing temperatures. The average temperature drops gradually from 75°F (24°C) in September to a chilly 55°F (13°C) in November. The changing foliage in the surrounding hills and parks creates a stunning backdrop for exploration. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives along the Arkansas River or hike through the River Parks Trail System, where the vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold paint the landscape. Fall festivals, such as the Oklahoma Pumpkin Festival and the Gathering Place Fall Festival, celebrate the season with family-friendly activities, live music, and seasonal treats.

Solar Potential and Benefits

Tulsa, Oklahoma boasts a favorable solar climate with an average of 260 sunny days annually. The city has recognized the potential of solar energy and has taken steps to promote its adoption. With its ample sunlight and relatively low electricity costs, Tulsa provides an attractive environment for solar investment.

Incentives and Policies

Tulsa has implemented several incentive programs and policies to encourage solar adoption. The city offers rebates for residential solar installations, tax breaks for commercial solar systems, and net metering programs that allow homeowners to sell excess solar energy back to the grid. Additionally, Tulsa has zoning ordinances that streamline the permitting process for solar projects.

General Topography

Tulsa, nestled in northeastern Oklahoma, presents a moderately undulating terrain. The city lies within the Osage Hills, a region characterized by rolling hills, gentle valleys, and occasional bluffs. The landscape slopes gradually from west to east, culminating in the fertile Arkansas River Valley. Elevations range from approximately 600 feet above sea level in the western suburbs to 500 feet in the eastern lowlands. These variations in topography create distinct microclimates, influencing local weather patterns and vegetation.

Prominent Landforms

Tulsa boasts several notable landforms that shape its identity. The most prominent is Turkey Mountain, a 2,800-acre park that rises over 400 feet above the city. The mountain, composed primarily of limestone, offers breathtaking panoramic views of Tulsa and the surrounding countryside. Another iconic feature is the Arkansas River, which meanders through the heart of the city, dividing it into northern and southern sections. The river’s floodplains, once prone to flooding, have been extensively developed, creating a vibrant waterfront that hosts numerous attractions and recreational facilities. Additionally, the Tulsa Hills, located northwest of the city, provide scenic hiking trails and opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Tulsa International Airport (TUL)

Tulsa International Airport (TUL) is the largest commercial airport in the Tulsa metropolitan area of Oklahoma. It is located approximately 10 miles (16 km) northeast of downtown Tulsa and serves as a major gateway to the city and surrounding region. TUL offers a wide range of domestic and international flights to destinations across the United States, as well as direct flights to Canada, Mexico, and Central America. The airport has two terminals, the main Terminal 1 and the smaller Terminal 2, which is used primarily for regional and low-cost carriers. TUL is a major hub for American Airlines and Spirit Airlines, and also serves as a focus city for Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

Other Airports in Tulsa

In addition to Tulsa International Airport, there are several smaller airports in the Tulsa area that offer general aviation, business, and charter flights. These include:

  • Jones Riverside Airport (JSO) is a general aviation airport located approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) southwest of downtown Tulsa.
  • Tulsa Executive Airport (RVS) is a general aviation and business airport located approximately 8 miles (13 km) southwest of downtown Tulsa.
  • Davis Field Airport (DVS) is a general aviation airport located approximately 12 miles (19 km) southwest of downtown Tulsa.

Population and Demographics

Tulsa, located in the northeastern part of Oklahoma, is the second-largest city in the state with an estimated population of over 400,000. The city has a diverse population, with its largest ethnic groups being White, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native American. Tulsa is also home to a significant immigrant population, with over 100 languages spoken in the city.

Economy and Industries

Tulsa’s economy is primarily driven by the energy industry, with many companies involved in oil and gas exploration, production, and transportation headquartered in the city. However, Tulsa has also diversified its economy in recent years, with growing sectors in healthcare, aerospace, manufacturing, and technology. The city is home to numerous higher education institutions, including the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University, which contribute to the city’s research and development capabilities. Additionally, Tulsa is a major transportation hub, with the Tulsa International Airport serving as a gateway to the region.