"It's not necessarily that we broke any one individual record, it's just that we had so many records in one year," said Marc Austin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman. "Then you combine that with a record-breaking earthquake, and it makes for a very interesting situation."
The year began with powerful blizzards that battered the state and led to a 24-hour record snowfall of 27 inches in Spavinaw and Oklahoma's lowest ever recorded temperature, negative 31 in Nowata.
A severe storm outbreak in May resulted in the largest hailstone ever found in the state, a 6-inch-diameter block that fell near Gotebo, and the strongest recorded wind speed of 151 mph at a Mesonet site near El Reno — and that was before the recording equipment got swept away.
Then came summer, which brought temperatures that shattered records for nation's hottest month — an average temperature of 89.1 in July — and several cities broke records for consecutive days of 100-degree or higher temperatures. Nearly the entire state remains locked in a drought that has withered crops, evaporated lakes and led to a rash of wildfires that torched thousands of acres.
And on Saturday, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake — the strongest ever recorded in the state — hit central Oklahoma's Logan County and was felt from Texas to Wisconsin. Six tornadoes touched down two days later.
Joe Reneau, whose rural home was near the epicenter of Saturday's earthquake, spent Wednesday assessing damage from the quake and several aftershocks, including a 3.0 temblor Wednesday that originated only a mile or two from his house. The 75-year-old, whose supplemental income from raising hay has already been decimated by the drought, had a hole in his roof where his brick chimney collapsed during the earthquake.
"We are survivors, No. 1," said Reneau, a retired military man and part-time farmer. "We are people who believe that riches are not labeled in terms of the car you drive or the house you live in, but rather in the peace and tranquility of the lifestyle we've come to enjoy.
"This little event has caused that to be unsettled, but we consider it just a bump in the road. We have our chins out, our chest out, and we're marching on. We're doing alright, and we'll continue to do alright."
Reneau's attitude is not unusual for residents of a state that grew up with a mixture of settlers looking for a better life and Native Americans who were removed from their traditional homeland and forced to adapt to an isolated frontier, said Bob Blackburn, the director of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
"When they got here, they had to be tough enough to survive, put down roots, build churches, put in a crop, raise kids and do all the things that we try to do as people," Blackburn said.
"This is not an easy environment," he added. "It was not easy for the Indians. It was not easy for the first settlers."
That toughness and resilience is still evident among people living in Oklahoma, many of whom still earn their living working the land as farmers or ranchers, he said.
"We're used to working hard to overcome the environment we grew up in," Blackburn said. "We're not put off by rain or snow, heat or discomfort. We're hard working, and we're used to having to cope and adjust and adapt."
Robert Erdman, a pet cemetery operator from Norman, agrees that Oklahomans have always found a way to roll with whatever Mother Nature dishes out.
But, he cautioned: "If we get a tsunami warning, then I'll be really worried."