At least 8 tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, Payne, Pawnee, and Osage counties. Hail up to grapefruit-size fell in Midwest City and near Warwick.
Over 5 inches of rain fell on Drumright overnight with resulting flash flooding causing extensive damage to the downtown area.
Oklahoma suffered a devastating tornado outbreak on May 3-4. Upwards of 50 tornadoes killed at least 44 people in central Oklahoma in the state’s deadliest tornado event since the 1947 Woodward tornado. One tornado produced F5 damage in the Bridge Creek community and across northern Moore and F4 damage in southern Oklahoma City, extending into Del City and Midwest City. A mobile Doppler radar operated by researchers from the University of Oklahoma and the National Severe Storms Laboratory recorded a maximum wind of 318 miles per hour in the funnel, but above the level of surface winds.
Storms that struck Dover and Mulhall gained F4 status and also produced fatalities. Additional F3 damage was reported near Apache, between Chickasha and Verden, from Sparks to Stroud, and near Omega and near Short on the morning of the 4th. Tornadoes were reported in 29 counties from late afternoon on the 3rd through mid-day on the 4th. The tornado total for this May surpassed the state record for a single month (61 in May 1960) with 91 tornadoes.
Softball-sized hail was reported near Lone Grove and tennis ball-sized hail fell near Friendship and south of Comanche.
Six apparent tornadoes were reported on the evening of the 4th and early morning of the 5th. Small tornadoes were reported in Grady County near Chickasha and Amber, in Comanche County near Geronimo and Pumpkin Center, in Grandfield (Tillman), and near Cordell (Washita). Woodward (Woodward) reported 5.26 inches of rain. Camargo and Leedey (both in Dewey County) reported 4.78 and 4.58 inches of rain, respectively. Street flooding was reported in Elk City (Beckham).
19 tornadoes touched down across the stateÑnearly all were weak (EF0).
Baseball-size hail (3 inches) fell in Woodward County. A couple of tornadoes touched down near Arnett, one (an EF-1) was on the ground for 22 minutes and damaged a barn and some outbuildings. Fortunately, there were no deaths, unlike in Kansas, where 11 people died in Greensburg and 1 was killed in Hopewell.
The Idabel Mesonet site reported a 106 miles per hour thunderstorm gust. These strong winds destroyed several outbuildings and blew out windows in homes.
The last freezing temperatures occurred in the northwest, where Buffalo fell to 31 degrees and several other Mesonet stations reported 32 degrees.
Strong winds from thunderstorms produced wind gusts as high as 85 miles per hour. The high winds caused damage at Chelsea.
A storm system moved across northern portions of the state on the evening of May 5th and the morning of May 6th. A tornado destroyed a mobile home near Seiling (Dewey) and another was reported in southwestern Ellis County on the 5th.
Tornadoes touched down in Beckham, Roger Mills, Dewey, Woodward, and Ellis counties. An EF-3 went through Sweetwater, severely damaging a school.
Tornadoes were spotted near Noble (Cleveland), Woodford and Ardmore (both Carter), and in Marshall County. Wind damage was reported in Ada (Pontotoc), street flooding afflicted Norman (Cleveland), and two-and-three-quarter inch hail fell in Bryan County.
Thunderstorms produced softball-sized hail in Okfuskee and Pawnee counties. Locally heavy rain caused flooding in northern Nowata County. Lenapah reported 5 inches of precipitation and Wann received 3.4 inches of rain in 90 minutes.
Amidst several weak tornadoes, large hail, and strong winds, 3 to 4 inches of rain fell over the state. The Nowata Mesonet site recorded a rainfall total of 4.46 inches, while all parts of the state received at least half an inch of rain.
The Lane Mesonet site recorded 6.81 inches of rain.
Between the 7th and the 9th at least 32 cases of flash-flooding were recorded in the state.
The roof of a school gym in Picher was blown off after a severe storm with winds over 75 mph moved through town.
A series of tornadoes struck Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas on successive days, including an F4 which struck portions of Moore. Damages for the outbreak include: 432 single family dwellings destroyed, 2889 damaged; 5 public buildings with major damage; and more than 100 businesses damaged. Monetarily, damages may exceed $750 million. The injured from these storms total 144, with one fatality attributed to the F3 tornado that struck Oklahoma City on the 9th.
A Delaware County tornado traveled approximately 4 miles on the ground, uprooting trees, destroying or damaging several homes and farm buildings.
Weak (F0) tornadoes touched down near Stringtown (Atoka County) and Olney (Coal County), and Antlers reported 4 inches of rain.
Strong winds fanned grass fires in Woods and Woodward counties while isolated thunderstorms in the same area produced baseball-sized hail but little precipitation.
At least 4 significant tornadoes (EF-2 or greater) went through eastern Oklahoma. An EF-4 went through northeastern Picher, killing 6.
After a day of heating and humidity, thunderstorms developed along a dryline in northwestern Oklahoma at about 2:40 p.m. and quickly became severe. The first tornado touched down at about 3:30 p.m. in Grant County near Wakita. While that tornado was weak (EF0), a stronger EF3 twister touched down in Grant County and traveled through Kay County into Kansas. Tornadoes continued to touch down in northern Oklahoma but the show in central Oklahoma was just getting started. The first tornado to impact central Oklahoma touched down in Canadian County southwest of Yukon at approximately 4:50 p.m. An EF4 tornado that would go on to cause significant damage in Oklahoma City formed in north Norman before traveling across I-40 in Choctaw. One person was killed by that storm after becoming trapped under an overturned RV. Another EF4 tornado formed near the National Weather Center in Norman and tracked along State Highway 9. This tornado did significant damage in eastern Norman, near Lake Thunderbird and eastward into Pottawatomie County. One fatality was reported with this tornado. While tornadoes continued in central and northern Oklahoma, more tornadoes were forming in southern Oklahoma. The main tornado threat shifted to eastern Oklahoma after 6 p.m. Numerous tornadoes were sighted across portions of Osage County and along the I-40 corridor from Okfuskee County eastward to Sequoyah County. At least 31 tornadoes touched down on the 10th. Softball- grapefruit size hail fell in several areas, at times producing as much structural damage as the tornadoes. Softball size hail was reported near Billings while grapefruit size ice fell in Moore.
An F1 tornado touched down near Beggs, damaging several homes, destroying a couple of outbuildings, and uprooting trees.
Thunderstorms producing heavy precipitation flooded Tecumseh during the night with 6 inches of rain.
Oklahoma Mesonet maximum wind reports included 91 miles per hour at Mangum and 85 miles per hour at May Ranch. These winds were associated with severe thunderstorms.
Idabel reported a torrential rainfall of 5.35 inches in 24 hours.
Two days of severe storms culminated in the formation of a bow echo as they marched into northeastern Oklahoma early on the 13th. Along with the large hail and severe straight-line winds of up to 80 mph, the storms dropped nine tornadoes along their path. At least five of the tornadoes were classified as EF-2.
Near Laverne in Harper County, hail up to 2 inches fell.
Storms on May 12th brought heavy rains to portions of east-central Oklahoma. Rainfall totals over two inches were reported at Heavener (2.50 inches; Leflore), Wister Mesonet (2.23 inches; Leflore), Spavinaw (2.10 inches; Mayes), and Bengal (2.09 inches; Latimer). Numerous other sites reported more than an inch of rain. Lightning or high winds toppled a historic church steeple in McAlester (Pittsburg).
A 90 miles per hour wind gust was reported near Martha in Jackson County.
The northeast bore the brunt of the severe weather that passed through the state this day. Hail up to 1 inch fell, an F1 tornado touched down in Wagoner County, and winds up to 80 miles per hour destroyed a mobile home in Tulsa County. Extensive damage occurred at the Mayfest celebration in downtown Tulsa when winds estimated at 60 miles per hour and heavy rain blew through the area. The Jay Mesonet site reported over 4 inches of rain.
Isolated areas of Pittsburg County reported as much as 7.60 inches of rain that closed many roads and caused street flooding in Hartshorne.
Winds, not associated with any thunderstorm, at the Goodwell Mesonet site gusted to 65 miles per hour.
Thunderstorms produced baseball-sized hail at Bixby and a small tornado near Blair.
A tornado spawned from a storm near Laverne eventually grew to a width of nearly 1/2 mile. Three people were injured when the tornado struck a trailer home south of Laverne.
A devastating tornado in Stillwater destroyed 27 homes and caused $5 million in damage. Another tornado in Rogers County damaged 10 homes, but caused only 8 minor injuries. Tornadoes were also reported in Kingfisher, Creek, Mays, and Tulsa counties. Widespread severe storms produced softball-sized hail near Canton Lake, tennis ball-sized hail in Hydro, and smaller hail in the Muskogee, Eufaula, and Wilburton areas.
A warm front brought heat and moisture on the 16th and set the stage for yet another outbreak of severe weather during this active month. This time large hail was the culprit and central Oklahoma was the prime target. Storms formed in northwestern Oklahoma and marched southeast. Hail to the size of softballs fell in Blaine County near Okeene early on in the event. Northwest Oklahoma City through Midwest City were then devastated by the hailstorm. Widespread roof, tree and car damage occurred throughout this path, resulting in millions of dollars in damages.
Temperatures soared from the 70s and 80s up to 102 degrees at both Walters and Grandfield, with other areas in southern Oklahoma experiencing triple-digit temperatures.
On the 17th and the morning of the 18th, wide-spread incidents of hail and high winds were reported, including 73 miles per hour at both the Hobart (Kiowa) and Medicine Park (Comanche) Mesonet sites. Lightning ignited an oil field fire near Byng (Pontotoc). The Red Rock Mesonet site (Noble) recorded 5.24 inches of rain on the 18th. Tornadoes were reported near Reydon (Roger Mills), Erick (Beckham) and Altus (Jackson) on the 19th, accompanied by hail and high winds elsewhere. A tornado that struck Stigler (Haskell) on the 20th was one of 10 tornadoes reported in the state on that date. Other tornadoes were reported near Wetumka (Hughes), Dustin (Hughes), between Hanna and Stidham in McIntosh County, near Enterprise (Haskell), Pawhuska (Osage), Pryor (Mayes), Tupelo (Coal), Centrahoma (Coal) and near Spiro (LeFlore). Two-and-three-quarter inch hail was reported in Pontotoc and Atoka counties. Mesonet stations at Stigler (Haskell) and Goodwell (Texas) recorded peak winds of 92 and 75 miles per hour, respectively. Daisy (Atoka) and Spiro (LeFlore) each reported 5.26 inches of rain on the 21st.
Storms erupted on the afternoon of the 19th along a warm front and produced at least 12 tornadoes in Oklahoma. Two main thunderstorms formed along the front; the first in Roger Mills and Dewey counties and the second in Blaine County. A very visible and photographic tornado touched down just north of Hennessey. More tornadic storms developed further east along the dry line and to the south.
The Burbank Mesonet site reported almost 4 inches of rain after showers passed through north central Oklahoma.
Buffalo reported a steamy high temperature of 105 degrees.
Several hail-producing severe thunderstorms struck northeastern and central Oklahoma. Three-inch hail pounded central Oklahoma causing an estimated $70 million of property damage.
Altus recorded a high temperature of 104 degrees.
The dryline in western Oklahoma set off rounds of severe storms over these three days. At least 10 tornadoes touched down over the period, including several significant tornadoes in eastern Oklahoma. More than 30 reports of 2-inch or greater hail were reported, including a 6-inch monster stone that fell two miles north of Gotebo on the 23rd. Three EF-2 and an EF-3 tornado touched down in eastern Oklahoma on the 22nd. The tornadoes produced significant damage in some areas. The EF-3 tornado had a width of nearly three-quarters of a mile at one point.
Yukon reported 2 inches of hail on the ground with some stones as big as tennis balls.
Both Altus and Grandfield had a high temperature of 103 degrees.
A system of thunderstorms in southwestern Oklahoma collapsed on the evening of the 22nd. This collapse led to a dry outflow that produced winds estimated as great as 105 miles per hour and led to a rare “heatburst” that drove night time temperatures in many areas up into the upper 90’s and gave Chickasha an “overnight high” of 102 degrees. Extensive wind damage was reported in Lawton and the effects were felt from Hollis in the southwest to Norman.
Thunderstorms in Ponca City produced hail accumulations of 6 inches.
An EF-3 touched down in Harper County, near Selman, damaging homes and crops.
Storms that fired along the cold front dropped softball-size hail over Harper County and poured over the northwest. Slapout reported 2 inches of rain.
Altus Mesonet recorded a high temperature of 112 degrees, an all-time state record for May.
A strengthening surface low pressure system in northwest Oklahoma combined with a powerful upper-level low to produce a series of tornadic supercells across western, central and eastern Oklahoma. The day included several violent EF-4 tornadoes and an EF-5 twister as well the first EF-5 since May 3rd, 1999. The EF-5 tornado first touched down near Binger and traveled across Interstate-40 near Calumet and El Reno, killing five on or near the highway. As it traveled on, it struck the Oklahoma Mesonet site northwest of El Reno. The site registered a maximum wind gust of 151 mph as well as a large and sudden pressure drop associated with the tornado. It caused significant and catastrophic damage along its path, killing nine people. Two EF-4 tornadoes touched down in Grady and McClain Counties as well near Chickasha and Bradley. Both tornadoes lifted as they approached Cleveland County and more populous areas, but significant damage was reported in Chickasha and Goldsby. The Chickasha tornado killed one person. An EF-3 tornado formed near Canton Lake and traveled towards Fairview before lifting, causing damage to recreational vehicles around Canton Lake. Another EF-3 tornado touched down near Lookeba. Other EF-2 and EF-1 tornadoes were reported across central and eastern Oklahoma. The National Weather Service report on this day can be found here.
Two EF-2 tornadoes formed within the same supercell. One EF-2 touched down near Lacey, destroying a pig farm, while the other touched down near Covington. The slow-moving supercell also produced 6 other, weaker, tornadoes.
Storms that initiated over Colorado and Kansas moved southeast into Oklahoma, bringing heavy rainfall, tennis ball-size hail, and winds exceeding 80 miles per hour. Up to 3 inches of rain fell over Cherokee, LeFlore, and Sequoyah counties, causing flash flooding that damaged homes, entered businesses, and resulted in four people being rescued from a stalled car.
A couple of F1 tornadoes were spotted in Caddo County near Alfalfa and Eakly. They damaged a roof and heavily damaged a mobile home. At least four F0s were also reported, but they did not cause damage. Hail up to 4.5 inches fell over Manitou in Tillman County. A possible heatburst in Cushing caused non-thunderstorm wind gusts of up to 79 miles per hour that damaged trees and power lines.
Very strong thunderstorms ripped across north central Oklahoma, producing baseball-sized hail and 4.57 inches of rain at Medford. A series of tornadoes touched down between Amorita and Tonkawa. The storms produced an F3 tornado in and around Salt Fork and Lamont. The Newkirk Mesonet site recorded a peak wind of 73 miles per hour.
Cushing in Payne County experienced a wind gust of 79 miles per hour.
Thunderstorms produced softball-sized hail west of Brinkman and the Oklahoma Mesonet recorded winds greater than 80 miles per hour at Goodwell and Velma.
Between 4 and 6 inches of rain fell over south-central Oklahoma, causing flash flooding over already saturated ground.
4.25 inch hail fell near Cheyenne in Roger Mills County.
Winds of nearly 70 miles per hour from a possible wet microburst in Bessie caused three empty grain cars on a train to topple and slightly damaged some roofs. One F0 touched down in Noble County and crossed into Pawnee County, damaging some trees, destroying a barn, and blowing in a garage door. An F1 in Osage County downed a few whole trees and some power poles.
A severe thunderstorm near Woodward produced three tornadoes and softball-sized hail. The storms were also accompanied by frequent lightning.
The Madill Mesonet site reported nearly 4 inches of rain.
Mesonet wind reports included: 93 miles per hour at Ardmore (Carter), 86 miles per hour at Camargo (Dewey), 85 miles per hour at Washington (McClain), 83 miles per hour at Putnam (Dewey), 81 miles per hour at Kingfisher (Kingfisher), and 80 miles per hour at Beaver (Beaver). Downed power lines created electrical outages in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, affecting more than 60,000 homes and businesses. One tornado was reported in Alfalfa County.
A dying thunderstorm produced a heatburst near Mangum, which reported a temperature rise of 20 degrees and wind gusts over 60 miles per hour.
Nearly 3 inches of rain were reported near Kingfisher.
One large tornadic supercell formed in Custer County and traveled east-northeast into Arkansas, producing damaging winds, up to softball-sized hail, and at least 15 tornadoes. Many of the tornadoes were rain-wrapped, obscuring them from sight. Several homes were destroyed in Deer Creek and numerous reports of roof damage were reported along the tornadoes’ paths. About 9,000 customers were without power due to the storms and one man died when his vehicle struck horses wandering across the road. Baseball-sized hail shattered the windshields of the Okarche police department’s vehicles, three homes were damaged in Mayes County, seven homes in Blaine County were reported to be destroyed by tornadoes, and seven homes and two businesses in Oklahoma County were destroyed. The strongest reported tornado was an F3 in Creek County that ripped up part of a concrete-anchored cattle gate and moved it 30 feet.
Temperatures soared into the triple digits as Oklahoma City reached 100 degrees for the first time since August 2001. Altus and Grandfield were 107 and 106 degrees, respectively.
Tornadoes were reported near Braman (Kay), Kiowa (Pittsburg) and Yanush (Latimer). Two weather-related deaths were reported: an elderly women died from a fall suffered when she slipped on the stairs of her storm cellar and a passenger on a motorcycle was struck and killed by a falling branch. Several areas around Grand Lake suffered power loss. Flooding was reported in Muskogee, Okmulgee, Wagoner and Tulsa counties. Hectorville Mesonet site (Okmulgee) reported 5.40 inches of rain.
Conventional observing stations reporting daily rainfall totals in excess of five inches included: Perkins (Payne), 5.96 inches; Haskell (Muskogee), 5.94 inches; Cushing (Payne), 5.23 inches; and Oktaha (Muskogee), 5.09 inches.
4-inch hail fell near Weatherford.
2.75-inch hail was reported near Guymon with a line of severe storms going through the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Flash flooding occurred in Duncan, while parts of Beckham County received over 4 inches of rain.
Clayton (Pushmataha) reported 5.15 inches of rainfall.