Oklahoma had storms again last night. Here, we have a television-based early-summer spectator sport, that of watching violent storms blow across the state. The local tv stations go into storm mode: no programs, no commercials, just weather. Oklahoma is fortunate to have expert storm forecasters and excellent multiple Doppler-radar coverage for most of the state. Numerous storm-spotters and storm-chasers in the field report the exact locations of the funnels and add live video and stills to the news feed. With our eyes glued to the high definition radar images and ears listening to the expert commentators, we gauge the directions and the intensities to assess our personal dangers from the storms.
Yesterday's storms had been in the forecasts for several days.A band of storms stretched from Kansas to Texas. The action started early in the afternoon when several sidewalk-roller variety tornadoes swept through central Oklahoma causing destruction and some deaths near El Reno. The wind was clocked at over 150 mph. Fortunately, the twisters visited sparsely populated areas.
Our little F-1 tornado tore through at 10 pm last night not more than two miles south of us. It had touched down in a town about 10 miles to the southwest then dissipated as it passed over us and re-formed a few mile later to rip off roofs and do damage east of us. We had caught the bounce; I guess we got lucky. Kathy's cousin who lives ten miles east of us got a tree jammed through his pickup windshield.
An interesting note. When the tornado dissipated over us, the National Weather Service called off the tornado alert. Our local television forecaster objected, said there was too much energy left in the storm. When the tornado reformed, it was more intense and did a lot of damage northeast of us.