Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tornadoes and the night before...

(ABOVE: Wow! A KJRH viewer sent us this pic from Cleora, OK. Looking eastward as a large tornado crosses Grand Lake. May 22, 2011)

I'm tired but can't sleep. It's the night before...

I hope the forecast is a bust. Hopefully our data is wrong and nothing happens. Most computer models suggest Tuesday as a big day. The SPC is using terms like "classic tornado outbreak" after analyzing forecast data. I don't disagree.

This has already been the deadliest tornado year in modern American history. After watching the massive outbreak in Alabama and the Southeast, we got a scare closer to home when a likely EF-4 tornado smashed Joplin on Sunday.

KJRH Meteorologist Andy Wallace told me his parents are fine, but his childhood home is gone now. (Joplin is Andy's hometown.)

(ABOVE: My chase from May 22. I took this picture of a small tornado near Hwy 412 in Delaware county. This small twister was on the ground for about 5 minutes.)

Comparisons are now drawn between the April 3-4, 1974 "Super Outbreak" and the April 27, 2011 Tornado Outbreak in the Southeast. I bring that up as 1974 was an awful year for tornadoes around the country and in Oklahoma.

That was the year that several tornadoes created damage paths in Tulsa. Brookside, ORU and the 71st and Memorial areas were struck by large tornadoes. Multiple fatalities occurred in Drumright when a long track F4 tornado carved a damage path though Creek and other counties.

Is this like 1974?


No weatherman knows exactly what will happen Tuesday. But we are confident that severe storms will form in central Oklahoma then head toward Tulsa and Green Country toward late afternoon and evening.

A rare "high risk" for severe weather will likely be issued for Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. A heightened Tornado Watch, called a "PDS Tornado Watch" is likely. PDS means Particularly Dangerous Situation. (the Southeast tornado outbreak on April 27 was a PDS day)

(ABOVE: Tag-Tag dog is storm ready! Earlier tonight, Wifey and I prepared an interior closet as our storm shelter for our Westies.)

So please be ready! It sounds redundant as we preach it often, but have a plan for your family.

Underground shelters and tornado safe rooms are the only 100% safe places in a large tornado. Bathrooms and closets and hallways are the next best.

Have your radio, TV and cell phone.

Dan, Andy and Julie will be on TV with the who, what, where and when. I'll be storm chasing. Hopefully on the 10pm news, I'm not standing in front of a tornado ravaged something.

We'll be watching for you-- Let's stay safe and get through Tuesday together.


  1. Thanks George for looking out for us! I know you and your team will do your best! Take care and be safe! Alan Armer of Tulsa

  2. You're so great George! You care so much and it really shows!!! The fact that I am informed and understand our weather situations, means you're doing your job, and you're doing it extremely well!!! For me, it's comforting! Thank you so much :) kristi

  3. ok i be ready for it but i hope it will not be bad,

  4. I will be headed out today to help my sister-in-law clean out her underground tornado shelter at the home they just rented in Sapulpa. Getting rid of cobwebs and adding a tornado safety kit. Hoping we don't need it, but if we do, that all 9 people and 8 dogs fit!! (Still haven't figured out how to get my 87-year-old mom down into it, but I'm betting she'd jump in, if a tornado were headed our way!)

  5. Thank you for what you do and I know it can be very risky. My prayers are with you. I feel very uncomfortable right now just knowing what's ahead, but I guess that's expected. I do have a basement full of water and who else knows what, but if worse comes to worse I will dive head first! Keep up the good work and stay safe.

    Janet W.

  6. Is it a good idea to go to a lower level parking garage when expecting tornados?