BRIEF TORNADOES IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

Date:  19 May 2015

  • Chaser: David Reimer
  • Location: Purcell, OK/Lexington, OK

CHASE SUMMARY

This ended up being one of those very local chases. I actually slept in anticipating a busy period later that night with covering weather in Texas. I woke up to find a storm developing about 40 miles to my south. That storm was approaching a warm front and was showing signs of becoming organized in the low levels. Gas was cheap so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take a quick drive to check it out. By the time I arrived near the storm it had moved to about 10 miles southwest of Purcell, Oklahoma. The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning not long after. The storm had a very low base thanks to its proximity to the warm front. A rotating wall cloud was visible to the southwest of Purcell. Other storm chasers reported a brief tornado but I was unable to confirm it from my position. I observed strong rotation as the storm moved over Purcell itself. The storm did produce at least one brief tornado just east of the Canadian River and east of Purcell which I observed from the Canadian River Bridge. A traffic accident had the bridge blocked so I was unable to pursue the storm from there. Fast forward about an hour and we were east of Norman, Oklahoma. Storms weren’t particularly intense but there was a considerable amount of low-level vorticity. We were able to observe a very weak, brief tornado from a thunderstorm approaching Interstate 40 west of Shawnee. From there we headed back to Norman and just south to Noble, Oklahoma to document flash flooding.

The map will display the approximate location of this chase (town). It should not be used for specific location information.

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