- May 22 2019 - Tornadoes and Incredible Lightning in Oklahoma
- We started the morning in Norman, OK
with the idea of chasing northeastern Oklahoma. There were two
issues with that: 1) bad chase terrain with a lot of hills and
trees and 2) a ton of flooded out roads. We had to be really
careful to ensure not to go too far north and east of Tulsa due
to the flooding. Oh, and it was my birthday so the pressure was
on to get a birthday tornado (actually, I've witnessed numerous
birthday tornadoes over the years).
- As we were departing Norman, the NWS
SPC upgraded the risk to a MODERATE RISK for storms and a 15%
hatched for tornadoes. We waited in Prague, OK for a while to
assess the situation. Some storms started firing just to our
south while a larger, more potent looking storm was firing down
near Lawton, OK. We finally decided to head east out of Prague,
OK toward Okemah, OK. Here we paused looking west when we saw
our first tornado of the day pass just northwest of our location.
That tornado dissipated but the storm still looked good. To keep
up with the storm, we decided to head east to Henryetta, OK.
The entire time the wall cloud was spinning like crazy.
- Several times it was so close to producing
another tornado then dissipated. Finally, closer to Okemah, OK,
the storm produced a large tornado. The issue is we had trouble
seeing it due to trees and hills. At one moment, it appeared
there might be two on the ground. Eventually the tornado dissipated.
- To continue to track the storm, we
went north out of Henryetta to Okmulgee then to Muskogee and
north out of there. We passed through Wangoner, then Choteau,
then Pryor. From Pryor we ventured west but got too close to
the rotation so we backtracked east toward Salina, OK. On the
way to Salina, we stopped a couple of times because the lightning
was spectacular. I got some of my most dramatic lightning photos
- From Salina we headed south until we
found a good vantage point to watch. Unfortunately it had gotten
dark so we were only able to catch glimpses of the wall cloud.
We decided to call it a day since we couldn't get visuals anymore.
- See more at the 2019