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Oklahoma Breaks October Tornado Record

23 Oct 2021, 3:05 pm

In a whacky turn of events for Oklahoma, the state reached a tornado milestone during the month of *October!*

Oklahoma’s statewide tornado count for Octobers ranks this year as number one, then 1998 as second, 2007 as third, 2018 as fourth, and 2017 rounding out the top five.

Typically, Oklahoma and the Great Plains experience the brunt of their tornado activity during the months of May and June. The spring severe season, as it is referred to quite frequently, is the height of the annual severe season. However the past few “severe seasons” have been a bit different. Severe weather has been quieter-than-average during those spring months in the Great Plains, but a bit busier during the fall months. Even take notice that a few of the active Octobers have happened within the past few years in Oklahoma.

Link: Most of these tornadoes (at least 21) occurred between October 10-13

It should be noted that these statistics are for the entire state of Oklahoma during the month of October. The stats don’t necessarily represent the rest of the Plains states, or other severe-prone locations.

Related Link: October 20 is the 2 year anniversary of the 2019 EF-3 tornado in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX area

October is one of the months notorious for “secondary severe weather season.” Typically, October-December see a slight bump up in the number of severe storms, including tornadoes, across the Plains and Southeast. Much of this increase has to do with the intensity and location of the jet stream. The river of fast-flowing air well above our heads starts to dive farther south, while tapping into still (relatively) warm and muggy air. It’s the same pattern of the spring, but a little less intense. A reason for the record-setting October this season could be because of the frequent, intense jet stream waves crossing these areas.

While October 2021 has been busy regarding severe storms, this is where we typically see it for this time of the year (across Oklahoma and the Southern Plains).

Since October has had a record pace for tornadic storms in parts of the Plains, stay weather aware and up-to-date regarding the latest forecast and alerts. We’ll bring all of that (and more) to you on our WeatherNation platforms!

About the author
Erik Kostrzewa was born and raised in the state of Michigan; spending much of his life in the suburbs of Detroit. Erik attended the University of Michigan and earned a Bachelor’s Degr... Load Moreee in Earth Systems Science and Engineering with a concentration in Meteorology. His first on-air job was straight out of college in Lansing, Michigan at WLNS-TV. After a few years, he moved an hour west to Grand Rapids to continue his career at FOX17 news. While in the heart of the lower peninsula, Erik covered a wide variety of challenging weather from lake-effect snow to derechos. Erik definitely has an interesting last name which comes from his Polish descent. If you are wondering how it is pronounced, the easiest way to say it is “Ka-Stree-Va”. Erik is thrilled to forecast on a national scale at WeatherNation and experience an even wider range of weather in Colorado! He is also looking forward to experiencing his first 14er on one of the many mountains in the state. Follow Erik on Twitter and Facebook!