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Oklahoma’s Tornado-Free Streak Nears Remarkable Record

25 Apr 2018, 10:04 pm

The Sooner State might be Oklahoma’s official nickname, but so far in 2018, it’s later that has Sooner Staters feeling lucky.

Through Wednesday, Oklahoma hadn’t seen a tornado within its state borders, nearing a record extending back to the early 1960s. Oklahoma hasn’t officially recorded a tornado so far in 2018, and if there isn’t a tornado on Thursday (which is highly unlikely), it would set a new record for the latest first tornado of the season.

Oklahoma, of course, is in the heart of so-called tornado alley, the Great Plains states that often receive the majority of severe weather during the spring months, when clashing air masses combine with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to lead to widespread severe storms. Several relatively recent notable outbreaks of storms have targeted Oklahoma, including an F-5 tornado in Oklahoma City’s southern suburbs that killed 36 people, the 2013 EF-5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma that killed 24 and the 2013 El Reno EF-3 twister that killed eight and injured more than 150 people.

So why the lack of storms so far this year? A cool pattern mostly dictated by a persistent series of cold fronts has kept much of the South locked in a chilly pattern. There are indications that next week could resume a more typical spring pattern – leading right into Oklahoma’s (and America’s) busiest month for tornadoes.

The National Weather Service office in Norman, Oklahoma described to WeatherNation on Tuesday the streak in more detail (first video), along with the fact that Oklahomans can’t let their guard down despite the unusually slow start to severe weather season there.

No severe thunderstorms are currently forecast for Oklahoma through Saturday, meaning the record should be broken on Thursday.

Stay with WeatherNation to see if Oklahoma is able to actually break the record.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi