New Tornado Record Set in Texoma

The National Weather Service has released new information indicating multiple new tornado records have been set.

A majority of Texoma is under the jurisdiction of the Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service (NWS).  The area that the offices cover is called the "County Warning Area" also know as CWA's.

In Texoma the Norman CWA includes the following counties:
  • Jackson
  • Tillman
  • Cotton
  • Comanche
  • Stephens
  • Jefferson
  • Kiowa
  • Harmon
  • Hardeman
  • Foard
  • Knox
  • Wilbarger
  • Baylor
  • Wichita (including the city of Wichita Falls)
  • Archer
  • Clay

In Texoma the Lubbock, Texas CWA includes the following counties:

  • Childress
  • Cottle
  • King

In Texoma the San Angelo, Texas CWA includes the following counties:

  • Haskell
  • Throckmorton

And, in Texoma the Fort Worth, Texas CWA includes the following counties:

  • Montague
  • Jack
  • Palo Pinto
  • Young

Each National Weather Service Office keeps records of how many tornadoes occur in each CWA each year.  These records also include the strength, intensity, destruction, timing and rating of each tornado.  Additional information may also be included such as Storm Prediction Center risk during the tornadic activity and possible comparison to watch coverage.

And, each NWS Office keeps record of how much time passes between Tornado Warnings and actual tornado touchdowns.

The Norman, Oklahoma NWS CWA has set a couple of new records due to the lack of tornadic activity across Texoma and Oklahoma.

As of Tuesday, April 8, 2014 here are the current records:

  • It has been 312 days since the last Tornado Warning was issued at 810pm Friday, May 31, 2013 (110am Saturday, June 1, 2013 UTC).
  • The previous longest streak without a Tornado Warning issued by the Norman NWSO was 292 days from June 1, 1990 to March 20, 1991.
  • The last tornado recorded in Texoma/Oklahoma within the Norman NWS CWA was August 7, 2013 in Beaver, County, 245 days ago.
  • The longest streak without a tornado in Texoma/Oklahoma is 292 days from May 17, 2003 to March 3, 2004.

The lack of tornadic activity in Texoma and the surrounding area can be attributed to the persistent Polar Vortex Pattern on the east coast of the United States.  The continued and overwhelming push of constant periods of very cold air in the Midwest and East Coast has suppressed the warm humid air from the Gulf of Mexico and hot dry air from the desert southwest, which are both needed for the development of severe weather and/or thunderstorms. 

In addition the optimal pattern for severe weather including tornado development in Texoma includes a jet stream pattern that digs from the desert southwest up into the Great Lakes.  The patter during this past winter and a majority of the Spring has been a large dip in the jet stream from the northern Rocky Mountains, down through Texoma and across the northern Gulf of Mexico.  This pattern prevents severe weather. 

And, of course a lack of severe weather is a good thing.  But, having said that the general rain that a severe weather pattern brings has been greatly missed.

KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp

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