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N.W.S. Confirms Wichita County Tornado (Pictures Included)

The National Weather Service on Thursday confirmed a tornado touched down in Wichita County.
Tornado with dust/debris funnel crossing I-44 near exit 6 on I-44. (KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp, 2014)
Tornado with dust/debris funnel crossing I-44 near exit 6 on I-44. (KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp, 2014)
After much debate and deliberation by local residents, many of whom say they saw a tornado and others that believe they saw a funnel cloud that did not touch down.  The National Weather Service has made their decision.

The Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service Office (which has jurisdiction over a large portions of Texoma) declared the tornado was confirmed on Thursday, May 8, 2014 and occurred on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

According to the National Weather Service the tornado touchdown was "4 miles southwest of Burkburnett" and "brief."  This was the report submitted to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center for the National Storm Reports for that day.

The initial touchdown was unknown to the National Weather Service when they issued the Tornado Warning: Radar Rotation Indicated.  Their radar, based outside of Frederick, Oklahoma, indicated a moderate to strong rotation signal in the storm.  This rotation signal in thunderstorms often indicates a tornado has formed or a tornado is forming.  Folks should take these warning very seriously.

A few minutes later numerous eye witnesses in central Wichita County near Exits 5A and 6 at Bacon Switch Road noticed dirt being pulled up and rotated into the base of the severe thunderstorm.  And, therefore a tornado had formed.

The National Weather Service took its time analyzing the data such as photos, videos, eye witness reports, SKYWARN audio and SKYWARN member reports to make a thorough investigation as to whether a tornado had touched down or not.  The National Weather Service in Norman takes sending tornado reports to the Storm Prediction Center very seriously and they want to be nearly 100% sure before they submit such a report.

In the end the National Weather Service Rick Smith, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the Norman Office submitted the report of a tornado four miles southwest of Burkburnett.

This is the fourth confirmed tornado in Texoma since the beginning of the season.

Here is a list of the tornadoes and the counties that have touched down in:
  • Wichita County Tornado
  • Stephens County Tornado
  • Comanche County Tornado
  • Childress County Tornado

KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp
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