Tornado Hits Mesonet Site

May 1st, 2012 at 9:21 pm by under Weather

Medford Oklahama Tornado Strikes Near Weather Sensor

Monday night in Medford Oklahoma, a super cell thunder storm spawned numerous tornadoes.  I watched the entire event unfold on live television coverage over the internet and I watched a good friend and storm tracker Mike Bennet give live, detailed reports from his chase vehicle.

The limiting factor was that is was in the dead of night and the only time he could see the tornado was when the lightning would strike.  This is cold “back lighting” and depending on the frequency of the lightning, you may not get to see the tornado that often.

I could tell by the tone in Mike’s voice, that it must have been a larger, well defined tornado.  I was not able to find Mike’s video posted on the web, but here is another storm chaser video, looking at the same storm, the same tornado:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_EQpMDf8yg

Also, check out these pictures from Storm Chaser Ben Holcomb: http://www.benholcomb.com/photos/stormchasing/20120430

This tornado passed only about a mile or so away from a Oklahoma Mesonet Site.  That’s right, the tornado passed so close to the weather sensor, you can actually see the drop in the pressure and the the outer winds of the tornado peak at about 84 mph.  I have marked these in the graph above.

It’s pretty apparent that the tornado did not strike the weather sensor directly, since the peak wind gust was only 84 mph.  After looking at some the damage pictures from that tornado, the winds were well likely over 84 mph, maybe even up to about 110 mph, so about and EF1 to maybe an EF2 tornado.

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