Well, we’re in that time of year when it’s hard to know what to wear from one day to the next. Saturday was just brutal for this time of year. Thankfully, we’ll see better days this week, with warming temps and drier days. The only hiccup is a dry cold front that will be coming through here tomorrow. That front will bring enough colder air with it to give us a very frosty morning on Wednesday. But, highs will rebound nicely in the afternoon and that warming trend will continue right on through Friday. Check out that 75 degree temp on Friday!
But, then the next system begins to threaten. That system will bring another strong cold front into our area on Saturday. I know, I know…why do these things have to happen on the weekends? I just don’t know. But, it is what it is. That cold front may bring a round of strong to severe storms onto the plateau, followed by a sharp blast of cold air for Sunday and Monday. Freezing temps are expected by Monday morning. That cold snap will be brief, as temps should warm right back up by next Tuesday.
I’ll keep you posted on the storm potential with this system, as well as the magnitude of the cold air behind it.
There’s really not much left to elaborate on. Like I said, I’ll have to keep a close eye on Saturday’s storms. If they move in on us during the afternoon and/or evening, the severity will be worse due to the heating of the day. Models are struggling with the timing, as it’s still several days away. The same model that indicated snow showers for us this past Saturday is showing much of the same for this coming Sunday. I’ll keep an eye on that.
The talk in the weather world today is the anniversary of one of the strongest tornadoes to ever strike the state of Oklahoma. After a foggy, damp, and cool day the sun peaked out for but a moment, just as it was setting on Woodward. Meanwhile, at 5:42 p.m. a storm developed a tornado in the Texas Panhandle that began quickly moving northeast. Unaware of the storm, residents of Woodward went about their business that night, until 8:43 when a deafening roar was heard outside.
Many folks knew that unmistakable sound and fled for their storm shelters. Remember, there were no watches and warnings issued back in these days. The government discouraged such ideas, believing that warnings would cause unnecessary panic. The word “tornado” wasn’t even allowed to be said on most tv and radio stations. That would change because of storms like this in the 1940s and 1950s.
The tornado widened to 1.8 miles as it entered Woodward. Oklahoma’s deadliest tornado in state history took the lives of 101 Oklahomans, including 95 lives from Woodward alone. The tornado reached F-5 status along its 221 mile-long path. Some bodies were never found. A total of 626 homes were destroyed and 920 were damaged, according to the Red Cross. A grand total of at least 4,000 structures were destroyed in this tornado, with over 100 city blocks in Woodward smashed.
We rarely hear of tornadoes this powerful claiming so many lives these days, thanks to Doppler radar technology that warns us of these storms, and thanks to the watch/warning system that has been in place for several decades now. A surprise tornado is almost unheard of these days, unless you don’t have a computer, cell phone, tv, or radio (whoever you are? ha). We can be very thankful for that.
You all have a great day! I’ve included pics below of the Woodward tornado.
Notice the bark stripped from these fence posts.
Notice the bridge was blown away.