NWS confirms EF2 tornado damage in midtown Tulsa: 8-6-17

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Steve Miller, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Steve Miller

    Steve Miller Owner
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    TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- The National Weather Service confirms a tornado with "EF2 intensity" struck midtown Tulsa early Sunday morning near 41st and Yale.

    According to their preliminary local storm report, at 1:18 a.m. tornadic debris signature was observed on radar between Harvard and Yale.

    A number of buildings are damaged, including roofs torn off and windows were blown out.

    Several injuries have been reported but none serious. A spokesperson for Saint Francis says 30 people came in and most were treated and released with minor injuries and cuts. Three patients arrived at St. John Hospital.

    Governor Mary Fallin's office released a statement saying she's in contact with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum's office. The governor is receiving updates on damage assessments, and "asks fellow Oklahomans to join her in keeping those injured and adversely affected by the storm in our thoughts and prayers."
     
  2. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    A friend of mine who lives within the eastern portion of the track told me his ears popped and the doors in his house rattled pretty good as the tornado passed by. He had no visible damage. I'm guessing by the time it got over his neighborhood it was weakening and/or may have had intermediate ground contact (i.e., was skipping along).
     
  3. Steve Miller

    Steve Miller Owner
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    Has anyone posted video yet? There had to be some security cam footage or something.
     
  4. John Farley

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  5. michael beard

    michael beard Lurker

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    Jeff (i can never spell is last name) was on it last night. Some body may be able to reach out to him and see if he got video of it. I know he differently got damage coverage before anybody else.

    Sent from my LG-LS997 using Stormtrack mobile app
     
  6. Greg McLaughlin

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    Here are some damage pics I took yesterday morning. These photos were taken on 41st street between Hudson Ave and Sheridan Road.

    I slept through this tornado. Ugh. I had chased the same MCS down from Kansas into northern Osage county and came back to Tulsa. I got home around 10:30 with the intent of taking a short nap and then heading back out in a couple of hours as the storms came through town in hopes of capturing lightning pics. I was more tired than I thought, only briefly waking up during the height of the storm, then falling right back to sleep.

    My house is less than three miles north of where these photos were taken. While I know that tornadoes can strike anywhere at anytime, it's always surreal when a tornado tracks close to home. This is about as close to home as a tornado can occur without being in your backyard. Fortunately this tornado tracked through commercial and industrial zones, largely missing the surrounding neighborhoods. A personal friend and former co-worker told me she has a niece who was severely injured at the Whataburger. Her niece was rushed to the hospital and has undergone one surgery with another expected. Her injury was described as being a deep laceration from debris impalement which just missed her spine. Just two days prior I visited that same Whataburger.

    The Remington Tower (tall dark brown building in background) sustained significant damage with several windows blown out, and a sizable section of wall on the northwest corner torn away. I expect this building would be completely gutted and possibly toppled in a violent tornado. As always, I am amazed at how fickle the wind can be. Over 30 people sustained injuries. It is my understanding all of the injuries occurred at the Whataburger and a TGI Friday's a block to the west.



    20170806_093254[1].jpg 20170806_093759[1].jpg
    20170806_093229[2].jpg

    20170806_093544[1].jpg Intersection of Hudson, Ave and east 41st Street. View is looking west down 41st Street.
    20170806_092445[1].jpg
    41st Street bridge over I-44. View looking southwest.
     
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  7. Sam Lane

    Sam Lane Lurker

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    Any thoughts on the QLCS nature of this tornado? This one and another in MD yesterday from same storm system. Maybe it is time to really think about how best to warn for these types of tornadoes. Regular tornado warnings were issued AFTER the tornado touched down. There were severe thunderstorm warnings but it seems that people largely ignore those warnings. We introduced Tornado Emergency after the Moore 99 tornado and I don't think that has added to any confusion about tornado warnings. Perhaps a different kind of warning for these type of scenarios? Any thoughts or comments?
     
  8. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    I'm sure any NWS mets who still participate here can provide more accurate and complete information, but from what I've seen from NWA/AMS local conferences over the years is the NWS is well aware of the issue of how difficult it is to predict QLCS tornadoes, and there is active research in better forecasting them. However, when it comes down to it, QLCS tornadoes are and will probably remain difficult to predict for some time (at least until a robust WOF system becomes operational at all times of year, not just during the spring severe season).
     
  9. michael beard

    michael beard Lurker

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    We nearly had 2 in north texas sunday afternoon and if they would've done something nobody would've known. One was up by decatur and other by benbrook in the middle of rush hour. They pop up so quickly it's hard to catch between scans.

    Sent from my LG-LS997 using Stormtrack mobile app
     
  10. KenMcWatters

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    This video was taken from the Reasor's grocery store, which was in the tornado path, on the NE corner of 41st and Yale.
    http://www.newson6.com/clip/13568882/web-extra-surveillance-video-from-tulsa-reasors-store-on-41st

    Like Greg, I was also about 3 miles away (south of the path) and just experienced heavy rain as the QLCS moved in. I was surprised to see the tornado warning appear on my phone a few minutes later. When I immediately went to look at radar I couldn't see a rotation signature, but after 10 minutes or so it was a clear hook echo on radar moving east in Broken Arrow just ahead of the bow echo.
     
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  11. Alex Elmore

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    There has been a huge push recently by several NWS forecasters in the central region to properly warn QLCS tornadoes. There was a paper that came out in 2012 by Schaumann (Springfield, MO WFO) and Przybylinski (the SOO at the St. Louis, MO WFO before he passed away a couple years ago) that laid the foundation for the "Three Ingredients Method" that has increased the success of properly warning QLCS tornadoes in recent years: https://www.weather.gov/media/lmk/soo/SchaumannSLS2012_P142.pdf

    Here's a couple slides that explain the Three Ingredients Method: http://www.weather.gov/media/crp/Mesovortex.pdf

    Additionally, forecasters in the NWS Central Region are currently working on a project called the Tornado Warning Improvement Project (TWIP). Part of this project will be looking at QLCS tornadoes in order to improve warnings.

    Currently, when issuing a severe thunderstorm warning, forecasters can add a tag that states a brief, weak tornado is possible within the area of the severe warning. However, these aren't meant to cover a tornado such as the one that occurred in Tulsa. Unfortunately, some of these QLCS tornado warnings will be issued after touchdown due to that their associated radar features can be hard to identify and they can develop rapidly between radar scans, so by the time the next scan comes in and a forecaster can identify it, there's already a tornado on the ground.
     
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  12. John Farley

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    Better understanding of QLCS tornadoes that would lead to better forecast times is very important. Because of the difficulty of warning for them, these tornadoes can be deadly if they strike populated areas. On April 2, 2006, a QLCS tornado, rated F-2, struck a shopping district in Fairview Heights, IL, just east of St. Louis. The area it hit was similar to the one impacted by the Tulsa tornado, but this one occurred in the late afternoon when the stores were open. The husband of the director of a research center I had worked closely with at SIUE was in one of the stores buying clothes for needy children to wear on Easter, and was killed when the roof of the store collapsed. This is the closest I personally have been touched by a tornado fatality, so I know full well the importance of better warnings for these kinds of tornadoes.

    Thanks to Alex for posting the link to the Schaumann and Przbylinski paper. Reading this paper brings back more pleasant memories, as I was on the storm in the third case study in the paper. In fact, I was on it right around the time of several of the radar images in the paper, when the MCS was moving into the Springfield area. I went back and looked at my chase report, and noted several things that matched up well with material in the paper, notably that the gust front was ahead of the storm, that there were two intense cells just NE and NW of Springfield, and that the storm surged south around that time - all of which I experienced. I saw what may have been a funnel or tornado along the track of the meso of the NE cell, which was on the SW edge of that cell and did result in tornado and wind damage reports, although not exactly where I saw the suspicious feature. Unfortunately I was driving in terrible conditions at the time and could not get any pictures or video. Eventually the MCS produced a tornado only a mile or so from my house in Edwardsville (whcih is mentioned in the Schaumann and Przbylinski paper). Unfortunately by then I was coming down I-55 well behind the fast-moving MCS. Also as noted in the paper, the MCS produced widespread wind damage across the St. Louis area, knocking out power to more than a half million. It also caused havoc during a ballgame at Busch Stadium and led subsequently to a storm plan that led to Busch being one of the earlier stadiums to be declared storm-ready - but it most definitely was not at the time of this storm. A few days later, another derecho went through the St. Louis area from west to east crossing the path of this one, leading to hundreds of thousands more losing power. Many were out for several days, and heat deaths resulted from the lack of air conditioning that resulted from the outages. 2006, all in all, was quite a year for QLCS storms in the St. Louis area.

    If you are interested, you can find my chase report on the storm mentioned in the Schaumann and Przbylinski paper at:

    http://www.siue.edu/~jfarley/chase71906.htm
     
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  13. Rick Schmidt

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    The guy on the right side of that security video at the beginning is lucky to have made it back into the store without being killed.
     
  14. Alex Elmore

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    I remember the April 2 event. I was on the way home with family when we came across damage out in New Baden, IL from that storm. It was also a Sunday, which I'm sure added to the amount of people out in Fairview Heights area. It was very tragic that that gentleman passed away. I may be wrong, but I thought that store was newer, so I found it interesting that it failed while others in the immediate area did not sustain as much damage. The St. Louis area gets its fair share of QLCS tornadoes, which is probably why Przbylinski did so much research on them. I believe a couple other notable events occurred on December 31, 2010 and May 31, 2013 in the St. Louis area for anyone who is interested. I know there's others, but those are what comes to mind first.
     
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