May 16, 2017: McLean, Texas and Elk City, Oklahoma tornadoes

Storm Chasing Event Archive > 2017 Events > May 16, 2017

EVENT SYNOPSIS: May 16 marked a short period of active severe weather in the Great Plains during the 2017 spring season. A western upper trough spread southwesterly flow aloft over a dryline from the Texas panhandle up to a triple point in western Kansas. Chasers were scattered along the dryline this day, with the majority targeting a subtle dryline bulge along I-40 in the Texas Panhandle. Storms initiated near Alanreed and became tornadic near McLean, producing a photogenic ten-minute tornado south of I-40 and west of Highway 273. The same storm later produced a larger tornado to the northeast near Wheeler. Another storm developed to the south, passing through Wellington, Texas and later producing a rain-wrapped EF3 tornado on the western side of Elk City, Oklahoma. Rain-wrapped tornadoes – at least one strong – occurred with storms in Kansas.

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