Thursday, July 25, 2013

May 29 Tornado

OUN has confirmed a brief tornado south of Erick, OK from May 29. On that day we observed what we thought was a small area of outflow dust, even though I was somewhat suspicious at the time. Nevertheless, I thought nothing of it until a few days later when I saw a Facebook post by JR Hehnly showing the same feature but from the opposite angle. Another person commented that the Doppler radar guys had observed a low-end tornadic circulation in the same place at the same time. This was enough to get me to submit my video to OUN as a possible tornado.

I never heard anything back, so I decided to email Doug Speheger directly, the person who's been responsible for Oklahoma tornado data for several years now. After another few weeks, Doug replied, got my information, and said he'd get back to me. Within a few days, he'd researched the radar data and discovered a velocity increase - for just one volume scan - in the same spot as my report. After learning about the Doppler observations, he asked to see my video (which I'd taken down a few weeks before). I put the clip back up on Youtube, and after seeing it, Doug was convinced. He sent me an email yesterday to let me know it was being added to the 2013 OK tornado count. Not a prize catch by any stretch, but important nonetheless because it keeps the data that much more in tune with reality. So a big thanks to Doug for his efforts in coordinating the archived data with my observations to help get this event sorted out.

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