Look at all that red and purple!
As we prepared for the start of our paddling trip, it seemed the weather would be the most likely to upset our plans. I remarked the best ways to get rain were silver iodide seeding, tribal rain dances, and planning a paddling trip. We desperately needed rain, but it looked like this would be torrential downpours in the bands over which it was to track with tornadoes and flash floods.
Here, Mike Morgan from KFOR Channel 4 in Oklahoma City tracks Storm 5 among those streaming SSW to NNE across the state. They produced several tornadoes, one setting a record for staying on the ground for nearly two hours with speeds up to EF-3 & 4 and diameters up to a mile wide. The good news was that it traveled mostly across open prairie with few targets to destroy. The bad news was that it traveled through the 8,200 acre Washita Wildlife Management Area, which is populated with large numbers of buffalo, elk, and other wildlife. It may be some time before it’s known what impact that may have had. This morning the storm is still tracking across the area of our paddling trip, so we’ve set our plans back 24-hours to allow for flood run-off and a bit of drying out. An interesting aspect was that as the tornado went across the lake, it paused and formed a waterspout. Water from the lake was drawn up to 50,000 feet, and after the funnel cleared the lake, radar actually created an image of the large plume of water falling back to earth.