A supercell over the Great Plains spawned a bevy of tornadoes Tuesday and Wednesday, and storm chasers were there to catch the action.
There is no actual "tornado season." Twisters achieve greatest frequency depending on location, so while the Gulf states might have their tornado season in spring, the Southern Plains will typically witness peak activity from May to June.
Still, nature doesn't know to confine its violent thrashings into neat human categories. Thus this week's tornadic outbreak across Oklahoma and northern Texas. At least six of the deathly Dreidels leaped forth from a supercell "parent" storm, according to the National Weather Service's analysis, tossing buckets of hail at cattle and giving the ol' Dutch Rub to acres of harmless farmland. (Video below.) Says the NWS:
The system initially produced numerous thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and flash flooding over parts of south central Oklahoma during the late evening of November 6th and early morning of November 7th. Rainfall totals of 5-9 inches were reported across parts of Jefferson, Carter and Murray counties. The system then generated severe weather including tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and flooding from the early afternoon of November 7th through the early morning of November 8th.
That is, in fact, a nice amount of rain. The weather agency tracked the tornadoes scoring the grassy plains amid the downpour; showing true pioneer spirit, the longest-lived one seemed to pass right through the Wichita Mountains:
This storm had barely disappeared over the horizon when another one took its place, coughing out yet more twisters on Tuesday afternoon. As of last night, the Storm Prediction Center had noted an apparent tornado in McCurtain County that was so strong it overturned railroad cars.
As everybody knows, when you see a tornado coming, you should drive like the dickens straight toward it. That's what a horde of storm chasers did when these things started popping, capturing spicy weather footage that East Coasters rarely witness in person. Here's a tornado that escaped from The Wizard of Oz:
This an extended scene showing what might be a multivortex tornado near Fort Cobb (one was reported in the area):
And this is the Wichita mountain-leaper: