National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Heavy rain and higher elevation snow continue for the Northwest, fire danger continues in Southern California

A series of Pacific storms will bring strong winds, heavy rain, and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies through Sunday. Heavy rainfall and flooding is possible from the Mississippi Valley to the Deep South and Southeast U.S. this weekend and into early next week. Dry winds will prolong the fire weather threat for Southern California for several days. Read More >


Fast Facts

  • The tornado was first reported by a spotter on the west side of I-35 at Hwy. 37 in Moore, near the intersection of Santa Fe Ave. and 149th St. at about 5:10 p.m. It then tracked across I-35 at 12th St., through south Oklahoma City, across I-240 at Sooner Road, across Tinker Air Force Base, across I-40 into SE Midwest City, and into Choctaw.

  • Approximately 21-minute lead time for Moore in Cleveland County and approximately 30 minute lead time for Oklahoma County.

  • The tornado event was forecast several days in advance.

  • For the first time ever at the NWS Norman office, a live weather briefing was given at 2:30 pm CDT on 5/8/2003 concerning the developing severe weather situation. This briefing was broadcast through the 10 weather radio stations operated by NWS Norman.

  • The first tornado warning of the day was for Grady County at 4:33 p.m.

  • The warning issued for the metro area, including Cleveland, McClain and south Oklahoma Counties was issued at 4:49 p.m.

  • The NWS Forecast Office issued a regional weather discussion at 4 p.m. that specifically mentioned the risk for severe storms in the Oklahoma City metro area between 4:30 and 6 p.m.

  • The NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center issued a tornado watch for south central Kansas and central Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma City metro area, at 1:35 p.m.

  • Total number tornadoes in central Oklahoma for May 8, 2003 - 3.

  • About the time the metro area tornado was dissipating, a new tornado started near Harrah and moved into southern Lincoln County north of Meeker.

  • Additional tornadoes occurred in Noble County and Osage County in the NWS Tulsa forecast area.

  • While the tornado was on the ground, the NWS Forecast Office provided continuous live coverage of the storm track on NOAA Weather Radio.

More Event Information


Tornado Data and Information