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Thunderstorms in the Central Plains; Below Average Temperatures in the East

Storms capable of producing large hail and a few strong wind gusts will be possible from central Nebraska into northern Kansas. Below normal temperatures are expected east of the Rockies, while the western third of the country warms up. Read More >

Map of the Approximate Tornado Tracks for the April 13-14, 2012 Severe Weather Event

Event Overview


A severe weather event began during the early afternoon hours of Friday, April 13, 2012, and lasted through the early morning hours of Saturday, April 14, 2012. Around a dozen tornadoes, as well as large hail, and strong wind gusts were produced by the numerous thunderstorms that occurred during this event. Much of the severe weather occurred in parts of southwestern and central Oklahoma. However, thunderstorms did develop in other portions of Oklahoma as well during the event.

A moist airmass had been in place over much of the region for several days prior to April 13th, and several rounds of showers and thunderstorms had occurred during this period. On Friday, April 13th, a dryline and weak frontal boundary moved into the area extending from near southwestern and west central Oklahoma then northeast into north central Oklahoma by the early afternoon hours. The first storms developed in parts of southwestern Oklahoma and west Texas. However, it was several hours before the first tornado occurred. In fact, the potential for tornadoes increased during the early evening hours of April 13th as the low level jet (strong winds just above the surface) became stronger.

The first tornadic activity of the day occurred in central Oklahoma as a tornado touched down just southwest of Norman at 3:59 pm CDT, and then moved east-northeast through the heart of that city shortly after 4:00 pm CDT. This tornado was eventually rated an EF-1 as it damaged many businesses and homes, and numerous trees and power lines were also downed. No fatalities were reported with this "rush hour" tornado, but 20 injuries were reported. The same parent supercell thunderstorm that produced the Norman tornado also spawned a brief, weak tornado in Pottawatomie County 6 miles northwest of Shawnee, OK.

Meanwhile, supercell thunderstorms continued to develop in southwestern Oklahoma. Nine tornadoes occurred in this area with 3, and possibly 4 tornadoes occurring at one time with a storm near Cooperton, OK in Kiowa County during the evening of April 13th. Two tornadoes were also reported near Blair, OK in Jackson County, and 3 tornadoes were observed near Carnegie, OK in Caddo County.

Large hail and strong wind gusts was also reported with these severe thunderstorms. The largest hail reported was 3 inches in diameter and fell in an area 12 miles south of Sayre, OK. Several wind gusts to 70 mph were also reported.

After a few hours with no tornadoes occurring, a tornado was reported in the Mustang, OK area in Central Oklahoma around 12:50 am CDT on April 14, 2012. This tornado damaged a few homes/businesses and was rated an EF-1.

Approximately 13 tornadoes occurred during this severe weather event. Fortunately, no fatalities or major injuries were reported with these tornadoes.