Heavy Rainfall and Tornadoes Over Oklahoma and North Texas

Former Tropical Storm Hermine Brings Heavy Rains and Tornadoes

Oklahoma and western north Texas missed out on a widespread flooding event as the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine moved north over the region. Although some areas received over five inches of total rainfall (see image), only minimal flash flooding occurred. The few exceptions occurred over McClain county, where several hours of intense rainfall caused water to cover parts of the roadway, briefly closing them to traffic. The rainfall actually fell across areas that had not seen appreciable rain over the last month or so. Because of that, and the lack of widespread intense rainfall, the rain more easily soaked into the ground instead of just running off (i.e. June 14th historic flooding event over central Oklahoma ). The US Department of Agriculture had put much of the southern half of Oklahoma in D1 drought category, signifying a moderate drought. As you can see from the image, anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rain fell over these areas, which should help with the dry conditions.


Total Rainfall Associated With Tropical Storm Hermine
Total Rainfall (in inches) Associated With Tropical Storm Hermine

3 Tornadoes Develop Over Southern Oklahoma

Probably more significant in terms of impacts were the three tornadoes that developed over south-central Oklahoma. The relationship between tropical systems and tornadoes has become a little clearer over the last several years, as more and more research has been done. In short, tornadoes are more likely to form east and northeast of the center of circulation, where low-level shear is maximized. In the case of Tropical Storm Hermine the center of circulation moved from west of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, to west of Wichita Falls, and toward Anadarko during the daytime/evening hours of the 8th. Several tornadoes were reported over northern Texas, including an EF-2 tornado that formed (and was well documented on television) over the city of Dallas. Other tornadoes developed further north toward Gainesville, and then across the Red River into southern Oklahoma. The first tornado developed just after 2 pm near Colbert in Bryan County. This was the strongest tornado (rated EF-1) of the three. As you can see from the images below, numerous trees were damaged, and a couple of homes also received damage. This tornado injured one person, although the injuries were not considered serious. The second tornado formed north of Lone Grove in Carter county (image below), making this the 3rd tornado to hit the area since early 2009. This tornado produced minor damage to two homes. Finally, the third tornado formed south of Marietta in Love county. This tornado did not produce any damage.  More information about the 3 tornadoes over southern Oklahoma, including EF-scale ratings can be found here.


Tornado 4 Miles North of Lone Grove, OK (rated EF-0)

Tornado 4 miles north of Lone Grove, OK

Photo courtesy of Kevin Jackson



Damage near Colbert, OK (rated EF-1)

House Damage near Colbert, OK
House Damage near Colbert, OK
Flipped Car near Colbert, OK
Photo courtesy of Pete Covey
Photo courtesy of Donna Halbrooks
Photo courtesy of Joel Scalf

If you have images or video of the tornadoes or the storm damage, we'd love to see them. You can send them to us at sr-oun.webmaster@noaa.gov or sr-oun.spotter@noaa.gov and indicate whether or not we have permission to use that on our webpage.

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