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The Tornado Outbreak of April 27-28, 1912

Oklahomans had only two weeks to digest the news of the sinking of the RMS Titanic when weather disaster visited parts of the state on April 27-28, 1912. A tornado outbreak began during late morning hours of Saturday, April 27th and continued through the afternoon and evening hours. Multiple strong to violent tornadoes raked parts of southwestern, west central, central and eastern Oklahoma. Areas in or near the towns of Martha, Blair, Warren, Lugert, Rocky, Sentinel, Foss, Butler, Elk City, Cordell, Corn, Colony, Hinton, Calumet, and Sallisaw were struck by tornadoes. A concentrated area in southwestern and west central Oklahoma was particularly hard hit. A few weak to strong tornadoes also occurred during the early morning hours of Sunday, April 28th before the outbreak ended in Oklahoma. About 40 people were killed and 120 people were injured by the storms.

The April 27-28, 1912 outbreak was the climax of a wild, week-long period of severe weather that occurred in Oklahoma. Strong to violent tornadoes struck portions of central and north central Oklahoma on April 20, 1912. In addition, a violent tornado hit Ponca City, OK on April 25, 1912.

To mark the 100th anniversary of this event, tornado data, approximated tornado damage paths, weather maps, and newspaper quotes have been compiled. A synopsis of the meteorological conditions that existed during mid to late April 1912 is available, and is based on the limited amount of meteorological data that are obtainable from that time. The tornado data are based on original U. S. Weather Bureau reports, as well as research done by Tom Grazulis of the Tornado Project, NOAA scientist Don Burgess, and members of the NWS Norman staff.

More information or updates will be added in the future. If you have any damage photos or other information related to this event, please email us at sr-oun.spotter@noaa.gov.

Approximate Tornado Tracks for the April 27-28, 1912 Tornado Outbreak in Oklahoma

 


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