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The Great Plains Tornado Outbreak of May 3-4, 1999

Radar Loop of the May 3-4, 1999 Tornado Outbreak On May 3, 1999, multiple supercell thunderstorms produced many large and damaging tornadoes in central Oklahoma during the late afternoon and evening hours. Some of these storms were killers, including the twisters which moved through and/or near Dover, Shawnee, Perry and Bridge Creek, and the Moore and southern Oklahoma City metropolitan areas. Additional tornadoes also hit areas in south central Kansas, eastern Oklahoma and northern Texas, with over 70 tornadoes being observed across the region, and some tornadoes occurring the during the morning and early afternoon hours of May 4, 1999. The total tornado count in Oklahoma makes the May 3-4, 1999 tornado outbreak the largest ever recorded in the state.

A total of 40 people in Oklahoma were killed by the tornadoes on May 3-4, 1999 and another 675 persons were injured. Many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed throughout the affected areas and the total damage estimate was $1.2 billion. Five deaths, 100 injuries and heavy damage were reported from the Wichita, Kansas metro area.

The map below shows the approximate location and paths of the most damaging tornadoes which occurred on May 3-4, 1999. The official storm data report from May 1999 for NWS Norman forecast area can be found here. The official storm data report from May 1999 for NWS Tulsa forecast area can be found here. Frequently asked questions about the F5 tornado that went through Bridge Creek, Moore and the OKC metro area can be found here.

GIS Users: A KML file depicting the damage paths for tornadoes that occurred in central Oklahoma on May 3, 1999 is available. The outlines and areas of the damage paths are color coded with relation to the parent supercell that spawned each tornado.

May 3-4, 1999 Outbreak Map

Tornado Emergency



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