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Information About the March 8, 2010 Tornadoes

An early season round of thunderstorms struck western Oklahoma on March 8, 2010.  During the morning and early afternoon hours, an area of moderate rain and embedded thunderstorms passed over Oklahoma and western North Texas.  A few of these storms were severe and produced some sporadic wind damage in Baylor and Wichita Counties in north Texas.  After the initial round of storms had cleared out, skies became sunny over western Oklahoma.  This allowed for heating to commence in advance of the cold front, which was still pushing across the Texas Panhandle.  Thus, a narrow axis of instability developed across western Oklahoma, and this provided the energy necessary to support additional thunderstorm development.  As you can see in the satellite image (above), scattered thunderstorms developed late in the afternoon near the western Oklahoma border with the Texas Panhandle.  Some of these storms produced severe weather, including several tornadoes.

Some Facts

  • This tornado would mark the earliest tornado in a calendar year on record in Roger Mills County.
  • The last tornado in the Hammon area (link to Roger Mills Co. tornadoes) was on June 13, 1983 when an F0 tornado briefly touched down 5 miles southwest of Hammon.
  • The last significant tornado in the Hammon area tracked from 3 miles south of Hammon to 6 miles east-northeast of Hammon on June 10, 1967 (link). It was rated an F4 on the Fujita Scale.
  • The last tornado to hit Roger Mills County was an EF-3 tornado that struck the town of Sweetwater, OK on May 5, 2007.
  • The last tornado to hit Custer County was an EF-0 tornado on September 11, 2008.
  • Between 1950 and 2009, Custer County averaged about 0.9 tornadoes per year, and Roger Mills County averaged about 0.68 tornadoes per year.
  • This makes this the 8th consecutive year (dating back to 2003) that Oklahoma has seen at least one tornado by the start of April.

"Hammon Tornado"

EF-Scale Rating EF-2
Time Approx. 5:20 PM - 6:00 PM (CST)
Track ~6.5 SW Hammon to ~3 NE Hammon
Path Length Approx. 10 miles
Max Path Width To be determined

A relatively long tracked tornado touched down in a rural area to the southwest of Hammon around 5:20 PM CST, and then tracked to the northeast towards the town of Hammon.  This tornado was on the ground for around 40 minutes, moving mainly over rural areas. Near the end of the tornado track, the tornado clipped the southeastern edge of Hammon, destroying several barns, and damaging several homes.  The tornado finally dissipated to the northeast of Hammon.  The EF-2 rating is based primarily on the damage on the southeastern side of Hammon - including the damage to a home and a county barn.  Remember, this rating is preliminary, so the final rating and information about the tornado is subject to change if more information becomes available.

For damage photos from the Hammon area, click here.  Below are a few pictures of the tornado taken during its life cycle.  The photos were provided to us by Scott Peake, and are used with permission.

Here are a few radar images from the Twin Lakes, OK radar in Cleveland County.  The first row of images is from approximately when the tornado began, the second row was taken just before the tornado hit Hammon, and the third row was taken about when the tornado hit Hammon.

Left: 0.5 degree reflectivity at 5:21 PM CST from the Twin Lakes, OK radar. Right: 0.5 degree storm-relative velocity at 5:21 PM CST from the Twin Lakes, OK radar.

Left: 0.5 degree reflectivity at 5:45 PM CST from the Twin Lakes, OK radar. Right: 0.5 degree storm-relative velocity at 5:45 PM CST from the Twin Lakes, OK radar.

Left: 0.5 degree reflectivity at 5:50 PM CST from the Twin Lakes, OK radar. Right: 0.5 degree storm-relative velocity at 5:50 PM CST from the Twin Lakes, OK radar.

Above is a preliminary tornado track map, based on today's damage survey. We hope to have a more detailed map available in the next several days.

"Butler Tornado"

EF-Scale Rating EF-0
Time Around 6:17 PM (CST)
Track to the north of Butler
Path Length To be determined
Max Path Width To be determined

We were not able to find damage associated with this tornado, but video evidence from storm chasers and broadcast media indicates that a second tornado developed shortly after the Hammon tornado dissipated.  Because no damage was located, the tornado has been assigned a preliminary rating of EF-0.  Remember, this rating is preliminary, so the final rating and information about the tornado is subject to change if more information becomes available.

Local Storm Reports

Here is the summary of the storm reports that we received at our office from this event.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
1239 AM CST TUE MAR 09 2010

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

1240 PM TSTM WND GST 3 NW SEYMOUR 33.63N 99.30W
03/08/2010 M60.00 MPH BAYLOR TX MESONET

WEST TEXAS MESONET

0130 PM TSTM WND DMG PLEASANT VALLEY 33.94N 98.60W
03/08/2010 WICHITA TX EMERGENCY MNGR

ROOF BLOWN OFF DOUBLEWIDE TRAILOR, AND POLE BARN BLOWN
DOWN

0504 PM HAIL 2 S ROLL 35.75N 99.72W
03/08/2010 E1.00 INCH ROGER MILLS OK UNKNOWN

RELAYED FROM WFO AMARILLO

0557 PM TORNADO HAMMON 35.63N 99.38W
03/08/2010 ROGER MILLS OK EMERGENCY MNGR

DAMAGE TO SOUTH SIDE OF HAMMON. DAMAGE TO COUNTY BARN AND
4 HOMES. POWER LINES AND POLES DOWNED. TORNADO INITIALLY
DEVELOPED AT APPROXIMATELY 520 PM NORTH OR NORTHWEST OF
ELK CITY AND DISSIPATED AT APPROXIMATELY 600 PM JUST
NORTHEAST OF HAMMON IN CUSTER COUNTY.

0616 PM TORNADO 7 N BUTLER 35.74N 99.19W
03/08/2010 CUSTER OK BROADCAST MEDIA

OCCURRED FROM 616 PM TO 618 PM. LOCATION ESTIMATED.


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