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A Message from Dick Elder, NWS Wichita

Suzanne M. Fortin - Perspectives from a New NWS Forecaster

Dr. Keith Ballard - Rebuilding the Oologah School

Acknowledgements


 Forecast and Warning Products

Forecast and Warning Products from:

National Severe Storms Forecast Center

National Weather Service Office Wichita

National Weather Service Office Norman

National Weather Service Office Tulsa


National Severe Storms Forecast Center

The National Severe Storms Forecast Center – now known as the Storm Prediction Center – issued a severe weather outlook at 2 am indicating a High Risk of severe weather from northern Texas across much of Oklahoma and Kansas and into southeastern Nebraska. A High Risk forecast was somewhat less common in 1991, with only 1 or 2 risks per year, than it is today, owing to lesser technologies than are currently available. Later outlook updates throughout the day continued the High Risk. 

 Severe Weather Outlook Graphic - 2 am CDT April 26, 1991

Public Weather Outlook - 4 am CDT April 26, 1991

Severe Weather Outlook Graphic - 10 am CDT April 26, 1991 

Severe Weather Outlook Graphic - 2 am CDT April 26, 1991

Public Weather Outlook Text - 4 am CDT April 26, 1991

Severe Weather Outlook Graphic - 10 am CDT April 26, 1991

 Severe Weather Outlook Text - 10 am CDT April 26, 1991

Severe Weather Outlook Graphic - 2 pm CDT April 26, 1991 

Severe Weather Outlook Text - 2 pm CDT April 26, 1991 

Severe Weather Outlook Text - 10 am CDT April 26, 1991

Severe Weather Outlook Graphic - 2 pm CDT April 26, 1991

Severe Weather Outlook Text - 2 pm CDT April 26, 1991

The NSSFC issued many Tornado Watches through the day, containing the “Particularly Dangerous Situation” wording. PDS Tornado Watches, as they are commonly referred to, were first used on April 2nd, 1982, and are reserved for days in which there is a high confidence that many very dangerous and damaging tornadoes will occur.

Tornado Watch #182

Tornado Watch #183

Tornado Watch #184

 Tornado Watch #193

Tornado Watch #182

Tornado Watch #183

Tornado Watch #184

Tornado Watch #193

Current Watch and Radar Graphic - 735 pm CDT April 26, 1991

 Tornado Watch #197  Tornado Watch #200

Current Watch and Radar Graphic - 735 pm CDT April 26, 1991

Tornado Watch #197

Tornado Watch #200

 


National Weather Service Office Wichita

A Special Weather Statement issued early the morning of the 26th by the National Weather Service office in Wichita relayed the high risk of severe thunderstorms, urging people to listen for later watches and warnings. The statement also highlighted that the morning thunderstorms ongoing at the time would not be the only thunderstorms that day. 

NWS Wichita Special Weather Statement - 522 am CDT April 26, 1991

Special Weather Statement - NWS Wichita - 522 am CDT April 26, 1991

Severe weather occurred for much of the day across south central Kansas, with the first Severe Thunderstorm Warning coming out of the Wichita office at 6:42 am for Cowley County. The first Tornado Warning for the afternoon and evening storms was issued for portions of Harper and Sumner counties at 5:25 pm. All-in-all, of the 22 counties in the Wichita NWS area of responsibility, 17 were under at least one Severe Thunderstorm Warning and 15 under at least one Tornado Warning on the 26th.

National Weather Service Wichita Tornado Warnings
Time
Counties
5:26 pm - 5:45 pm
northeastern Harper, northwestern Sumner
5:46 pm - 6:15 pm
Sedgwick, northwestern Sumner
6:09 pm - 6:45 pm
eastern Sedgwick
6:25 pm - 7:15 pm
Cowley
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Butler
7:05 pm - 7:45 pm
eastern Cowley, western Elk
7:17 pm - 8:00 pm
northern Butler
7:59 pm - 8:30 pm
northern Elk, southern Greenwood

 NWS Wichita Tornado Warning - 526 pm CDT April 26, 1991

 NWS Wichita Tornado Warning - 546 pm CDT April 26, 1991

 NWS Wichita Tornado Warning - 609 pm CDT April 26, 1991

NWS Wichita Tornado Warning - 625 pm CDT April 26, 1991 

Tornado Warning - NWS Wichita - 526 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Wichita - 546 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Wichita - 609 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Wichita - 625 pm CDT

 NWS Wichita Tornado Warning - 630 pm CDT April 26, 1991

 NWS Wichita Tornado Warning - 705 pm CDT April 26, 1991

 NWS Wichita Tornado Warning - 717 pm CDT April 26, 1991

NWS Wichita Tornado Warning - 759 pm CDT April 26, 1991 

Tornado Warning - NWS Wichita - 630 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Wichita - 705 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Wichita - 717 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Wichita - 759 pm CDT

NWS Wichita NOAA Weather Radio Recordings

Part 1

Part 2

  

National Weather Service Office Norman

The first afternoon Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued by the National Weather Service office in Norman came relatively early in the afternoon at 3:29 pm for a storm in west central Oklahoma. A storm in Grant County in north central Oklahoma earned the first Tornado Warning at 5:26 pm. All of the Norman NWS Tornado Warnings contained the “Radar Indicated” wording, meaning that the warning was issued based on the thunderstorm’s appearance on radar rather than as a result of a tornado report.

National Weather Service Norman Warnings
Time
Warning Type
Counties
3:29 pm - 4:15 pm
SVR
northwest Custer, eastern Dewey
3:56 pm - 4:30 pm
SVR
eastern Major
4:11 pm - 4:45 pm
SVR
northwest Blaine, eastern Dewey
4:23 pm - 5:15 pm
SVR
Alfalfa, eastern Major
4:40 pm - 5:45 pm
SVR
northwest Garfield, Grant
4:44 pm - 5:15 pm
SVR
northern Blaine
5:15 pm - 5:45 pm
SVR
eastern Alfalfa, eastern Major
5:26 pm - 6:00 pm
TOR
Grant
5:42 pm - 6:30 pm
SVR
Garfield
5:50 pm - 6:15 pm
SVR
northwest Kay
5:56 pm - 6:30 pm
TOR
Garfield
6:19 pm - 6:45 pm
TOR
southwest Kay, northwest Noble
6:27 pm - 6:45 pm
TOR
northeast Garfield
6:45 pm - 7:30 pm
TOR
northern Noble
6:50 pm - 7:30 pm
SVR
southern Kay
6:53 pm - 7:45 pm
SVR
Payne
7:15 pm - 8:00 pm
TOR
Payne
8:48 pm - 9:45 pm
SVR
Kay, northwest Noble, eastern Garfield, southeast Grant
9:30 pm - 10:15 pm
SVR
southeast Noble
9:41 pm - 10:15 pm
SVR
eastern Kay
9:57 pm - 11:00 pm
SVR
eastern Logan, Payne


National Weather Service Office Tulsa

Thunderstorm outlooks issued early morning and again early afternoon on the 26th by the National Weather Service office in Tulsa highlighted the dangerous weather conditions expected during the afternoon and evening in eastern Oklahoma. They urged residents and other interested parties to have a heightened awareness during the day due to the likelihood of tornadoes.

 NWS Tulsa Special Weather Statement - 530 am CDT April 26, 1991  NWS Tulsa Special Weather Statement - 130 pm CDT April 26, 1991

 Special Weather Statement - NWS Tulsa - 530 am CDT

 Special Weather Statement - NWS Tulsa - 130 pm CDT

The Tulsa NWS issued its first afternoon Severe Thunderstorm Warning at 6:47 pm for a storm in Osage County. Osage County also received the first Tornado Warning of the night a short time later at 7:14 pm. The Tornado Warning was issued for a storm in Kay and Noble counties that, at the time, was producing the long tracked, violent Red Rock tornado. Although most of the Tornado Warnings were issued because of radar indications, some warnings and statements contained mention of storm spotters seeing tornadoes in the field.

National Weather Service Tulsa Warnings
Time
Warning Type
Counties
6:47 pm - 7:45 pm
SVR
Osage
6:55 pm - 7:30 pm
SVR
Pawnee
7:14 pm - 8:15 pm
TOR
Osage
7:46 pm - 8:45 pm
TOR
Pawnee
8:15 pm - 9:15 pm
SVR
Osage
8:32 pm - 9:30 pm
TOR
Osage
8:46 pm - 9:30 pm
SVR
northern Washington
9:15 pm - 10:15 pm
TOR
northern Tulsa, southern Washington
9:39 pm - 10:45 pm
SVR
southern Nowata, northwestern Rogers
9:44 pm - 10:30 pm
TOR
northern Rogers
10:16 pm - 11:15 pm
SVR
Osage, Pawnee
10:36 pm - 11:45 pm
SVR
Craig
10:49 pm - 11:45 pm
TOR
Craig
11:00 pm - 12:00 am
SVR
Latimer
11:09 pm - 12:00 am
TOR
Ottawa
11:18 pm - 12:15 am
SVR
Creek, Nowata, southeastern Osage, Tulsa, Washington
11:49 pm - 12:30 am
SVR
Okfuskee
11:58 pm - 12:45 am
SVR
Rogers
12:25 am - 1:00 am
TOR
southern Craig, northern Mayes

 NWS Tulsa Tornado Warning - 714 pm CDT April 26, 1991  NWS Tulsa Tornado Warning - 746 pm CDT April 26, 1991

 NWS Tulsa Tornado Warning - 832 pm CDT April 26, 1991

Tornado Warning - NWS Tulsa - 714 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Tulsa - 746 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Tulsa - 832 pm CDT

 NWS Tulsa Tornado Warning - 915 pm CDT April 26, 1991

 NWS Tulsa Tornado Warning - 944 pm CDT April 26, 1991

Tornado Warning - NWS Tulsa - 915 pm CDT

Tornado Warning - NWS Tulsa - 944 pm CDT

 


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