1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak

The 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak was a significant tornado outbreak that affected much of the Central and parts of the Eastern United States, producing the highest record-breaking wind speeds of 301 ± 20 mph (484 ± 32 km/h). During this week-long event, 154 tornadoes touched down (including one in Canada), more than half of them on May 3 and 4 when activity reached its peak over Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Arkansas.

The most significant tornado first touched down southwest of Chickasha, Oklahoma, and became an F5 before dissipating near Midwest City. The tornado tore through southern and eastern parts of Oklahoma City and its suburbs of Bridge Creek, Moore, Del City, Tinker Air Force Base and Midwest City, killing 36 people, destroying more than 8,000 homes, and causing $1.5 billion in damage. With a total of 72 tornadoes, it was the most prolific tornado outbreak in Oklahoma history, although not the deadliest.

1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak
Dszpics1
A tornado near Anadarko, Oklahoma, on May 3
TypeTornado outbreak
DurationMay 2–8, 1999
Tornadoes confirmed152
Max rating1F5 tornado
Duration of tornado outbreak27 days
Highest winds
Largest hail4.5 in (11 cm) in diameter (multiple locations on May 3)[3]
Damage$1.4 billion[4]
Fatalities50 fatalities (+7 non-tornadic), 895 injuries
Areas affectedCentral and Eastern United States
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale 2Time from first tornado to last tornado

Meteorological synopsis

Meteorological setup of the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak
A map of the meteorological setup of the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. The map displays surface and upper level atmospheric features associated with the outbreak.

The outbreak was caused by a vigorous upper-level trough that moved into the Central and Southern Plains states on the morning of May 3. That morning, low stratus clouds overspread much of Oklahoma, with clear skies along and west of a dry line located from Gage to Childress, Texas. Air temperatures at 7:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time ranged in the mid to upper 60s °F (upper 10s to near 20 °C) across the region, while dew point values ranged in the low to mid 60s °F (mid to upper 10s °C).[5] The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma, a division of the National Weather Service, initially issued a slight risk of severe thunderstorms early that morning stretching from the Kansas-Nebraska border to parts of southern Texas, with an intended threat of large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.[6]

Radar May 3, 1999 KTLX (small)
Depicts radar imagery (reflectivity) taken by the National Weather Service NEXRAD radar, KTLX, in Central Oklahoma during the May 1999 tornado outbreak. This imagery is from May 3. (Click for high-quality.)

By late morning, the low cloud cover began to dissipate in advance of the dry line, but during the afternoon hours high cirrus clouds overspread the region, resulting in filtered sunshine in some areas that caused atmospheric destabilization. The sunshine and heating, combined with abundant low-level moisture, combined to produce a very unstable air mass. Upper air balloon soundings observed strong directional wind shear, cooling temperatures at high atmospheric levels, and the increased potential of CAPE values potentially exceeding 4000 J/kg, levels that are considered favorable for supercells and tornadoes.

As observations and forecasts began to indicate an increasing likelihood of widespread severe weather conditions even more favorable for strong tornadoes, the SPC issued a moderate risk of severe weather at 11:15 a.m. CDT for portions of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas along and near the Interstate 40 corridor.[7] By 3:00 p.m. CDT, it had become evident that a widespread severe weather event was imminent; the Storm Prediction Center upgraded locations within the moderate risk area to a high risk of severe weather around 4:00 p.m. CDT as wind shear profiles, combined with volatile atmospheric conditions, had made conditions highly conducive for a significant tornadic event across most of Oklahoma, southern Kansas and north Texas, including the likelihood of violent, damaging tornadoes.[7] The SPC issued a tornado watch by mid-afternoon as conditions gathered together for what would be a historic tornado outbreak. By the time thunderstorms began developing in the late-afternoon hours, CAPE values over the region had reached to near 6,000 J/kg. Large supercell thunderstorms developed and in the late afternoon through the mid-evening hours of that Monday, tornadoes began to break out across the state.

Notable tornadoes

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 73 44 20 10 4 1 152
  • Note: The above amount refers to the rest of the outbreak, not just the ones confirmed in Oklahoma.

Bridge Creek–Moore, Oklahoma

Tornadic classic supercell radar
Oklahoma City NEXRAD image at 7:12 pm. The radar shows a classic hook echo at the location of the Bridge Creek/Moore tornado.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. CDT, a severe thunderstorm began forming in Tillman County in southwestern Oklahoma; a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for this storm by the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Norman at 4:15 p.m. CDT. The storm quickly developed supercell characteristics and began exhibiting potentially tornadic rotation, resulting in the National Weather Service issuing the first tornado warning of the event for Comanche, Caddo and Grady counties approximately 35 minutes later at 4:50 p.m. CDT.

The first tornado from this supercell touched down 7 miles (11 km) east-northeast of Medicine Park at 4:51 p.m. CDT; it produced four additional tornadoes as it tracked northeast into Caddo County, the strongest of which (rated as an F3) touched down 2 miles (3.2 km) west-southwest of Laverty and dissipated 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west-northwest of downtown Chickasha. This large tornado had exhibited a companion satellite tornado for a few minutes.[8]

The storm produced the most significant tornado of the outbreak, which touched down just southwest of the Grady County community of Amber at 6:23 p.m. CDT and headed northeast, parallel to Interstate 44, just after another tornado had passed over the airport in Chickasha. The storm continued moving northeast, destroying the community of Bridge Creek and crossing I-44 just north of Newcastle. The tornado then crossed the Canadian River, passing into far southern Oklahoma City. As it passed over Bridge Creek, around 6:54 p.m., a Doppler On Wheels mobile Doppler weather radar detected wind speeds of 301 ± 20 mph (484 ± 32 km/h) inside the tornado at an elevation of 105 ft (32 m).[9] These winds, however, occurred above the ground, and winds at the surface may not have been quite this intense. The tornado continued on into Moore, then passed over the intersection of Shields Boulevard and Interstate 35 and back into Oklahoma City, crossing Interstate 240 near Bryant Avenue. The storm then turned more northerly, striking parts of Del City and Tinker Air Force Base near Sooner Road as an F4. The storm damaged and/or destroyed several businesses, homes and churches in Midwest City. Some damage in this area was rated as high-end F4, although F5 was considered. The tornado diminished over Midwest City and finally lifted near the intersection of Reno Avenue and Woodcrest Drive.

36 people died in this tornado,[10] and over 8,000 homes were badly damaged or destroyed. The tornado caused $1 billion in damage, making it the second-costliest tornado in U.S. history,[11] and the most costly in history from 1999 to 2011, at which point it was surpassed by the 2011 Tuscaloosa–Birmingham tornado and again by the 2011 Joplin tornado. It was also the deadliest tornado to hit the U.S. since the April 10, 1979 F4 tornado that hit Wichita Falls, Texas, which killed 42 people.[12]

Cimarron City–Mulhall–Perry, Oklahoma

Tornado near Minco, Oklahoma - NOAA
Tornado near Minco.
Outbreak Death Toll
State Fatalities County County total
Kansas 6 Sedgwick 6
Oklahoma 40 Cleveland 11
Grady 12
Kingfisher 1
Logan 1
McClain 1
Payne 1
Pottawatomie 1
Oklahoma 12
Tennessee 3 Perry 3
Texas 1 Titus 1
Totals 50
All deaths were tornado-related

Late in the evening on May 3 at 9:25 p.m. CDT, a destructive tornado touched down 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of Cimarron City in Logan County, Oklahoma, eventually hitting the town of Mulhall, located north of Guthrie. This wedge tornado, which tracked a 35-mile (56 km) path, was very wide and at times exceeded one mile (1.6 km) in width. According to storm chasing meteorologist Roger Edwards, it may have been as violent or more than the F5 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado (however, it was officially rated as an F4).[13]

A Doppler On Wheels (DOW) mobile radar observed this tornado as it crossed Mulhall. The DOW documented the largest-ever-observed core flow circulation with a distance of 1,600 m (5,200 ft) between peak velocities on either side of the tornado, and a roughly 7 km (4.3 mi) width of peak wind gusts exceeding 43 m/s (96 mph), making the Mulhall tornado the largest tornado ever measured quantitatively.[14] The DOW measured a complex multi-vortex structure,[15] with several vortices containing winds of up to 115 m/s (260 mph) rotating around the tornado. The 3D structure of the tornado has been analyzed in a 2005 article in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences by Wen-Chau Lee and Joshua Wurman.[16] The tornado severely damaged or destroyed approximately 60–70% of the 130 homes in Mulhall, destroying the Mulhall/Orlando Elementary School and toppling the city's water tower.

After the tornado dissipated at approximately 10:45 p.m. CDT in southeastern Noble County, 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Perry, many of the same areas of Logan County struck by the Mulhall tornado were hit again by an F3 tornado produced by a separate supercell that touched down 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of Crescent at 11:33 p.m. CDT. Damage caused by this tornado was indistinguishable from damage caused by the earlier F4 tornado. 25 homes were destroyed and 30 others were damaged near Crescent, with much of the damage believed to have been caused by both tornadoes.

Stroud, Oklahoma

At 10:10 p.m. CDT, a damaging tornado touched down 3 miles (4.8 km) north-northeast of Sparks in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, with only sporadic tree damage occurring as it tracked north-northeast toward Davenport. Scattered damage of high-end F0 to low-end F1 intensity occurred to some homes and businesses on the southeast side of Davenport, though a house located just south of town lost more than half of its roof. As the tornado continued to track northeast, parallel with Interstate 44 and State Highway 66, Stroud took a direct hit as the storm intensified to F2 strength; the trucking terminal of the Sygma food distribution warehouse on the west side of town was destroyed with some girders and siding from the warehouse thrown northwest across State Highway 66, and the Stroud Municipal Hospital suffered significant roof damage, which resulted in significant water damage within the building. The most severe damage, consistent with an F3 tornado, occurred at the Tanger Outlet Mall at 10:39 p.m. CDT with almost all of the stores suffering roof damage at minimum, though sections of seven storefronts were destroyed and the exterior walls of the Levi's store were collapsed inward. The mall was evacuated in advance of the tornado, resulting in no injuries or loss of life in the building. The tornado finally dissipated 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Stroud Lake at 11:48 p.m. CDT.

While there were no fatalities overall in Stroud, the economic impact of the tornado has been compared to the loss of Tinker Air Force Base, General Motors, and a major regional hospital for the Stroud region as compared to Oklahoma City at that time. Approximately 800 jobs were lost in a community of approximately 3,400 people due to the damage of the Sygma distribution warehouse and Tanger Outlet Mall, neither of which were rebuilt.[17] Stroud's recovery was later complicated by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, although the town has since recovered as a result of higher oil and gas prices. Local leading industries include Service King, an oilfield manufacturing facility, and Mint Turbines, a helicopter engine reconditioning facility. Stroud is also now a downloading facility location for oil produced in the northern United States into the Cushing pipeline network.

Other tornadoes

The May 3 tornado event was part of a three-day event that included tornadoes in the states of Kansas, Texas and Tennessee. A deadly F4 tornado that tracked 24 miles (39 km) across south-central Kansas killed six people in Haysville and Wichita during the late evening of May 3. Other fatalities during the event included one person killed in Texas on May 4 by an F3 tornado that tracked 71.5 miles (115.1 km) from near Winfield, Texas, to southwest of Mineral Springs, Arkansas, and three people killed in Tennessee on May 5 and 6 by an F4 tornado that struck the town of Linden.[18]

Non-tornadic events

Flash flooding killed one person in Camden County, Missouri, on May 4.[19] On May 6, lightning struck and killed a man in Cobbtown, Georgia.[20]

Aftermath

Disaster assistance

Structural damage in Oklahoma[21]
Oklahoma and
Cleveland Counties
Other
counties
Homes destroyed 1,780 534
Homes damaged 6,550 878
Businesses destroyed 85 79
Businesses damaged 42 54
Public buildings destroyed 4 7
Apartments destroyed 473 568

On May 3–4, the day after the initial outbreak event, President Bill Clinton signed a federal disaster declaration for eleven Oklahoma counties. In a press statement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), then-director James Lee Witt stated that "The President is deeply concerned about the tragic loss of life and destruction caused by these devastating storms."[22] The American Red Cross opened ten shelters overnight, housing 1,600 people immediately following the disaster, decreasing to 500 people by May 5. On May 5, several emergency response and damage assessment teams from FEMA were deployed to the region. The United States Department of Defense deployed the 249th Engineering Battalion and placed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on standby for assistance. Medical and mortuary teams were also sent by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.[23] By May 6, donation centers and phone banks were being established to create funds for victims of the tornadoes.[24] Within the first few days of the disaster declaration, relief funds were sent to families requesting aid. Roughly $180,000 had been approved by FEMA for disaster housing assistance by May 9.[25]

Debris removal began on May 12 as seven cleanup teams were sent to the region with more teams expected to join over the following days.[26] That day, FEMA also granted seven Oklahoma counties (Canadian, Craig, Grady, Lincoln, Logan, Noble and Oklahoma) eligibility for federal financial assistance.[27] Roughly $1.6 million in disaster funds had been approved for housing and businesses loans by May 13,[28] increasing to more than $5.9 million over the following five days.[29] Applications for federal aid continued through June, with state aid approvals reaching $54 million on June 3. According to FEMA, more than 9,500 Oklahoma residents applied for federal aid during the allocated period in the wake of the tornadoes, including 3,800 in Oklahoma County and 3,757 in Cleveland County. Disaster recovery aid for the tornadoes totaled to roughly $67.8 million by July 2.[30]

Concerns with using overpasses as storm shelters

From a meteorological and safety standpoint, the tornado called into question the use of highway overpasses as shelters from tornadoes. Prior to the events on May 3, 1999, videos of people taking shelter in overpasses during tornadoes in the past (such as an infamous video from the April 26, 1991 tornado outbreak taken by a news crew from Wichita NBC affiliate KSNW) created public misunderstanding and complacency that overpasses provided adequate shelter from tornadoes. Although meteorologists had questioned the safety of these structures for nearly 20 years, there had been no evidence supporting incidents involving loss of life.[31] Three overpasses were directly struck by tornadoes during the May 3 outbreak, resulting in fatalities at each location. Two occurred as a result of the Bridge Creek–Moore F5, while the third occurred in rural Payne County, which was struck by an F2 tornado.[32] According to a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, seeking shelter in an overpass "is to become a stationary target for flying debris"; the wind channeling effect that occurs within these structures along with an increase in wind speeds above ground level, changing of wind direction when the tornado vortex passes, and the fact most overpasses do not have girders for people to take shelter between also provide little to no protection.[33]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Doppler On Wheels". 3 May 1999. Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Tennessee Event Report: Thunderstorm Wind". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  3. ^ "Storm Events Database: May 2–8, 1999 Hail 4.00 in and Larger". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Storm Events Database: May 2–7, 1999 Tornadoes". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  5. ^ Meteorological Summary of the Great Plains Tornado Outbreak of May 3-4, 1999
  6. ^ "Severe Weather Outlook at 6:30 a.m. CDT on May 3, 1999".
  7. ^ a b "Severe Weather Outlook at 11:15 a.m. CDT on May 3, 1999".
  8. ^ Wurman, Joshua; K. Kosiba (2013). "Finescale Radar Observations of Tornado and Mesocyclone Structures". Weather Forecast. 28 (5): 1157–74. Bibcode:2013WtFor..28.1157W. doi:10.1175/WAF-D-12-00127.1.
  9. ^ "Doppler On Wheels". Center for Severe Weather Research. 2010. Archived from the original on February 5, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
  10. ^ Service, US Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather. "The Great Plains Tornado Outbreak of May 3-4, 1999 - Storm A Information". www.weather.gov.
  11. ^ However, adjustment for growth in wealth shows the May 27, 1896 Saint Louis–East Saint Louis tornado to be the costliest on record. See Brooks, Harold E.; Doswell III; Charles A. (2001). "Normalized Damage from Major Tornadoes in the United States: 1890–1999". Weather and Forecasting. 16 (1): 168–176. Bibcode:2001WtFor..16..168B. doi:10.1175/1520-0434(2001)016<0168:NDFMTI>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0434.
  12. ^ Brooks, Harold E.; Doswell III; Charles A. (2002). "Deaths in the 3 May 1999 Oklahoma City Tornado from a Historical Perspective". Weather and Forecasting. 17 (3): 354–361. Bibcode:2002WtFor..17..354B. doi:10.1175/1520-0434(2002)017<0354:DITMOC>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0434.
  13. ^ "Central Oklahoma Tornado Intercept: 3 May 1999 (Roger Edwards)". www.stormeyes.org.
  14. ^ Wurman, Joshua; C. Alexander; P. Robinson; Y. Richardson (January 2007). "Low-Level Winds in Tornadoes and Potential Catastrophic Tornado Impacts in Urban Areas". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. American Meteorological Society. 88 (1): 31–46. Bibcode:2007BAMS...88...31W. doi:10.1175/BAMS-88-1-31. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
  15. ^ Wurman, Joshua (June 2002). "The Multiple-Vortex Structure of a Tornado". Weather Forecast. 17 (3): 473–505. Bibcode:2002WtFor..17..473W. doi:10.1175/1520-0434(2002)017<0473:TMVSOA>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0434.
  16. ^ Lee, Wen-Chau; J. Wurman (July 2005). "Diagnosed Three-Dimensional Axisymmetric Structure of the Mulhall Tornado on 3 May 1999". J. Atmos. Sci. 62 (7): 2373–93. Bibcode:2005JAtS...62.2373L. doi:10.1175/JAS3489.1.
  17. ^ "History of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com.
  18. ^ "Linden F4 Tornado of May 5, 1999". Srh.noaa.gov. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  19. ^ "Missouri Event Report: Flash Flood". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  20. ^ "Georgia Event Report: Lightning". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  21. ^ "The 1999 Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak: 10-Year Retrospective" (PDF). Risk Management Solutions. 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  22. ^ "President Declares Major Disaster for Oklahoma". Federal Emergency Management Agency. May 4, 1999. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  23. ^ "Oklahoma/Kansas Tornado Disaster Update". Federal Emergency Management Agency. May 5, 1999. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  24. ^ "Plains States Tornado Update". Federal Emergency Management Agency. May 6, 1999. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  25. ^ "First Checks Approved for Oklahoma Storm Victims". Federal Emergency Management Agency. May 9, 1999. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  26. ^ "Debris Removal Underway in Oklahoma City, Mulhall, and Choctaw; Stroud Set for Thursday". Federal Emergency Management Agency. May 12, 1999. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  27. ^ "Seven Oklahoma Counties Get Expanded Disaster Assistance". Federal Emergency Management Agency. May 12, 1999. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  28. ^ "Oklahoma Tornado Disaster Update". Federal Emergency Management Agency. May 13, 1999. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  29. ^ "Oklahoma Disaster Recovery News Summary". Federal Emergency Management Agency. May 18, 1999. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  30. ^ "Almost 9,500 Oklahomans Register For Disaster Recovery Aid More Than $67.8 Million In Grants And Loans Approved". Federal Emergency Management Agency. July 7, 1999. Archived from the original on June 8, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  31. ^ Daniel J. Miller; Charles A. Doswell III; Harold E. Brooks; Gregory J. Stumpf; Erik Rasmussen (1999). "Highway Overpasses as Tornado Shelters". National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma. p. 1. Archived from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  32. ^ Daniel J. Miller; Charles A. Doswell III; Harold E. Brooks; Gregory J. Stumpf; Erik Rasmussen (1999). "Highway Overpasses as Tornado Shelters: Events on May 3, 1999". National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma. p. 5. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  33. ^ Daniel J. Miller; Charles A. Doswell III; Harold E. Brooks; Gregory J. Stumpf; Erik Rasmussen (1999). "Highway Overpasses as Tornado Shelters: Highway Overpasses Are Inadequate Tornado Sheltering Areas". National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma. p. 6. Retrieved October 3, 2010.

External links

1905 Snyder tornado

The 1905 Snyder, Oklahoma, tornado was a powerful tornado that struck the town of Snyder, Oklahoma, in Kiowa County on Wednesday, May 10, 1905. The event was one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the state of Oklahoma. According to National Weather Service data, the cyclone killed 97 people, although the real death toll is not known because several missing people were not accounted for or found in the following days and weeks. The tornado was part of a larger, multiple-day tornado outbreak that hit several states across the Midwestern United States, including Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado

The 1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado (locally referred to as the May 3rd tornado) was an extremely powerful F5 tornado in which the highest wind speeds ever measured globally were recorded at 301 ± 20 miles per hour (484 ± 32 km/h) by a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar. The tornado devastated southern portions of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, along with surrounding suburbs and towns during the early evening of Monday, May 3, 1999. The tornado covered 38 miles (61 km) during its 85-minute existence, destroying thousands of homes, killing 36 people (plus an additional five indirectly), and leaving US$1 billion (1999 USD) in damage, ranking it as the fifth-costliest on record, not accounting for inflation.The tornado first touched down at 6:23 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) in Grady County, Oklahoma, roughly two miles (3.2 km) south-southwest of Amber, Oklahoma. It quickly intensified into a violent F4, and gradually reached F5 status after traveling 6.5 miles (10.5 km), at which time it struck the town of Bridge Creek. It fluctuated in strength, ranging from F2 to F5 status before it crossed into Cleveland County where it reached F5 intensity for a third time shortly before entering the city of Moore. By 7:30 p.m., the tornado crossed into Oklahoma County and battered southeastern Oklahoma City, Del City, and Midwest City before dissipating around 7:48 p.m. just outside Midwest City. A total of 8,132 homes, 1,041 apartments, 260 businesses, 11 public buildings, and 7 churches were damaged or destroyed.

Large-scale search and rescue operations immediately took place in the affected areas. A major disaster declaration was signed by President Bill Clinton the following day (May 4) allowing the state to receive federal aid. In the following months, disaster aid amounted to $67.8 million. Reconstruction projects in subsequent years led to a safer, tornado-ready community. In May 2013, similar areas adjacent to the 1999 storm's track were again devastated by an EF5 tornado, resulting in 24 fatalities and extreme damage in the South Oklahoma City/Moore area.

1999 in the United States

Events from the year 1999 in the United States.

Breaking news

Breaking news, interchangeably termed late-breaking news and also known as a special report or special coverage or news flash, is a current issue that broadcasters feel warrants the interruption of scheduled programming and/or current news in order to report its details. Its use is also assigned to the most significant story of the moment or a story that is being covered live. It could be a story that is simply of wide interest to viewers and has little impact otherwise. Many times, breaking news is used after the news organization has already reported on the story. When a story has not been reported on previously, the graphic and phrase "Just In" is sometimes used instead.

Interstate 44

Interstate 44 (I-44) is a major Interstate Highway in the central United States. Although it is nominally an east-west road as it is even-numbered, it follows a more southwest-northeast alignment. Its western terminus is in Wichita Falls, Texas at a concurrency with U.S. Route 277 (US 277), US 281, and U.S. Route 287 in Texas; its eastern terminus is at I-70 in St. Louis, Missouri. I-44 is one of five interstates built to bypass U.S. Route 66; this highway covers the section between Oklahoma City and St. Louis.

Virtually the entire length of I-44 east of Springfield, Missouri was once US 66, which was upgraded from two to four lanes from 1949 to 1955. The section of I-44 west of Springfield was built farther south than US 66 in order to connect Missouri's section with the already completed Will Rogers Turnpike, which Oklahoma wished to carry their part of I-44.

List of Storm Prediction Center high risk days

A high risk severe weather event is the greatest threat level issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) for convective weather events in the United States. High risks are issued only a few times a year when forecasters at the SPC are confident that a major severe weather outbreak, namely tornadoes and occasionally derechoes, will occur on the given day. These are typically reserved for the most extreme events.Limited details are available for days before the late 1990s, and it is probable that there were additional high risk days with no online documentation, especially in the 1980s.

List of tornadoes in the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak

From May 2 to 8, 1999, a large tornado outbreak took place across much of the Central and parts of the Eastern United States, as well as southern Canada. During this week-long event, 152 tornadoes touched down in these areas. The most dramatic events unfolded during the afternoon of May 3 through the early morning hours of May 4 when more than half of these storms occurred. Oklahoma experienced its largest tornado outbreak on record, with 70 confirmed. The most notable of these was the F5 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado which devastated Oklahoma City and suburban communities. The tornado killed 36 people and injured 583 others; losses amounted to $1 billion, making it the first billion-dollar tornado in history. Overall, 50 people lost their lives during the outbreak and damage amounted to $1.4 billion.On May 2, a strong area of low pressure moved out of the Rocky Mountains and into the High Plains, producing scattered severe weather and ten tornadoes in Nebraska. The following day, atmospheric conditions across Oklahoma became significantly more favorable for an outbreak of severe weather. Wind profiles across the region strongly favored tornadic activity, with the Storm Prediction Center stating, "it became more obvious something major was looming" by the afternoon hours. Numerous supercell thunderstorms developed across the state as well as bordering areas in Kansas and Texas. Over the following 48 hours, May 3–4, 116 tornadoes touched down across the Central United States. Following the extensive outbreak, activity became increasingly scattered from May 5 to 8, with 26 tornadoes touching down across the Eastern United States and Quebec.

Local Access Alert

The Local Access Alert was a national warning system in the United States designed to warn cable television viewers of impending dangers, such as tornadoes, flash flooding and other civil emergencies. The system was largely replaced by the Emergency Alert System, although it still exists in some areas which have not yet upgraded.

Oklahoma tornado outbreak

Numerous tornado outbreaks have occurred in Oklahoma since modern records have been kept.

Oklahoma tornado outbreak may refer to:

Tornado outbreak of May 10, 1905, including the 1905 Snyder tornado, the second-deadliest tornado in Oklahoma history

Tornado outbreak of April 27–29, 1912, a prolific outbreak featuring several strong-to-violent tornadoes

1947 Glazier–Higgins–Woodward tornadoes, the deadliest tornado event in Oklahoma history and the sixth-deadliest in U.S. history

1948 Tinker Air Force Base tornadoes, an event featuring the first-ever official tornado forecast

1955 Great Plains tornado outbreak, an outbreak featuring several tornadoes throughout Oklahoma, including the destructive Blackwell tornado

Tornado outbreak of April 26, 1991, an outbreak featuring numerous violent tornadoes in northern Oklahoma

1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, the most prolific tornado outbreak in Oklahoma history

Tornado outbreak sequence of May 21–26, 2011, an outbreak featuring numerous violent tornadoes in the state

Tornado outbreak of May 18–21, 2013, including the 2013 Moore tornado, the third-costliest tornado on record

Tornado outbreak of May 26–31, 2013, including the 2013 El Reno tornado, the widest tornado on record

Pink, Oklahoma

Pink is a town in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, United States, and is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. The only town in the United States bearing this name, Pink lies within the boundaries of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. The 2010 census population was 2,058, a 76.7 percent increase from 1,165 at the 2000 census.The town name of Pink may have been chosen because it is complementary to Brown (now part of Pink), which was located a few miles east in the same township and range. This would be an example of the "twin name fad" in Pottawatomie County, like the towns of Romulus and Remus. Oral history suggests that the town name was in honor of a local resident named Pink. A survey of the 1910 Census does list some inhabitants bearing a first or middle name of “Pink" which was an occasional given name for men during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Radius of maximum wind

The radius of maximum wind (RMW) is the distance between the center of a cyclone and its band of strongest winds. It is a parameter in atmospheric dynamics and tropical cyclone forecasting. The highest rainfall rates occur near the RMW of tropical cyclones. The extent of a cyclone's storm surge and its maximum potential intensity can be determined using the RMW. As maximum sustained winds increase, the RMW decreases. Recently, RMW has been used in descriptions of tornadoes. When designing buildings to prevent against failure from atmospheric pressure change, RMW can be used in the calculations.

Red Rock, Oklahoma

Red Rock (Otoe: Íno Súje pronounced [ĩꜜno suꜜdʒɛ], meaning "Rock Red") is a town in northern Noble County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 283 at the 2010 census, a decline from 293 at the 2000 census. The headquarters of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians is located in Red Rock.

Satellite tornado

A satellite tornado is a tornado that rotates around a larger, primary tornado and interacts with the same mesocyclone. Satellite tornadoes occur apart from the primary tornado and are not considered subvortices; the primary tornado and satellite tornadoes are considered to be separate tornadoes. The cause of satellite tornadoes is not known. Such tornadoes are more often anticyclonic than are typical tornadoes and these pairs may be referred to as tornado couplets. Satellite tornadoes most commonly form in association with very large and intense tornadoes.Satellite tornadoes are relatively uncommon. When a satellite tornado does occur, there is often more than one orbiting satellite spawned during the life cycle of the tornado or with successive primary tornadoes spawned by the parent supercell (a process known as cyclic tornadogenesis and leading to a tornado family). On tornado outbreak days, if satellite tornadoes occur with one supercell, there is an elevated probability of their occurrence with other supercells.Satellite tornadoes may merge into their companion tornado although often the appearance of this occurring is an illusion caused when an orbiting tornado revolves around the backside of a primary tornado obscuring view of the satellite. During the March 1990 Central United States tornado outbreak, one member of a tornado family (rated F5) constricted and became a satellite tornado of the next tornado of the family before merging into the new primary tornado which soon also intensified to F5.Some examples of tornado couplets include the Tri-State Tornado, the Chickasha tornado during the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, the 2007 Greensburg tornado, and the 2013 El Reno tornado. Satellite tornadoes are more likely to be recognized in recent decades than in the far past as eyewitness accounts as well as damage survey information are often available for later events. The advent of storm chasing, in particular, boosts the likelihood that satellite tornadoes are noticed visually and/or on mobile radar. These tornadoes may remain over open country and thus cause less structural damage and consequently are less widely known. Such examples include near Beloit, Kansas on 15 May 1990 and during Project VORTEX near Allison, Texas on 8 June 1995, among other events.

Storm Stories

Storm Stories was a non-fiction television series that aired on The Weather Channel (TWC) and Zone Reality. It was hosted and narrated by meteorologist and storm tracker Jim Cantore. Storm Stories showcased various types of severe weather, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards. Each episode featured a famous severe storm, and survivors of it sharing their experiences. The program also featured footage of the storm if it is available, but typically a re-enactment was used instead. The video of the storm was often shown while the survivors offer their accounts of it. Often, TWC would air a special week dedicated to one specific type of storm.

Storm Stories was produced by Towers Productions. A syndicated version of Storm Stories is distributed by Litton Entertainment to television stations around the country. The syndicated version includes co-branding opportunities for stations to place, within the program, their local weather anchors, who are usually shown discussing the topic of the episode, and current news. Some syndicated episodes never aired on TWC. In 2009, NBCUniversal (which owns TWC) announced that it would begin handling sales of all of the national ads on Litton's syndicated shows, including Storm Stories.

Stroud, Oklahoma

Stroud is a city in Creek and Lincoln counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,690.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Oklahoma

As of 2017, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 47,349 members, eight stakes, 93 congregations (71 wards and 22 branches), one mission, and one temple in Oklahoma.The history of the denomination in what would become Oklahoma begins in the 1840s and the Indian Territory Mission was created and placed under the leadership of George Miller in 1855. The first temple in Oklahoma was dedicated in 2000.

The eight stakes based in Oklahoma are located in Bartlesville, Lawton, Norman, Oklahoma City, Stillwater and Tulsa.

Timothy P. Marshall

Timothy Patrick Marshall (born October 17, 1956) is an American structural and forensic engineer as well as meteorologist, concentrating on damage analysis, particularly that from wind and other weather phenomena. He is also a pioneering storm chaser and was editor of Storm Track magazine.

Tornado myths

Tornado myths are incorrect beliefs about tornadoes, which can be attributed to many factors, including stories and news reports told by people unfamiliar with tornadoes, sensationalism by news media, and the presentation of incorrect information in popular entertainment. Common myths cover various aspects of the tornado, and include ideas about tornado safety, the minimization of tornado damage, and false assumptions about the size, shape, power, and path of the tornado itself.

Some people incorrectly believe that opening windows ahead of a tornado will reduce the damage from the storm, but this is not true. Some people also believe that escaping in a vehicle is the safest method of avoiding a tornado, but this could increase the danger in some situations. Other myths are that tornadoes can skip houses, always travel in a predictable direction, always extend visibly from the ground to the cloud, and increase in intensity with increasing width. Finally, some people believe that tornadoes only occur in North America, do not occur in winter, are attracted to trailer park homes, or that some areas are protected from tornadoes by rivers, mountains, valleys, tall buildings or other geographical or man-made features; the truth is that tornadoes can occur almost anywhere at any time if the conditions are right. Some geographic areas are simply more prone to these conditions than others.

Some tornado myths are remaining bits of folklore which are passed down by word of mouth. The idea that the southwest corner of a structure is the safest place in a tornado was first published in the 1800s and persisted until the 1990s despite being thoroughly debunked in the 1960s and 70s. One notable instance of mass media spreading a tornado myth was after the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, where TIME magazine ran a caption on a picture suggesting that highway overpasses were safer tornado shelters than houses. The spread of some myths can be attributed to popular tornado-themed movies such as The Wizard of Oz and Twister.

Ultimate Tornado

Ultimate Tornado is a documentary that first aired on the National Geographic Channel on April 12, 2006. It focuses on several unusually violent tornado events that have occurred in the United States, which include the 2004 Attica, Kansas tornado outbreak (F2-F4), the 1995 Pampa, Texas tornado (F4), the Jarrell tornado outbreak (F5), and the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak (F5).

It last examined the possible effects of a theoretical F6 tornado hitting downtown Dallas, Texas, postulating that this would be the worst tornado in history in terms of cost, damage, destruction and loss of life.

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