Storms Roll Through Oklahoma With Hail, High Winds

Sep 2, 2014

Classes are canceled in Bartlesville after severe storms swept through the area, knocking out electricity to many areas of the northern Oklahoma city.

The Monday storms also downed tree limbs and power lines in Craig, Osage and Nowata counties. No injuries have been reported.

Bartlesville Public Schools officials say classes are canceled Tuesday at all campuses because of the power outages.

More thunderstorms are in the forecast Tuesday for northern Oklahoma. A flood advisory is in effect for the Tulsa area until mid-morning Tuesday, while a flash flood watch is in effect for extreme northeastern Oklahoma until 1 p.m. Tuesday.

More strong storms are rumbling through the Midwest, with the National Weather Service saying a tornadoes were confirmed in three states and other places seeing heavy rains, large hail and strong winds.

In Oklahoma, regulators said about 9,000 people had lost power near Tulsa.

The Oklahoman’s Silas Allen reports no damage was reported after a tornado touched down in Craig County Monday evening.

The National Weather Service’s Tulsa office issued a tornado warning Monday evening for areas in Craig County including the towns of Hollow and Welch.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Monday, Craig County Emergency Management Director Morris Bluejacket said no damage had been reported. The tornado touched down in a sparsely populated area where few structures would have been in its path, Bluejacket said.

Despite Monday’s severe weather, experts say Oklahoma's extremely cold winter last year and earlier this year likely kept the number of tornadoes this past spring at the state's lowest levels since 1988.

The Tulsa World reports only 13 tornadoes hit the state through June, which is the latest available data.

Greg Carbin with the Storm Prediction Center says only one of those tornadoes — an April tornado in Quapaw that killed one person — had any significance.

Carbin says researchers have found a correlation between especially cold winters or hot summers and low tornado counts.

Oklahoma’s numbers for 2014 are mirrored nationally. Through May, there were only 152 EF1 or stronger tornadoes recorded in the United States, the fewest since 105 were recorded in 2005. The 2014 total is the ninth-lowest figure since 1953, according to National Weather Service data.

Active years nationally, such as 2011 when 741 EF1 or stronger tornadoes were recorded, require a confluence of events that is often rare, Carbin said.

“It’s going to take a number of things,” he said. “It’s not just an active spring (that raises the totals). You have to have an active early spring and an active fall. If you’re going to have high numbers, it has to be all year. If you suppress it for one season, you can suppress the entire year’s total.”

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