Today is the ninth anniversary of one of the worst tornadoes to ever hit the United States: the Oklahoma City tornado.
David Andra, the Science and Operations Officer at the NWS in Norman, Oklahoma watched in horror as one of the most violent tornadoes observed charged toward the Oklahoma City Metro area. Forecasters in the office asked themselves if they were doing all they could do to get the message out to the public. Andra responded by writing the first ever Tornado Emergency Message. The enhanced wording is used in especially threatening situations when a large and damaging tornado is occurring.
WWUS34 KOKC 040004
SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
657 PM CDT MON MAY 3 1999
…TORNADO EMERGENCY IN SOUTH OKLAHOMA CITY METRO AREA…
AT 657 PM CDT…A LARGE TORNADO WAS MOVING ALONG INTERSTATE 44 WEST
OF NEWCASTLE. ON ITS PRESENT PATH…THIS LARGE DAMAGING TORNADO
WILL ENTER SOUTHWEST SECTIONS OF THE OKLAHOMA CITY METRO AREA
BETWEEN 715 PM AND 730 PM. PERSONS IN MOORE AND SOUTH OKLAHOMA CITY
SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE TORNADO PRECAUTIONS!
THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. IF
YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE TORNADO…TAKE
DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THIS STORM MAY CONTAIN DESTRUCTIVE HAIL TO
THE SIZE OF BASEBALLS…OR LARGER.