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Central Alabama 7 Day Forecast

First Ever Tornado Emergency Message

| 11:29 pm May 2, 2008 | Comments (3)

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
SVSOKC
OKZ025-027>029-040030-

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
COVER IMMEDIATELY.

DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THIS STORM MAY CONTAIN DESTRUCTIVE HAIL TO
THE SIZE OF BASEBALLS…OR LARGER.

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  1. MsDaisy says:

    Just wondering…how can you post this report about what the storms did after midnight and into the morning that I am reading at 11:30 PM Friday night? I know you probably have deadlines, but at least refrain from appearing to report as fact something that has not happened yet.

    “FOR YOUR SATURDAY: Thunderstorms moved into West Alabama after midnight and proceeded eastward, diminishing in intensity as it went. Some of the storms were on the strong side, but were far weaker generally than their predecessors to the west of Alabama from earlier.”

  2. nswanner says:

    I remember when this was read over the air on the Weather Channel that day. I was in a hotel room with my high school golf team on a tournament trip and there was nothing else on TV but this breaking news story. I will never forget when the meteorologist (think it was Jim Cantore) said this is a very first and read this very statement on the air. Once this was read, one of our players father’s who was in the room with us, who is a local minister, corraled us all in a circle and we prayed for everyone in OKC.

  3. Julie G says:

    What a horrible night that was. This storm passed east of where my sister lived and came very close to the home of a friend (who lived near Tinker AFB at the time). My sister had hail damage to her vehicle; the friend watched the huge funnel pass between her house and the base (about 2 miles apart).

    I’ve seen tornado emergency messages more often recently, esp. during the February outbreak, and they are very useful. But sometimes I wonder why they’re issued, and am concerned that people will begin to ignore them as “more weather hype”.

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