'It Is Fascinating': Powerful, Backwards Spinning Tornado Hits Tillman County

A rare, powerful tornado hit rural Tillman County and it's making national headlines because of its size and that it spun in the opposite direction of how tornadoes usually spin in the Northern Hemisphere.

Friday, May 3rd 2024, 10:37 pm



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A rare, powerful tornado hit rural Tillman County and it's making national headlines because of its size and that it spun in the opposite direction of how tornadoes usually spin in the Northern Hemisphere.

They say it only happens about 1 percent of the time.

Our Meteorologists say tornadoes that spin in the opposite direction are rare and are usually really weak but this one was incredibly powerful.

It happened Tuesday night in Tillman County, southwest of Lawton, near the towns of Loveland and Hollister.

Meteorologists say this tornado came from a tornado that was rated an EF-1 by the National Weather Service.

Backward spinning tornadoes are referred to by meteorologists as “anti-cyclonic,” while the normally spinning ones are called “cyclonic.”

Tornadoes in the Northern Hemisphere usually spin counterclockwise, and tornadoes in the Southern Hemisphere spin clockwise.

This one spun clockwise.

Our meteorologists say these types of tornadoes usually only happen a handful of times across the country during storm season.

They say it’s especially unusual to see one so strong.

"It is fascinating,” said Meteorologist Stephen Nehrenz. “From a purely, scientific standpoint. It doesn't happen that often. It's not unprecedented, but it doesn't happen that often. When it does, and especially when it's in an instance when people are not being impacted by it."

No one was hurt in this tornado and it mostly went over empty fields, but meteorologists say if it had hit a populated area, it would have been devastating.

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