These Two Years... Part II

Saturday, December 31st 2011, 9:09 pm
By: News 9

These Two Years… Part II

As I was thinking about what to include inside Part II here, it came to me this might turn into a three part series.  I've been reflecting more and more on the weather over the past two years and just the number of events might extend this series for one more week.  

Now where did we leave off last time?  Oh yes, heading into a very active spring season after winter decided to give us everything it had.

It started with the infamous tornado outbreak on May 10, 2010.  I don't want to laden you with a lot of facts but rather my experience through the event as it was my first storm season at News 9.  As you can most likely imagine, severe weather events can be pretty chaotic.  Working in a TV market where severe weather impacts so many people, and this being my first big severe event, I was both and excited and a little nervous.  This event lived up to the billing and spawned two EF4 tornadoes in central Oklahoma. (Moore/Lake Draper/Harrah & Norman/Little Axe/Pink – and actually the east side of Lake Thunderbird, close to a lot of my friends!)  The storm motion itself was a little out of the ordinary as well, with some storms moving as fast as 50 to 60 mph.  Not the wind speed, but the actual motion of the storm.  That's not typical for severe thunderstorms.  A lot goes into warning viewers about tornadoes.  That responsibility becomes even more important when the storms are moving so quickly.  My first big severe weather event at News 9 will not be one soon forgotten.  

We'll wrap up Part 2 (Three-part series?  Heck, maybe four!) with an event that happened not one week after the May 10 tornadoes.  Believe it or not, I remember the May 16 hailstorm MUCH more vividly than the tornadoes just six days prior.  It was on kind of a lazy Sunday afternoon.  A huge, monster of a thunderstorm developed in southwestern Major county early that afternoon and, while not tornadic, packing plenty of punch.  We tracked the storm as it dropped baseball-size hail just north of Watonga, then south of Kingfisher and eventually, right through north Oklahoma City.  I say I remember this storm vividly because when it was as its strongest, the storm dropped softball-size hail on top of my apartment complex and only golf ball-size hail 5 miles northeast at News 9.  I'm thankful I was at work covering the storm and only had a few dents on my car.  The scene at my complex was MUCH different.  As the storm dissipated, I drove back home and was greeted with what looked like a war zone.  My jaw never dropped like it did when I drove up.  If your car was outside, depending on where it was parked, was likely missing a window or two.  Most of the back windshields were busted completely out or close to it.  You could tell the hail was the size of softballs just by the size of the dents in the car and the indentions in the windshields… well, the windshields that survived.  The largest hailstones measured were around 4.25" … right over my apartment complex.

2010's spring season was a memorable one outside those two main events.  While all the other events I don't have the time or space to talk about here, those two big ones are the ones I'll be telling my kids about.

I'll try to wrap this up with the next installment.  Remember me saying I can get long-winded at times?  The proof is on the page.  :) Up next, we'll talk about the torrential rains that impacted Oklahoma followed by the severe lack of said rain we're still talking about today.  

Until next time…