By Gary England, NEWS 9 Director of Meteorology
Below is the radar image of a super-cell thunderstorm with a very small, weak tornado on May 1, 2008 at 7:27 pm as it moves toward the northeast at 30 mph across eastern Oklahoma County.
Just imagine that you're outside your house looking at a tall thunderstorm. Then assume that you take a horizontal slice out of the storm, kind of like a pancake, pull it out and place it flat in your hand. Then, look down at it and you can see all of the little patterns in the pancake. That is basically what a radar does.
On the radar image there is what appears to be a well-defined hook-echo (cyclonic circulation) between NE 50 and NE 178 streets and from approximately Henney Rd to three miles west of Henney Rd. Usually one would expect a tornado to be in the area described in the previous sentence; but not this time. The tiny tornado that touched down came from the very small hook echo configuration that has mostly a green hue. At 7:29 pm the tornado touched down near Henney Rd and NE 36 St.
The little twister was less than 50 yards across and was a low end EF0, 65 to 85 mph, at best and was on the ground less than a minute. Another interesting fact was that the tiny tornado did not have a condensation funnel. In other words you would not have known it was there except for a bit of debris that was tossed into the air.