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Overachieving Severe Season Continues During May

Oklahoma continued to suffer from severe weather in May, marking an exceptionally active spring storm season. The state recorded four more storm-related fatalities in May, bringing the total to eight in 2024, along with hundreds of injuries. At least 43 tornadoes touched down in May, following a record-breaking 55 tornadoes in April, surpassing the previous high of 54 in 2012. With two additional tornadoes in March, the preliminary total for 2024 stands at 100, a number that may rise as National Weather Service personnel continue to assess storm damage.

Tornadoes Return to Oklahoma in March

Oklahoma’s weather was mostly lamb during March, although it did have its lion moments. The state experienced only one true outbreak of severe weather, but that single event on March 14 was significant nonetheless with two confirmed tornadoes in McIntosh and McCurtain counties and hail greater than softball size in Ada. Remarkably, Oklahoma had gone nearly five months without a confirmed tornado since the previous two back on October 24, 2023, in Garvin and Potawatomie counties.

October Sets Tornado Record

Oklahomans are growing accustomed to Mother Nature’s October weather shenanigans following a snowstorm of up to 13 inches in 2019 and a crippling ice storm in 2020. A spring severe weather motif was chosen for October 2021 with at least 31 tornadoes touching down during the month, besting the previous October record total of 27 set back in 1998. That preliminary total also surpasses the 25 twisters tallied during the first nine months of the year. While most of the tornadoes were considered weak—rated EF0 or EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale—they were damaging, nonetheless. Oct.

November Sees More Drought, Tornadoes

November’s weather struggled to live up to the level of excitement provided by October’s historic cold snap and ice storm, although it had its moments. Following that burst of moisture just before Halloween, some areas of the state went more than a month without seeing at least a quarter inch of rain in a single day. Other areas saw Oklahoma’s weather at its worst, however. Storms on the 24th brought severe weather back to the state with damaging winds and hail up to the size of golf balls. At least two tornadoes touched down that day in southeastern Oklahoma.