Tushka Tornado: "Hook" and Radar Discussion


The Tushka tornado of April 14, 2011 was the most intense weather event to strike Texoma since the Lone Grove event of February 2009. The storm killed 2 people and injured 25 more, and destroyed the school along with many other buildings in Tushka.

The National Weather Service rates the twister as an EF3, which places its winds in the range of 136-165mph.
The radar image above was captured from Doppler 12’s archive file: it shows the textbook “hook” shape associated with stronger tornadoes. This tornado is just a mile or two west-southwest of Tushka at the time of this scan.
What causes the hook? Fierce winds wrapping into the center of rotation are moving horizontally and upward at the same time. The effect around the tornado is so strong that precipitation which would normally be in that area is held aloft and/or wrapped away to the north and west. This leaves a clear “hook” shape on the radar display as the beam samples the lower levels of the storm.
Will we see more tornadoes in Texoma this spring? There’s no way to know for sure, but the typical season peak comes in the period May 1-20.
Take Care,
Steve LaNore
Chief Meteorologist
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