Oklahoma sets tornado record for October

Published: Oct. 24, 2021 at 8:44 PM CDT
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Oklahoma (KXII) - Pumpkins, trick or treaters, and finally, cooler weather are all things marking up the month of October.

But this year, Oklahoma is adding something not so fun to that list: tornadoes.

“October tornadoes tend to be weaker, but what’s crazy is we just don’t get this many of them hardly ever,” said KXII’s Chief Meteorologist Steve LaNore.

This month, Oklahoma has had 28 tornadoes.

That’s fourteen times higher than average.

“I went back and checked the records since 1950, and you go down the column for October, and you’ll see one, zero, one, two, and when you add it all up at the end, the average is 2,” said LaNore. “So, this is just super crazy.”

Usually, twisters hit more frequently in the Spring, but meteorologists said all the right conditions this month are adding up.

“Now, things are lining up,” said LaNore. “We’re getting the pretty hot air for October coming in, we’re seeing these cold fronts come through, and we’re having the timing of those late in the day to be there. These gears in the weather machine mesh, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s May or October.”

Just two weeks ago, an EF-1 rolled through Pontotoc County with winds blowing as strong as 110 miles an hour and damaging local neighborhoods.

“Just because it’s a small tornado doesn’t mean it isn’t a dangerous tornado,” said LaNore. “Treat any tornado the same way as far as taking cover and knowing where in your structure to do that.”

With still a week left of October, LaNore said there’s always a chance Oklahoma could keep building its record, so residents should stay prepared.

Plus, know the difference between a tornado warning and a watch.

A watch means a tornado could happen, but a warning means you should take immediate action to protect yourself.

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