Thursday, March 26, 2015   |   Critical Weather

Oklahoma Tornadoes – March 25 Analysis

Analysis by Kevin Nugent, Forecast Meteorologist, Baron

Strong tornadoes strike the towns of Sand Springs, Oklahoma and Moore, Oklahoma on Wednesday evening, March 25.

At 5:31p.m., we see a strong supercell thunderstorm approaching Sand Springs, Oklahoma from the west. There are two low-level shear markers present in the location of the hook echo and a shear SCIT pointing ESE toward the town of Sand Springs, and also western Tulsa. The BTI on the storm is a very high 7.3.


At the same time, Baron’s derived Shear Rate product shows a high amount of shear in the hook echo region of the storm. The Shear Rate actually shows the shear in a doughnut shape, further increasing the likelihood that a tornado is occurring.


At 5:41 p.m., Baron’s derived TDS (Tornado Debris Signature) Swath product, which detects and displays areas where lofted debris from a tornado is occurring, shows an area of debris west of Tulsa and immediately west of Sand Springs, Oklahoma in the area which was affected by the tornado.


The storm that produced the Moore, Oklahoma tornado cycled up very rapidly as on the 6:30 p.m. reflectivity scan. There was little indication that a tornado would soon be on the ground, but by the 6:40 p.m. reflectivity scan we see a well-defined hook echo directly over the city of Moore with a shear marker in the region of the hook echo.


Baron’s derived Shear Rate product shows high amounts of shear in the hook region of the storm, which is directly over the city of Moore.


A very small, but intense velocity couplet is noted in velocity data in the area where the highest shear rate was occurring. Again, directly over the town of Moore, Oklahoma.


A mosaic of 5 scans, or 25 minutes of Baron derived Shear Rate product, which shows the path of the highest amount of shear from the storm correlates to the exact path the tornado took.