The tornado outbreak of April 14th, 2012 caused numerous tornadoes across Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. Fortunately, the vast majority of the tornadoes were in rural parts of the states. Unfortunately, a couple did cross small towns. One of those towns was Woodward, Oklahoma (about 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma).
At 11:50PM CDT on Saturday, April 14th, 2012 a tornado traveling in a northeasterly direction crossed through Woodward, Oklahoma. From touchdown to Woodward there was about 30 minutes where the tornado was on the ground. At about 12:20AM CDT parts of the town of Woodward, Oklahoma were destroyed by the tornado.
Woodward’s 20 outdoor tornado sirens were knocked out when lightning struck a tower used to activate the warning system leaving many without any warning of the approaching tornado. However, tornado sirens should not be relied upon as the sole source for tornado warnings. Weather radios should be the primary source to receive severe weather alerts.
Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma is that this storm was an EF-3 with winds of 136-165mph.
The death toll is now up to 6. Reports note that the tornado destroyed 89 homes and 13 businesses and at least 29 people were hurt.
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED TORNADO WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK 1200 AM CDT SUN APR 15 2012 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A * TORNADO WARNING FOR... EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN HARPER COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA... WOODWARD COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA... EXTREME NORTHEASTERN ELLIS COUNTY IN NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA... * UNTIL 1230 AM CDT * AT 1159 PM CDT...TRAINED STORM SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO 7 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GAGE. THIS TORNADO WAS MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH. * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE... WOODWARD...FARGO AND TANGIER. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... GET IN...GET DOWN AND COVER UP. TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS. THE TORNADO WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE IN THE DARK. DO NOT WAIT. TAKE COVER NOW.
…PRELIMINARY STORM INFORMATION FOR THE WOODWARD OKLAHOMA TORNADO…
BEGINNING TIME: ~1150 PM ENDING TIME: ~1227 AM BEGINNING LOCATION: 2 NE ARNETT (ELLIS COUNTY) ENDING LOCATION: 4 NORTH OF WOODWARD (WOODWARD COUNTY) FATALITIES: 6 INJURIES: 29 EF-SCALE RATING: EF-3 ( MAX WIND SPEED 136-165 MPH ) THE TORNADO DEVELOPED APPROXIMATELY 3 MILES NORTHEAST OF ARNETT AND MOVED NORTHEAST. SIX STRUCTURES WERE DAMAGED AS THE TORNADO MOVED TOWARD THE WOODWARD COUNTY LINE. ONLY MINOR DAMAGE... DOWNED TREES AND POWER POLES/LINES... WAS SEEN AS THE TORNADO MOVED OVER MAINLY RURAL PORTIONS OF WOODWARD COUNTY. AT APPROXIMATELY 1212 AM... THE TORNADO STRUCK TWO MOBILE HOMES 5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF WOODWARD. THE DAMAGE HERE WAS DETERMINED TO BE EF-2 IN INTENSITY... WHICH ALSO RESULTED IN 3 FATALITIES. THE HEAVIEST DAMAGE... RATED EF-3... WAS REPORTED AS THE TORNADO ENTERED THE SOUTHWEST SIDES OF WOODWARD AROUND 1218 AM. SEVERAL HOME AND BUSINESSES WERE HEAVILY DAMAGED AS THE TORNADO CONTINUED NORTHEAST. SEVERAL MORE MOBILE HOMES WERE DESTROYED ON THE NORTH SIDE OF WOODWARD... WHICH RESULTED IN 3 ADDITIONAL FATALITIES. THE TORNADO FINALLY EXITED THE CITY OF WOODWARD AT APPROXIMATELY 1223 AM... EVENTUALLY DISSIPATING APPROXIMATELY 4 MILES NORTH OF WOODWARD AT 1227 AM. THIS TORNADO INFORMATION SHOULD STILL BE CONSIDERED PRELIMINARY AS WE CONTINUE TO LOOK OVER INFORMATION.