2019 brought a record-setting number of twisters to Oklahoma in Tornado Alley.
Yes, in 2019, more tornadoes than ever before were reported in the state.
Situated smack dab in the middle of Tornado Alley, Oklahoma is no stranger to damaging twisters. But a record number of 147 tornadoes occurred in Oklahoma in 2019, beating the old record of 145 set in 1999.
Most of these tornadoes were rated EF0 and EF1, with wind speeds around 65-85 mph and 86-110 mph, respectively. In addition, 10 EF2 twisters and three EF3 twisters hit. But no EF4 or EF5 struck Oklahoma in 2019.
The most significant tornado was an EF3 twister that plowed through Bryan County bordering Texas along the Red River in the southeastern part of Oklahoma. The twister occurred on April 30 and killed four people, destroyed 19 homes and damaged 20 more.
Tornado record in Oklahoma
The ‘setup’ which brought Oklahoma the record tornado count in 2019 was multiple storm systems moving out of the southwestern United States northeastward right across Oklahoma combined with an abnormally persistent southeasterly low-level flow of warm and humid air originating off the Gulf of Mexico.
Moreover, spring and summer were usually warm and muggy in Oklahoma, helping to fuel severe weather episodes.
The previous record in 1999 was set in part thanks to a devastating tornado outbreak on May 3 and 4 which included the famous F5 twister that pummeled Moore, Oklahoma, located just south of Oklahoma City.