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National Weather Service in Norman issued record number of tornado warnings on Saturday

The tornado that devastated downtown Sulphur is rated at least an EF3.
Anna Pope
The tornado that devastated downtown Sulphur is rated at least an EF3.

After a devastating spate of tornadoes hit South-Central Oklahoma on Saturday, the National Weather Service is working to review the storms and assess the damage.

The National Weather Service’s Norman office issued 62 tornado warnings on Saturday. Mark Fox, the office’s Meteorologist in Charge, said that’s the most that office has ever put out in one day.

As of Monday afternoon, NWS confirmed 25 tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma on Saturday, and that number could go up. That’s already more than a quarter as many tornadoes as the state saw in 2023.

This outbreak also generated more high-damage twisters than all of last year. Four people died in a trio of powerful tornadoes.

An EF4 carved a 27-mile path near Marietta, destroying a hospital. The tornado that leveled downtown Sulphur is rated at least an EF3. Another EF3 ripped through Holdenville. Ratings could go up as survey teams comb through the damage paths this week.

In addition to the tornadoes in Oklahoma, Saturday’s storms generated reports of tornadoes in Texas, Kansas and Missouri. The system also generated hail and flash flooding in Oklahoma and Texas.

Fox said this is just the beginning of storm season, and Oklahomans should stay prepared and alert.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

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