Long Squall Line Prompted Tornado Warnings On Tuesday, NWS Says

Thursday, April 28th 2016, 6:25 pm
By: News On 6

A lot of people are wondering why some of the tornado warnings issued on Tuesday were widespread so long.

The National Weather Service office in Tulsa issues those warnings and that prompts the city to sound the sirens wherever needed.

The lead forecaster says the long squall line prompted those warnings.

Forecasters and meteorologists predicted a large tornado and hail outbreak on Tuesday across Oklahoma.   

When the sun set, the storms banded together just east of Oklahoma City and started to race northeast toward Tulsa.

Before we knew it a large squall line was approaching the Tulsa viewing area.

“This is a little different situation that we're used to because these are just small spin-ups,” News On 6 Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer said on Tuesday in studio during live weather coverage on Tuesday. “This isn't like a massive tornado or something of that nature, which we originally thought we would have occurring.”

Joe Gross and his wife moved to their bedroom closet when radar indicated circulation near Mannford.

“When you've got all these spin-ups that are showing this cool radar, this great technology, it may not have a typical signature,” Gross said. “But when you have professionals looking at it and know what it looks like, and you've got storm spotters on the street, I mean, it just doesn't get any better.”

Because of several signs of circulation along the leading edge of the squall line, the NWS issued warnings for all of Tulsa County.

“If you hear a siren, there's two to three areas that will have strong damaging winds,” Travis Meyer said.

Lead NWS forecaster Michael Lacy says tornado warnings issued on a large squall line are just as significant as the warnings issued for supercells.

“They can be as strong as EF2, sometimes EF3 strength, so it's a matter of understanding they're still a threat to property and to life," Lacy said.

The National Weather Service says the line of storms tracked tornadoes all the way into Northwest Arkansas.