National Weather Service, Travis Meyer, Assess OK Tornado Damage

Thursday, March 31st 2016, 10:55 pm
By: News On 6

Thursday, our News On 6 crews were in the air and on the ground surveying damage from Wednesday night’s tornadoes.

Chief Meteorologist and Oklahoma Weather Expert Travis Meyer went with Steve Piltz and the National Weather Service to check out a hard hit neighborhood near the Patriot Golf Course in Owasso.

Special Coverage: Tornado Outbreak: March 30, 2016

Travis: “What are you looking for when we're starting to determine tornadoes and intensity?”

Piltz: “Well, we look at the damage to the structures and try to also assess the integrity of the structure - did they perform as they should or was it a structure that, maybe, had some type of issue that caused it to fail faster than we might have expected? So we adjust the rating accordingly.”

Travis: “This has, obviously, roof structure damage, and so you're looking at what, an EF-1?”

Piltz: “Probably an EF-1 or the higher-end of an EF-1. Because the roof is exposed you can kind of see the construction. We're also looking in there to see, was there hurricane strappings, things in there that would make it more of a fortress than not. And so, we take that into consideration. But, right now we think this is high-end EF-1.”

Travis: “You do this all the time, every time we have a tornado, but you start at the very beginning usually and then you have to track it to the very end. Correct?"

Piltz: "Correct. We started in eastern Osage County, we worked across the Tulsa metro area and we'll end up on the other side of Claremore.”

Travis: “And, so far, generally EF-0s and EF-1s?”

Piltz: “We think we may have seen a little EF-2 damage in a couple of spots in Tulsa. We'll look at it some more, but we could be right at the EF-2 threshold.”