Tornado risk is high in Oklahoma this week. Over the weekend, areas of southern Oklahoma were struck with several tornadoes. The Sooner State saw a few days of peace before tornadoes stirred back up the last day of April.

Oklahoma was expected to see severe weather Tuesday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 1, with the strongest day for tornadoes to be Wednesday. But as the sun began to set on the final day of April, tornadoes began popping up in southwest Oklahoma, one right after the other.

These stir ups took residents by surprise, having to take shelter as soon as they sat down for supper. Little did they know that they would be in their storm shelter for more than two hours that evening due to various tornado warned storms and confirmed tornadoes on the ground.


Tuesday's tornadoes weren't expected.

At the beginning of the week, local meteorologists were urging Oklahomans to get ready for another round of possible tornadoes after Saturday's severe weather event. They were predicting severe thunderstorms for western and southwest Oklahoma Tuesday evening, followed by a higher risk for severe storms and tornadoes in the same area Wednesday.

But, like weather does, it changed. And tornadoes struck western and southwest Oklahoma Tuesday afternoon, evening and close to midnight. Throughout their wall-to-wall broadcast, News9 Chief Meteorologist David Payne and his team continued to express how they did not expect these tornadoes Tuesday and that the storms were messy in formation. At one point, Payne declared a tornado in southwest Oklahoma to be "violent and one that could kill you."

Cordell, Oklahoma was first struck.

The first town to be surprised by a tornado Tuesday afternoon was Cordell, Oklahoma. Just as people were getting off work or home from after school activities, a tornado struck the community of Cordell. After it dissipated, the community still had daylight to survey the damage.

A video from a doorbell camera in Cordell showed how a tornado can impact an area in a matter of seconds.

Southwest Oklahoma had five reported tornadoes touch down.

Throughout the evening, residents in Snyder, Manitou, Frederick, Apache, Cache, Medicine Park, Hollister, Loveland, Chattanooga, Grandfield and Devol experienced multiple tornado warned storms. Not all of the tornado warnings had confirmed tornadoes on the ground, but there was enough rotation to warrant the warnings.

At one point, there was three or more tornado warned storms in southwest Oklahoma going on simultaneously. Most of southwest Oklahoma spent their entire evening in their storm shelter and weren't able to come out to close to midnight or some time later.

As tornadoes continued through the night, they became rain-wrapped and harder to see. Therefore it was only by scanning for debris that meteorologists and storm chasers could see if there was actually a tornado on the ground.

By the end of the night, it was estimated that about five tornadoes were confirmed to have touched the ground. Their ratings will be determined after data and damage are observed by the National Weather Service.

Another day of severe weather and tornadoes expected for western and southwest Oklahoma.

If those in western and southwest Oklahoma thought their time in the shelter was done with for the week, they would be mistaken. Local meteorologists are urging Oklahomans to remain weather aware May 1 as another day of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are expected in western and southwest Oklahoma.

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