NWS Reports Fewest Tornadoes on Record in Oklahoma in 2014

January 6, 2015

Just 16 tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma in 2014, which the National Weather Service says is the fewest on record.

Oklahoma state climatologist Gary McManus says a combination of factors led to the relative lack of tornadoes, The Oklahoman reported.

The first five months of the year were among the driest on record, and tornado outbreaks are not common during dry conditions because there are few thunderstorms to produce them, McManus said. When rain did come, it tended to be from warm air masses that brought moisture but little severe weather.

“There really wasn’t a lot of severe weather at all in 2014,” McManus said.

The year’s strongest tornado was an EF2 on April 27 that cut an 11-mile path through Ottawa County and Cherokee County, Kansas. One person died in Quapaw, and at least five businesses and 15 homes were destroyed. Dozens more buildings, including the city’s fire station, sustained damage.

Meanwhile, rebuilding continued in areas affected by devastating tornadoes in 2013.

Moore’s Plaza Towers and Briarwood elementary schools, which were destroyed by the deadly EF5 tornado on May 20, 2013, reopened in August.

Construction began in June on Norman Regional Medical Center’s new location in Moore, on the site of the former Moore Medical Center, which was also destroyed by the tornado.

Canadian Valley Technology Center officials broke ground on the center’s El Reno campus in November, which will replace the previous one that was in ruins after the May 31, 2013, EF3 tornado.

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