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Storm Trackers Examining Deadly Paths Destruction to Yield Clues to Count of Twisters That Struck State

Griff Palmer, Amy David Published: May 4, 1999

Another path still being tracked about 10:15 p.m. was near Geary in Blaine County to north and east of Dover in Kingfisher County.

A third storm system went near Minco, through Yukon and Piedmont. Another path developed in eastern Cleveland County through Shawnee and into the south-central part of Lincoln County.

Thoren said winds blowing at varying speeds from varying directions and altitudes contributed to Monday's storms.

"We had real good veering of winds. It was blowing southeast in Oklahoma City. At 6,000 feet, it was blowing more to the southwest with higher speed. At 10,000 feet it was even more southwest to west, with even greater speed."

Severe thunderstorm activity stretched Monday night from north Texas, through Oklahoma into south-central Kansas.

The thunderstorms rumbled through the state in a generally northeasterly direction at about 35 mph, Thoren said.

"They were very long-lived cells that were producing very large tornadoes," he said.

Purpura said first indications are that the tornadoes that struck the metro area Monday evening are some of the most severe in the state and much more severe that those that hit some of the same areas in October.

With structures swept off their foundations, there are indications that the tornadoes may well have been as high as F4 on the Fujita scale with winds near 200 mph, he said.

Purpura said the last F4 tornado in Oklahoma was probably one that struck near Tulsa in 1993.

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