A powerful thunderstorm swept through the state Wednesday night and Thursday morning, twisting out a tornado, causing storm damage in a southwest Oklahoma community and soaking parts of the Oklahoma City area with more than two inches of rain.
In the southwest Oklahoma community of Gracemont, high winds tore part of the roof off a bank building, Caddo County Emergency Manager Larry McDuffey said. Winds and hail also damaged windows and left trees lying in the road, McDuffey said.
A tornado passed through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported. No damage was reported.
In Oklahoma City, the storm knocked down utility poles, causing power outages. Oklahoma Mesonet weather network sites in western Oklahoma City and Spencer recorded more than 2.5 inches of rain before the storm moved east, dumping more than 3 inches of rain on Hugo and Antlers.
The storm brought rain to some drought-stricken areas of southwestern Oklahoma. Mesonet sites in Grandfield and Fort Cobb measured more than an inch of rain Wednesday night.
Wildfire risk reduced
Although it likely wasn’t enough to put a dent in the drought that has gripped western Oklahoma since 2011, the storm could provide some short-term relief in certain areas, said state climatologist Gary McManus. Rain brought enough moisture to cause grasses in some areas to green up, which helps reduce the risk of wildfire, McManus said.