The National Weather Service's Last Pre-Tornado Briefing Warned About School Safety in Oklahoma City Region

"We had storms that went from virtually nothing to producing large hail and tornadoes in less than an hour in some cases. So it's gonna go fast today."
More

Yesterday, the National Weather Service's Rick Smith posted a briefing to YouTube at 11:30am, which laid out a scenario for the day's weather events that was eerily precise. Specifically, he mentioned schools as an area of concern and highlighted the potential for an EF-4 tornado in the area south of I-40 and east of I-44 between 3 and 6pm. Shortly after 3pm, an EF-4 (or stronger) tornado hit Moore, which is located just south of I-40 and east of I-44.  

It's crushing to realize that this disaster's rough outlines were predicted four hours ahead of time and yet know that this did not stop lives from being lost. 

Here are three excerpts from the sadly prescient forecast:

We'll be talking about our increasing concerns for significant severe weather this afternoon and into this evening. We are expecting more significant severe weather today. The highest impacts we expect will be along and south of Interstate 44. Tornadoes and giant damaging hail are likely today. Something that's a little different today than yesterday is we are on a Monday and we do have schools in session and people driving home from work and that is a big, big concern for us as we expect severe weather potential to peak in that 3-6pm timeframe today...

Supercell storms are expected to develop in this area very quickly between 1 and 2 o'clock this afternoon. They will become severe fast, just like yesterday. We had storms that went from virtually nothing to producing large hail and tornadoes in less than an hour in some cases. So it's gonna go fast today.

If you're south of I-40 and east of I-44, you need to have a heightened state of awareness and be super alert to severe weather. We're expecting conditions today to be just as volatile if not even more so than they were yesterday for tornadoes. We've already had one EF4 tornado confirmed that occurred yesterday near Shawnee. I would not be at all surprised to have similar tornadoes occurring south of I-40, east of I-44. We're not trying to freak you out and scare you, we want you to be prepared. We're not guaranteeing a pinpoint forecast this is definitely going to happen, but you need to plan as if it is and be ready for what you're going to do.

moore_map.jpg

Jump to comments
Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In