Oklahoma Mesonet Site Records Tornadic Winds

June 11, 2011

El-Reno-meteogram-Mesonet (3) 
Plot Preparer: Gary McManus (Associate State Climatologist for Oklahoma)
Summary Author: Gary McManus (Associate State Climatologist for Oklahoma)

One of the meteorological sites of the Oklahoma Mesonet had a very close encounter with a tornado on May 24, 2011. During that encounter, the site located just northwest of El Reno, Oklahoma recorded a maximum wind gust (second panel) of 151 mph (243 km/h) and a one-minute average wind speed of 115 mph (185 km/h). In addition, note the large and sudden drop in atmospheric pressure (third panel) consistent with atmospheric conditions surrounding a tornado. A technician for the Oklahoma Mesonet visited the site the morning of May 25 to inspect for damage. It was confirmed that the site was within the outer edge of the damage path. The site itself sustained some loss but most instruments were still operational.

The Oklahoma Mesonet is a joint operation between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University and consists of 120 automated stations covering the state of Oklahoma and has been operational since January 1, 1994. There’s at least one Mesonet station in each of Oklahoma's 77 counties.