The earliest tornadoes ever recorded in a calendar year for Oklahoma occurred on Monday in Green Country. The National Weather Service office in Tulsa has determined 3 low-end strength tornadoes touched down early Monday evening.
The first was a landspout over rangeland just southeast of Shidler in Osage Country. A landspout is a weak type of tornado that forms from a non-supercellular storm. This was spotted by several people in the area shortly after 4:30 p.m., but no damage was found. Therefore, this tornado will be unrated.
The second tornado is also unrated but confirmed through social media photos near the town of Tamaha, Okla. It was determined this tornado occurred entirely over the Robert S Kerr Lake bordering Haskell & Sequoyah counties with no damage noted as well. That tornado happened just before 7:30 p.m.
The third tornado was rated an EF-0 in Mayes County to the north of Pryor. Wind gusts over 80 miles-per-hour were measured as the twister traveled 5.3 miles over 11 minutes with a maximum width of 200 yards. Tree, roof and barn damage were the main impacts from this tornado shortly after 5:30 p.m. Monday.
On average, Oklahoma averages about one tornado every three years in the month of January. No more than four tornadoes have ever been reported in a given January in the state. 2021 brought us four tornadoes and 2020 had three tornadoes in the state in January.
While most tornadoes this time of year are brief and fairly weak, a EF-4 tornado struck the town of Gans, Okla. in Sequoyah County in January of 1957. This was the strongest tornado ever recorded this month in Oklahoma.
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