Category Archives: 1987

Valentines Day Tornadoes – 1987

I had to talk my chase partner into going out on this day.  Oklahoma was socked in with clouds and cold air, but a warm front was forecast to lift northward across the Red River during the afternoon.

We drove straight through to Wichita Falls and stopped at the National Weather Service for a briefing.  The warm front had indeed lifted north (we passed it near the river), but there were no signs of storms on it.  The only thing on radar was a line of developing storms over 100 miles to our west.  The line didn’t look too interesting, and after dragging our feet a bit we started back north.

Our interest had changed to an OU basketball game that was on AM radio as we rolled back into the clouds near Lawton.  It wasn’t long before we started hearing the distinct sound of lightning over the radio and we began searching for what was causing it.  To our surprise, a severe storm had formed about 20 miles to our west.

The storm quickly took advantage of its position along the warm front and started spinning.  It produced a tornado at Medicine Park before getting out of Comanche County.  This tornado ended up being rated F2 and injured one person.  A second brief tornado was observed near Apache.

This was early enough for me that I wasn’t of age to get into a bar.  We stopped at one along the highway where I tried to use a phone to call the National Weather Service.  I was escorted out and never made the call.  The first the NWS ever knew about it was when we stopped back by the office later that evening.