1948: Tornado strikes Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City


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Tornado Alley is that area in the United States that has more tornados than anywhere else in the world. Stretching from central Texas to Eastern South Dakota. Tornados are more likely in Texas and Oklahoma in the Spring, and then they are more numerous in the northern plains in the summertime. Fed by the contrast between moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and super dry air that blows down off the Rockies, and the contrast in temperatures between the ground surface and midlevels in the atmosphere, severe weather development is primed. This is most common in Tornado Alley, and more common in southern areas early in the season. Oklahoma’s most active month is May, but March is the 4th most active of the year. Averaging almost as many tornados as July, August and September put together. It’s not unusual then for tornado to strike the same part of Oklahoma more than once in March. But what happened on this date in weather history on March 25, 1948 was unusual. A tornado struck Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City destroying 35 airplanes. Just 5 days earlier a tornado had also struck the air base destroying 50 airplanes.

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