Meteorologist confirm tornado damage in Tillman County fields

A potential tornado was tracked on radar north of Grandfield, Oklahoma on May 2. The following day Dough Speheger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman, hit the back roads looking for potential damage.   

Tillman County, OK - "With what we saw on the radar yesterday we had very strong indications there was likely a tornado here in Tillman County," Speheger said.

He said looking for damage in an open field isn't easy.

"We definitely like a tornado in mostly open fields because it means not many people have been impacted by that," Speheger said. "We like to see when there's very little structural damage, but that limitation makes it a challenge."

There's very little for the tornado to hit. During a tornado survey, he looks for anything blown by the wind, fence post, trees, shrubs along fence lines, and telephone poles.

Speheger saw a few poles blown in opposite directions, he said this indicates circulation.

"It makes it a challenge to document but on the plus side, there's not much impact to people," Speheger said.

Any damage he finds is immediately sent to Norman with GIS technology.

"From what we've seen from the tree damage and the power line damage we can safely say that we've had at least an EF1 tornado," Speheger said.

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