A total of 31 tornadoes last month was a record-high for October in Oklahoma dating to 1950, according to the National Weather Service.
The previous high for October, the fifth most active month for tornadoes, was 27 in 1998, according to weather service records. Those records show that March-June are the four most active months for twisters in Oklahoma.
“It’s unusual, not quite as unusual as people might think” to see October tornadoes, according to weather service meteorologist Phil Ware. “It’s really not that different than in the springtime. You’re getting clashes of airmasses again.”
Weather conditions in autumn, however, are typically drier, limiting the instability storms need to form and strengthen into powerful tornadoes, Ware said.
The most powerful of last month’s tornadoes was an EF2 that struck Oct. 10 near Anadarko with wind speeds of 113-157 mph. The twister was one of 17 recorded in the state that day as strong storms also spawned tornadoes and severe weather in parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.
Another 13 tornadoes were recorded on Oct. 12-13, and one was recorded on Oct. 27.
No deaths were reported from the October Oklahoma twisters.