I was reminded earlier this evening that it is 45th anniversary of an exceptionally important storm: The Union City, Oklahoma, Tornado. We probably learned more from this tornado than any other single storm in history.
|NSSL Norman Doppler Radar|
The year before, the first organized storm chase program in history began. For Union City, there were two chase teams that intercepted and documented the storm. We learned about the life-cycles of supercell-type tornadoes from those photos and accounts.
|Union City Tornado soon after it touched down.|
|Map of tornado and its life-cycle.|
Union City directly lead to:
- Deployment of Doppler radar network across the United States.
- Value of storm chasers and trained storm spotters' contributions to tornado warning decisions.
- Separating supercell tornado life-cycles from the other types of tornadic storms.
- The above have all lead to much more accurate tornado warnings.
I was one of those early tornado chasers but I was out-of-town that day, so I was not one of the chasers who skillfully intercepted the storm.