We're still in the early midst of Oklahoma's severe weather season, and TV meteorologists are already hard at work making sure they get credit for catching the first tornado of the season.
That's what KOCO 5 Chief Meteorologist Damon Lane did on Saturday night. He stuck his "Tornado First" flag in the ground on April 6th with this tweet:
That's nice. Spotting the first tornado of severe weather season is a bit like scoring the first touchdown of football season – it's inconsequential and doesn't really matter in the whole scheme of things, but it's cool nonetheless. At the very least, it's a fun thing to experience. It also gives the Channel 5 promotions department something to mention for those 15-second weather promo spots they air during May sweeps.
Unfortunately for Damon, it looks like his first tornado declaration is dissipating like a weak dry line. Not too long after, KFOR's Mike Morgan jumped on Twitter to question the report and tattle to the National Weather Service...
Gary England even took a break from watching Fox News to respond:
Yikes. Damon Lane is being tag-teamed by Gary England and Mike Morgan. I think that's both the nightmare and fantasy of every young meteorologist in the Metro. I hope Damon enjoys it.
Damon responded to Mike with this photo, which then lead to Mike asking for a video:
Oh, so that explains it. Back in March, I guess Mike Morgan was the first weatherman to cry tornado, only to have it struck down by the NWS like a weather balloon in a hail storm. Mike, being the paranoid weather-obsessed man he is, obviously can't allow another weatherman to bask in the first tornado glory without proving it.
Here's the video:
What the hell?! I'm with Mike Morgan on this one. I see clouds moving and swirling and stuff thanks to the sped-up video, but that little whimper is a far cry from the mega-rotating multi-vortex grinder wedge debarkers we see on TV churning through the state each May. I think the Tasmanian Devil generates bigger funnel clouds than that!
Damon kind of acknowledged that:
I, admittedly, do not have a degree in meteorology, but if it's not a "confirmed tornado," doesn't that mean it's just not a tornado. That's how things work, right?
"Hey there, check out my new Corvette!"
"Uhm, that's not a Corvette. That's a Honda Civic."
"Well, it not a "confirmed Corvette."
Damon never fully fessed up to his error, but by Monday morning, his wingman Jonathan Condor put out this one minute recap of the video. He admits that it's probably not a tornado, but that it doesn't matter anyway because it didn't cause damage because it wasn't a tornado. Make sense?
Anyway, I was going to close this thing out with a reader poll for us to guess on what date we'll see Oklahoma's first "confirmed" tornado, but Mike Morgan beat me to the punch. Kind of.
Is he referring to "confirmed" or "unconfirmed" tornadoes? I'm as confused as a KOCO stormchaser filming a cloud.