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David Payne declares victory in premature tornado controversy!

3:59 PM EDT on April 9, 2019

It looks like we're about to have a full-blown tornadogate on our hands!

Yesterday afternoon, we told you about the tornado declaration controversy that developed between KOCO 5's Damon Lane and KFOR 4's Mike Morgan.

The tl;dr is Damon Lane, in a now deleted tweet, claimed his squadron of storm chasers captured exclusive footage of the first Oklahoma tornado of the 2019 season. Mike Morgan, and other storm chasers, then questioned whether the tornado was actually a tornado, and snitched to the NWS. This led to Damon and company slowly walking back their tornado declaration, and leaving the question of who gets credit for the first twister of the year a mystery.

Well, until now.

123-minutes after our article went live, KWTV 9's David "Scream Chamber" Payne swooped in like a squall-line propelled rocket and claimed victory on 2019's first Oklahoma tornado sighting. Check out this tweet that was directed to Damon, Mike and us...

Wow. That's quite a victorious clapback. That being said...

I've been watching severe weather porn in this state since I was a little kid. From weak little land-spouts to screaming eagles to deadly multi-vortex grinders, I've watched thousands of hours of footage of wall clouds forming, spinning, and occasionally even developing into tornado. That tornado – if that's what we're calling it – may be one of the weakest I've ever seen.

Seriously, that's what we're labeling a tornado nowadays? It looks more like the cloud of dust that follows around Pig Pen than an actual twister. It makes me want to grab a kite and whistle happy songs, not seek shelter in a closet in the center portion of the house and pray to Gary England.

This kind of makes me wonder if it's time we launch a severe weather tribunal to determine which news channel and storm chaser gets credit for spotting the first tornado of the season. In addition to spotting the first downed power lines of the year, or the first cow flying through the air, it's one of the severe weather media's highest honors.

I'd suggest the tribunal be lead by three judges – Gary England, Ross Dixon and Rick Smith from the NWS in Norman. They will gather at the Great Salt Plains, review evidence and determine the winner, which will be announced at the 2020 Stormies – a storm chasing awards show we plan on launching next year. Who wouldn't watch? That's the point with all this severe weather porn, right?

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