The first batch of severe weather in this year's tornado season has devastated an Oklahoma mobile home park, and storms across the area damaged buildings, tore off roofs, and left debris strewn across roads. One person was killed and several were injured. Tens of thousands of Oklahoma residents are without power today as officials assess the damage. A police spokesman says one person was killed in a mobile home park able to accommodate 40 to 50 trailers in a Tulsa suburb. It wasn't yet clear whether it was a tornado or straight-line winds that hit the park, but tornadoes were seen elsewhere in Oklahoma, as well as in Arkansas.
The tornado season usually ramps up for parts of the US in March, but until Tuesday—when a waterspout formed over an Arkansas lake—there hadn't been a tornado in more than a month. Weather patterns this month funneled cold air into much of the country, depriving the atmosphere of the warm, moist air necessary for forming bad storms for most of the month. That all changed this week, as southerly winds pushed temperatures into the 70s and 80s across the Ozarks and Southern Plains and weather fronts churned the air into storms. Before this week, only about two dozen twisters had been recorded this year during a period when about 120 are typical. The last time the US had no twisters in March was nearly 50 years ago, according to figures from the Storm Prediction Center.