David Payne declares victory in premature tornado controversy!

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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28 Responses


  1. Yeah, that is a very, very, very weak tornado but it is a tornado none the less. You can see the the dirt on the ground going in opposite directions underneath the lowering showing that there was rotation. There was a wall cloud. There was a lowering. There was dirt kicked up and spinning underneath the lowering. The condensation cone wasn’t formed as there was not enough moisture in the air to form one. That being said, there often times isn’t a condensation cone that goes all the way to the ground with tornadoes. But yeah, that really appears to be a very weak and very brief tornado to me. Sure, it might be a EF Negative 1 but all the parameters appear to be there.


    1. I also have a friend Jerry Spears of Greer County who got a distant but clearly defined shot of that tornado. It clearly shows the rotation and the funnel in contact with the cloud and the ground. The spinup dirt at the surface though faint can clearly be seen at the point where the visible tip of the very classic funnel can be seen. Apparently no way to share the photos here, but they are on his Facebook page.


    2. The thing about the Enhanced Fujita scale, it measures the amount of damage a tornado does. An EF -1 tornado would do small repairs to a house, perhaps shingling the roof or planting a few trees.


  2. Since they’re arguing about whether it’s a tornado, maybe we should start calling them whethermen.


    1. Read the definition of a tornado… that might help…


    2. Good point!


      1. would be nice to be able to go back and edit your comments, amiright?


  3. Gary England has been dethroned ever since coming out as a climate denier.


  4. If Von and Val say it’s a tornado, then it’s a tornado dam it!!


    1. I was going to make a funny about Val but I see Pain has me blocked. I have great stories and a few pictures of Val that are priceless. But I will never use them Val…


  5. I like it… Rick can design plaques for all the categories. Maybe beginning with biggest farce all the way to big daddy goring the earth, d-feathering chickens and causing great meteorological anguish.


  6. This made my day. I was laughing so hard, thank you for writing this.


  7. Jeez…I’m thinkin’ maybe Gary’s hittin’ The booze and relivin’ the glory days.


  8. I’m with Andy Warren’s comment above.

    What will you believe? The NWS – or your lying eyes?


  9. 😆 😆 😆 too much time on their hands since the alley shifted east….


  10. Suggestion: The 2020 Stormies broadcasted to viewers from AT’s Facebook Live.
    No?


  11. My theory is that local TV news sucks so much that they create their own vortexes, but I ain’t had much ‘nado schoolin’.


  12. Peanuthead could mistake a dust devil for one!


  13. Had a neighbor once upon a time whose 3 yr old son had been watching the weather with his folks during one of the really bad tornadoes to hit Moore and Gary was rightfully describing the action – for several years when a storm came up and it lightning and thundered the boy would run through the house yelling “Tornado on the Ground, Tornado on the ground”!


  14. We called them dust devils in Woodward. Come on, this is comical except when a real tornado is coming will we believe these clowns?


  15. That “tornado” declared by DP looks more like Meg Alexander waking up from a GMA noon induced nap scurrying around her living room to find her next bottle of wine. #sad


  16. Rick Smith is the ONLY weather GOD – if you are in the know then you know. All hail the hail King!


  17. To paraphrase Will Rogers, “In Oklahoma everyone talks about the weather, but nobody ever STOPS talking about the motherfucking weather.”


  18. Don’t miss the weather clowns one bit since I left the state.


  19. This sissy slap fight has no point. Who cares?


  20. Has any one noticed as I have David has like 3 or 4 suits esp the checkered ones he wears every day !! the other guys have nice sponsored wardrobes But not david ……We know thanks to the shameless promos that ch 9 is local owned and the have the only duel pole radar and the new giant super-duper atomic powered chaser vehicle But for gods sake buy D ave some new clothes newsnine!!!


  21. Gonna be really funny when the real first 2019 Oklahoma tornado gets covered by a meteorologist from some small market and none of these dudes get to swing their dicks around bragging about it.
    (moderate severe potential today in extreme Southern OK… your time to shine KXII and KTEN)


  22. Can you add Reed Timmer to the tribunal? I think he is very knowledgeable and usually spot. Watching the weather all my life as well, I tend to lean towards less fanatical and more scientific information to base the weather on.

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