Oklahoma tornadoes from the eyes of a storm chaser

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Tornado seen from a storm chaser vehicle (WTVD)

Tornadoes tore through Oklahoma late Monday, decimating everything in their path. At least four tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma and the number is expected to climb.

KOCO Meteorologist Michael Armstrong was chasing the storms Monday afternoon. "I know it's going to be a big day for severe storms," he said. "I don't know whether there are going to be tornadoes yet or not, but at that point we had a tornado watch in southern parts of the state."

Armstrong and his team of storm chasers took off in different directions, waiting for the tornadoes to strike. It wasn't long before they did. Violent wedge tornadoes were reported throughout southern Oklahoma.

The Storm Prediction Center received 24 reports of twisters and now we know that at least one of the tornadoes was declared an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, packing winds up to 165 miles per hour.

"We have homes that were leveled," Armstrong described. "There's nothing left of the homes."

One of the hardest areas hit was the town of Wynnewood, where homes were demolished.

"If it went through a densely populated area, you would see something on the order of what happened in Moore back in 2013," Armstrong explained.

And though these storms bring an adrenaline rush for weather enthusiasts, they can also be a stark reminder of the power of mother nature.

"When you are seeing that kind of debris and that kind of power, in a tornado, and you know that it's not just ripping some trees out of the ground, that it's changing people's lives it's very sobering," he said.
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