Tornado in December confuses Oklahomans celebrating Christmas holiday season

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LUTHER, Okla. - Sirens were blaring across Oklahoma County on Sunday afternoon as a tornado warning was issued for the central part of the state.

A small twister touched down near Lake Arcadia, making it the first tornado to ever touch down in December in Oklahoma County.

"No, they're kind of mutually exclusive," said Anne Pearson, a volunteer at Arcadia's Historic Round Barn.

However, it is not as rare as you might think.

"For tornadoes, you only really need two ingredients. You need wind shear, you need some instability. It was warm enough yesterday, pretty humid and windy. We had the wind shear because of that powerful storm, so you get the opportunity for tornadic activity," said Chief Meteorologist Mike Morgan.

According to the National Weather Service, there have been 24 tornadoes in Oklahoma during the month of December since 1950.

"Now for central Oklahoma, it is considerably more rare. For the metro, it's never happened before," said Morgan.

Volunteers at Arcadia's Round Barn say a Christmas program had to be cut short as the tornado hit a nearby area.

This historic structure that has stood for more than 100 years has never been touched by a twister.

"When somebody said tornado, at this time of year? No, there's no tornadoes," said Sam Gillaspy, a volunteer at the Round Barn.

Sunday's tornado was rated as an EF-0.

The last December tornado in Oklahoma was four years ago on Christmas Eve. An EF-2 touched down near the Arkansas border in Adair County.

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