Tornadoes Slam 5-State Area, Killing Two; Outbreak Continues Today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:29 PM GMT on May 20, 2013

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The Midwest U.S. is under the gun again today, as a potent storm system that spawned a preliminary count of 24 tornadoes in five states on Sunday reloads and prepares to dish out another afternoon and evening of atmospheric mayhem. Sunday's tornadoes swept through Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois, with Oklahoma bearing the brunt of the assault. The outbreak's only deadly tornado--preliminarily rated as en EF-5 with 166 - 200 mph winds--hit Shawnee, Oklahoma, a town of 30,000 located 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The twister leveled a trailer park, killing two people, and blew a semi-trailer off of an expressway overpass on I-40. At least 21 people were injured and 300 homes destroyed over the five-state area by the tornadoes. The 24 tornadoes from May 19 make it the biggest day for tornadoes in the U.S. this spring, and the highest number reported in one day since January 30, when 44 tornadoes touched down from Georgia to Indiana.


Figure 1. The Shawnee, Oklahoma tornado at 6:44 pm CDT May 19, 2013, as it passed just NW of Shawnee. The tornado killed two people in a mobile home park in Shawnee. Viewer submitted photo. #okwx pic.twitter.com/UCH9e8o9G8 Matt Mahler@themahler


Figure 2. The Shawnee tornado hurled a semi-trailer off of an expressway overpass at Highway 117 and I-40 in Oklahoma, and toppled another semi. Four people who sheltered under this overpass were injured, one seriously, and taken to the hospital. Highway overpasses can act to amplify a tornado's winds, and are very dangerous places to be during a tornado. According to the NWS in Norman Oklahoma, during the tornado outbreak of May 3, 1999, tornadoes crossed three highway overpasses, and at all three locations, there was a fatality. One of the fatalities occurred from an EF-2 tornado in a rural area, which suggests that a tornado need not be a large, violent tornado with a considerable debris cloud to cause fatal injuries to people seeking shelter from storms under overpasses. In addition to the fatal injuries to three people, there were also many severe, potentially life-threatening and gruesome injuries inflicted upon people underneath the overpasses, that in some cases, has left these people with permanent disabilities. Don't take shelter under a highway overpass from a tornado! Image credit: KFOR.com.


Figure 3. Radar reflectivity image taken at 6:08 pm CDT May 19, 2013 of the supercell thunderstorm that spawned the Shawnee, Oklahoma tornado.


Figure 4. Doppler velocity image taken at 6:08 pm CDT May 19, 2013 of the supercell thunderstorm that spawned the Shawnee, Oklahoma tornado. Note the couplet of dark red colors right next to light blues near the center of the image, showing that the air was moving both towards the radar and away from it within a short distance, indicating a tight rotation of the tornado's parent mesocyclone.

Iowa's record tornado-free streak ends at 359 days
A tornado touched down near Slater, Iowa at 6:10 pm CDT on Sunday, May 19, one of six tornadoes reported in the state that day. Remarkably, it was the first tornado recorded in the state since May 24, 2012 (Fayette County.) The 359-day streak without a tornado was the longest tornado-free period in state history. The previous record was 355 days, set between May 5, 1955, and April 26, 1956. The new streak is far more impressive because digital technology and spotter networks today are so comprehensive, resulting in far fewer missed tornadoes. There was a much higher likelihood back in the 1950s for tornadoes to be missed. The exceptional tornado-free period was due to the combination of the state's dry summer of 2012 (3rd driest on record) and cold spring of 2013 (8th coldest March - April on record). Thunderstorms like heat and moisture to form, and its tough to get a tornado if you're experiencing a top-ten driest or coldest spring or summer.


Figure 5. Radar reflectivity image of the tornado-spawning supercell thunderstorm that dropped an EF-1 tornado just to the southwest of Wichita, Kansas, on May 19, 2013.

Wichita gets lucky
At 3:30 pm Sunday, Kansas' largest city, Wichita, got a major scare when a large supercell thunderstorm spawned a half-mile wide tornado to the southwest of the city. The tornado headed directly for the airport and downtown Wichita, prompting the issuance of "Tornado Emergency" for the city. In the wake of the deadly EF-5 tornado that leveled Joplin, Missouri in 2011, the NWS decided to give local NWS offices the option to issue special, strongly worded tornado warnings to let the population know when a particularly dangerous tornado--one that has been confirmed by spotters to be on the ground--is approaching. The NWS issued one of these very strongly-worded tornado warnings on Sunday for Wichita:

Statement as of 3:47 PM CDT on May 19, 2013
... A Tornado Warning remains in effect for southern Sedgwick County until 415 PM CDT...

... Tornado emergency for Wichita...

At 345 PM CDT... a confirmed large... violent and extremely dangerous tornado was located on the southwest side of Wichita... and moving northeast at 30 mph.

This is a particularly dangerous situation.

Hazard... deadly tornado.

Source... weather spotters confirmed tornado.

Impact... you could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter. Complete destruction of neighborhoods... businesses and vehicles will occur. Flying debris will be deadly to people and animals.

Locations impacted include...Maize... downtown Wichita... Wichita... Bel Aire... McConnell Air Force Base…east Wichita and Oaklawn.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

This is an extremely dangerous tornado with complete devastation likely. You could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter. Do not delay... seek shelter now! If no underground shelter is available seek shelter in an interior room of the lowest level of a structure... or if time allows... consider moving to an underground shelter elsewhere. Mobile homes and outbuildings will offer no shelter from this tornado.

Tornado... observed
Tornado damage threat... catastrophic
Hail... 2.75in

Wichita TV station KSNW did an excellent job covering the tornado, but were forced to abandon the studio during the height of the storm, as seen on this video clip. You can hear hail pounding the roof as the news crew scrambles for shelter. Station meteorologist J.D. Rudd has this to say: "We are okay. I'll tell you though, it got intense. That thing passed right over our studio. Luckily, it had lifted. But I truly thought the roof of our studio was about to peel off. And the sound of the hail was deafening. What a day. Three hours of coverage with the largest city in the state under a TOR warning for a long time. Weather service called it a Tornado Emergency…'Large, violent tornado on the ground'. Words that gave me chills when I read them." Preliminary damage surveys from the NWS indicate that the Wichita tornado was an EF-1 with a path length 4.6 miles that lifted two miles south of the Wichita airport.


Figure 6. Severe weather outlook for Monday, May 20, calls for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather over much of Oklahoma, and portions of surrounding states. You can follow today's severe weather outbreak from our Severe Weather page.

Another big severe weather day today in the Midwest
The latest forecasts from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center call for an active severe weather day again on Monday, with a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather over much of Oklahoma, plus portions of Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas, and extreme North Texas. The highest threat for tornadoes will be in Southern Oklahoma and into North Texas. The severe weather outbreak will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday, progressing eastwards into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. Only a "Slight Risk" of severe weather is expected those days.


Video 1. Impressive footage (peaking at 4:30 of the video) of the huge tornado that devastated Carney, Oklahoma on May 19, 2013.


Video 2. The "Dominator 3" armored tornado intercept vehicle saw plenty of action on Sunday, as seen in this video, taken just northeast of Edmond, Oklahoma. From the ‪http://tvnweather.com/‬ description of the video: "This tornado was one of the strongest ever intercepted, and we needed all 10,000k pounds of the new Dominator because I have never felt vibration like that before as we were slammed by suction vortices wrapping all around the vehicle. Jim Cantore was on board and he's hooked. All part of #TornadoChasers, Season 2013 coming up this fall on ‪http://tvnweather.com/ondemand‬"

Additional info
Wunderblogger Lee Grenci has an interesting post discussing how last Wednesday's Granbury, Texas tornado was able to form in an atmosphere that seemingly had too little wind shear to get a supercell thunderstorm spinning. The Granbury tornado was an EF-4 with 166 - 200 mph winds that killed six people, and was part of a weather system separate from the one that is generating the current Midwest U.S. tornado outbreak.

news9.com out of Oklahoma City had some excellent live helicopter coverage of Sunday's storms, and will likely be out there again today.

Jeff Masters

Severe Thunderstorm Warned 4 (smyezek)
Outflow dominate storms, interesting to watch especially this wall of water that just pushed east. Lots of wind, heavy rains and even some decent size hail (mainly quarter sized, but may have been slightly larger). Intercepted this storm several miles SW of Coin, Ia (Page County). Wall of Water from an outflow dominate storm.
Severe Thunderstorm Warned 4
Don't Try This At Home (taddarkprince)
No Really....Don't try this at home. Pentax K-5 and Tamron 10-24mm Lens.
Don't Try This At Home
Rozel, KS Stovepipe Tornado! (charlesimages)
My first tornado ever in my chasing career, and it's this massive beast! Awesome! Follow my adventures at facebook.com/CharlesimagesStormedia and cistormedia.com!
Rozel, KS Stovepipe Tornado!
Medford, OK (amy1225)
Medford, OK
After the Storm (ctrmom)
Calm after the storm, with lots of birds singing in the background too!
After the Storm

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My god...

@AP

BREAKING: State medical examiner's office: 37 killed in Oklahoma tornado; death toll expected to rise -RJJ
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1112. Thrawst
I hate to bring even more bad news, but there is likely a LARGE tornado just South of Gustine, Texas.
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How many students where estimated in these shools
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Quoting txag91met:
Why don't elementary schools in the Plains/Midwest have basements for this? Not that expensive to build.


Good question, but now is not the time and place for answers you won't like hearing. This is a time for relief, for reflecting blessings, for thoughts and prayers for victims and their families...and for those still in harm's way.

:(
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1109. Patrap

152
WFUS53 KDMX 210010
TORDMX
IAC153-169-210045-
/O.NEW.KDMX.TO.W.0007.130521T0010Z-130521T0045Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
710 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN POLK COUNTY IN CENTRAL IOWA...
SOUTH CENTRAL STORY COUNTY IN CENTRAL IOWA...

* UNTIL 745 PM CDT

* AT 706 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR POLK CITY...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 25
MPH.

HAZARD...DEVELOPING TORNADO AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED ROTATION.

IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE HEAVILY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL
OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS.
EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
ANKENY...HUXLEY...ALLEMAN...ELKHART AND CAMBRIDGE.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 35 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 93 AND 109.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.



LAT...LON 4197 9357 4180 9335 4169 9365 4177 9376
TIME...MOT...LOC 0010Z 227DEG 22KT 4176 9366

TORNADO...RADAR INDICATED
HAIL...1.00IN


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1108. j2008
Quoting Patrap:
Moore needs lighting, Generators at the school site by ANY means
Anything in order to find as many people as they can.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Plenty of warning? Reports were that people had 8-12 minutes of warning. To me, that's not near enough time to get kids on a bus and take them somewhere "safe". It's a tricky thing trying to track a tornado. As we have seen very recently, tornadoes can have violent changes in their trajectory.

In my opinion, I feel 10 minutes should be enough time to get kids into a safe place, but maybe my expectations are too high.

Either way, it's an awful tragedy and my prayers go out to the grieving parents who lost their kids.
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They're showing a guy petting a missing dog... heartbreaking...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Don't you have to order the radar data from NCDC? Isn't that unavailable until several days after the fact? I tried ordering it for the Granbury, TX EF4 the other day [the day after the storm] but couldn't because it was unavailable.

Grab the data from Iowa State's IEM server. It keeps a 3 day rolling archive starting from realtime.
http://mesonet-nexrad.agron.iastate.edu/level2/ra w/
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1104. Patrap
Moore needs lighting, Generators at the school site by ANY means
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If my child would have died i would not care if it was a EF0 or EF5 for all the world if a loved one is dead then some things just don't matter. Prayes go out to the Mommys and Daddys whos arms will be acking in the comming days .
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

That doesn't make one ounce of sense. I wasn't even on the blog today to even discuss today's storms until after it was over.


That makes perfect sense to me Scott.. from simple cloud to a tornado in an hour... pretty close to how fast these things blew up.
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Quoting j2008:
Hope they get this thing sorted out, sure would hate to hear this was worse than what everyone is painting it.....


Too soon to get parsed out.
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Quoting Ameister12:

Took the words right out of my mouth.

They had plenty of warning, so why the heck wouldn't they get those children to a safe place as soon as possible and this happens in Oklahoma of all places. If Oklahoma is considered the Tornado capitol, than they should have been prepared well enough the get those kids to safety in a quick and orderly manner.

Such a damn shame...


Plenty of warning? Reports were that people had 8-12 minutes of warning. To me, that's not near enough time to get kids on a bus and take them somewhere "safe". It's a tricky thing trying to track a tornado. As we have seen very recently, tornadoes can have violent changes in their trajectory.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
Quoting Jedkins01:
However, why don't schools have underground tornado cellars or a safe room built into the school? That is what perplexes me... It should be required if you ask me.

I agree. Especially in Oklahoma... I think new schools should be built with sections concrete-reinforced as a tornado shelter. Of course that's up to local communities to do the cost/benefit analysis of that. The chance of any particular school being hit by a high-end tornado during its existence remains exceptionally small.
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I really hope some policy and structural design changes happen ever today. Although there is not much you can do with five minutes warning and 200mph winds. Just thinking about being in either school makes me ill.
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1097. j2008
Quoting Bluestorm5:
I think there will be press conference at 7:30 Oklahoma time. That's 20 minutes from now. They will give us facts.
Hope they get this thing sorted out, sure would hate to hear this was worse than what everyone is painting it.....
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Quoting Jedkins01:
I'm honestly angry that the school was put on lock down, the tornado was warned to be one which is not safe to ride out above ground, school authorities should know that school while certainly strong buildings are still not safe given such a violent tornado. From what I know they had time to evacuate those kids.

And why the heck don;t schools have underground safe rooms built in? I don't care how confident school officials are of the building strength. High end tornadoes are a different animal. schools should have safe rooms. the building itself is not enough.

Maybe I'm wrong here, I'm just emotionally shaken to here what has happened with these schools and the fact that kids were forced to in essence meet their end...

Took the words right out of my mouth.

They had plenty of warning, so why the heck wouldn't they get those children to a safe place as soon as possible and this happens in Oklahoma of all places. If Oklahoma is considered the Tornado capitol, than they should have been prepared well enough the get those kids to safety in a quick and orderly manner.

Such a damn shame...
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1095. Patrap

743
WFUS53 KSGF 210008
TORSGF
MOC059-167-210045-
/O.NEW.KSGF.TO.W.0021.130521T0008Z-130521T0045Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SPRINGFIELD MO
708 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SPRINGFIELD HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN DALLAS COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST MISSOURI...
POLK COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST MISSOURI...

* UNTIL 745 PM CDT

* AT 702 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR BOLIVAR...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

HAZARD...DEVELOPING TORNADO.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED ROTATION.

IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE HEAVILY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL
OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS.
EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
BOLIVAR...BUFFALO...GOODSON...HALF WAY...LOUISBURG...PLAD...POLK...
PUMPKIN CENTER...TUNAS...URBANA AND WINDYVILLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.



LAT...LON 3768 9285 3752 9351 3763 9355 3781 9326
3780 9319 3785 9318 3791 9310 3790 9304
TIME...MOT...LOC 0008Z 240DEG 47KT 3762 9339

TORNADO...RADAR INDICATED
HAIL...<.75IN



GRIFFIN
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

I'm going to be reviewing the radar data shortly, but I strongly doubt that it would be worth the risk to put all of your kids on buses with a tornado bearing down. The chance of surviving a tornado, even a strong to violent tornado, inside of a sturdy structure is much much higher than in vehicles. By the time it was clear that this was a big, strong tornado, it was probably 5-10 minutes before it hit the school in SW Moore. That's just not enough time, and numerous kids would have been outside trying to "evacuate," caught right in the middle. They did exactly what they should have done and likely increased the survivability for the children substantially.


Ok you're right, the time they had to evacuate was probably far too short and then the risk would indeed be much worse, so I was probably acting on emotion there.

However, why don't schools have underground tornado cellars or a safe room built into the school? That is what perplexes me... It should be required if you ask me.
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They've confirmed at least 7 kids have died.

Unreal tragedy unfolding.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24169
Who cares the rating?

People are dying up there regardless of the surveys.... Point is it's a bad situation

Prayers go out! Thanks patrap for doing what you do!
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1090. Patrap
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

I'm going to be reviewing the radar data shortly, but I strongly doubt that it would be worth the risk to put all of your kids on buses with a tornado bearing down. The chance of surviving a tornado, even a strong to violent tornado, inside of a sturdy structure is much much higher than in vehicles. By the time it was clear that this was a big, strong tornado, it was probably 5-10 minutes before it hit the school in SW Moore. That's just not enough time, and numerous kids would have been outside trying to "evacuate," caught right in the middle. They did exactly what they should have done and likely increased the survivability for the children substantially.
Schools in tornado alley should have storm rooms or basements.
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I think there will be press conference at 7:30 Oklahoma time. That's 20 minutes from now. They will give us facts.
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1087. Patrap

TORNADO WARNING TULSA OK - KTSA 704 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013
TORNADO WARNING TULSA OK - KTSA 704 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013
TORNADO WARNING SPRINGFIELD MO - KSGF 703 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013
TORNADO WARNING ST LOUIS MO - KLSX 702 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013
TORNADO WARNING NORMAN OK - KOUN 701 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1086. MrMixon
Quoting ScottLincoln:

That's what they've been saying. I'm trying to figure out how that happened. I'd assume no pools in elementary schools.... so I guess trapped and a water main break? Or trapped and rainfall post-tornado? Just awful.


If those kids survived the tornado only to be drowned by a water main breaking into their storm shelter I sincerely hope this triggers a design review of all existing storm shelters.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

I'm going to be reviewing the radar data shortly, but I strongly doubt that it would be worth the risk to put all of your kids on buses with a tornado bearing down. The chance of surviving a tornado, even a strong to violent tornado, inside of a sturdy structure is much much higher than in vehicles. By the time it was clear that this was a big, strong tornado, it was probably 5-10 minutes before it hit the school in SW Moore. That's just not enough time, and numerous kids would have been outside trying to "evacuate," caught right in the middle. They did exactly what they should have done and likely increased the survivability for the children substantially.

Don't you have to order the radar data from NCDC? Isn't that unavailable until several days after the fact? I tried ordering it for the Granbury, TX EF4 the other day [the day after the storm] but couldn't because it was unavailable.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32267
Why don't elementary schools in the Plains/Midwest have basements for this? Not that expensive to build.
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Such a tragedy! Surreal and heartbreaking news about the kids.
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Jedkins,
I saw a couple of your comments. Kind of a busy day for me and I have not looked at this blog today except recent comments.

I am real happy to see you seem to understand what supercell tstorms are all about. You will make a great met because you "get" the human factor.
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I don't particularly like The Weather Channel, but Dr. Forbes/Mike Bettes/Carl Parker always do a great job during times like this. Dr. Forbes is really first class, in my opinion.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
1079. Patrap

132
WFUS54 KTSA 210004 RRA
TORTSA
OKC077-121-127-210045-
/O.NEW.KTSA.TO.W.0021.130521T0004Z-130521T0045Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TULSA OK
704 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TULSA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN LATIMER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA...
SOUTHERN PITTSBURG COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA...
NORTHWESTERN PUSHMATAHA COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 745 PM CDT

* AT 702 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED 35 MILES WEST OF STANLEY...MOVING EAST AT 55
MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM INCLUDE...
STANLEY...CLAYTON AND HIGGINS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IF YOU ARE NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM...TAKE COVER NOW! IF NO
UNDERGROUND SHELTER IS AVAILABLE MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR. MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES SHOULD BE ABANDONED FOR MORE
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. AVOID WINDOWS!



LAT...LON 3450 9579 3451 9578 3451 9568 3459 9568
3459 9588 3460 9589 3467 9589 3468 9593
3484 9541 3452 9532 3441 9578
TIME...MOT...LOC 0005Z 250DEG 50KT 3453 9604
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Quoting Jedkins01:
I'm honestly angry that the school was put on lock down, the tornado was warned to be one which is not safe to ride out above ground, school authorities should know that school while certainly strong buildings are still not safe given such a violent tornado. From what I know they had time to evacuate those kids.

I'm going to be reviewing the radar data shortly, but I strongly doubt that it would be worth the risk to put all of your kids on buses with a tornado bearing down. The chance of surviving a tornado, even a strong to violent tornado, inside of a sturdy structure is much much higher than in vehicles. By the time it was clear that this was a big, strong tornado, it was probably 5-10 minutes before it hit the school in SW Moore. That's just not enough time, and numerous kids would have been outside trying to "evacuate," caught right in the middle. They did exactly what they should have done and likely increased the survivability for the children substantially.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
For all of you to know this is the 18Z GFS look like the 12Z

18Z

12Z


Except a little further east. No real deal this far out though. Big difference with respect to it's impacts on the peninsula though. If it were to slide up the east coast it would most likely just usher in dry air. Up the west coast and across the peninsula would have far greater rain impacts.
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1076. Patrap
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Some may argue that this might not have made the Joplin scale technically, but that's horribly academic for the people of Moore. This is truly a horrible disaster, with loss now being confirmed in the school I'm truly appalled. I'm off tomorrow for training at an office in the same valleys village as where the Aberfan disaster happened, where a school was destroyed. It's going to be doubly poignant going past the memorial.

For what it's worth, Portlight can have a bite off my pay cheque this month.

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"There's no doubt this was an F5."

Yep, I'll definitely be leaving now!
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1073. Patrap

930
WFUS53 KLSX 210002
TORLSX
MOC127-173-210045-
/O.NEW.KLSX.TO.W.0020.130521T0002Z-130521T0045Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ST LOUIS MO
702 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ST LOUIS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN MARION COUNTY IN NORTHEAST MISSOURI...
RALLS COUNTY IN NORTHEAST MISSOURI...

* UNTIL 745 PM CDT

* AT 658 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED 8 MILES NORTHWEST OF PERRY...AND MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 50 MPH.

HAZARD...DEVELOPING TORNADO AND GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED ROTATION.

IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE HEAVILY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL
OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS.
EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
HANNIBAL...CENTER...SPAULDING...RENSSELAER...NEW LONDON...THE
LANDING...ILASCO AND SAVERTON.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.



LAT...LON 3985 9144 3980 9137 3973 9137 3972 9136
3960 9120 3933 9171 3966 9172
TIME...MOT...LOC 0002Z 226DEG 42KT 3955 9170

TORNADO...RADAR INDICATED
HAIL...1.75IN



BRITT
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1072. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
god bless the little children
rest now you will fear no more
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
Anyway, I'll leave for now. Sorry to be a buzz kill, just trying to deliver a sense of reason to the blog. Try not to hype things people. Be reasonable, be realistic, and try not to assume things.
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There's no doupt this was an F5. Devastation is just unreal. Brought flash backs of andrew for me. Thoughts go out to everyone impacted by this horrific event. :0(
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
As many as 30 might be dead inside that school per TWC. 7 bodies recovered I heard.
Quoting Ameister12:
7 children "drowned" in the school and more are feared dead... I'm crying.

That's what they've been saying. I'm trying to figure out how that happened. I'd assume no pools in elementary schools.... so I guess trapped and a water main break? Or trapped and rainfall post-tornado? Just awful.
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Good lord, y'all. Can y'all argue at the different time? This is NOT a good time.
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Quoting Ameister12:
7 children "drowned" in the school and more are feared dead... I'm crying.


me too...
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Quoting Patrap:
We are searching for any members in OK who would like to assit Portlight in our Ok push.

Contact me via u-mail.


Thanks for doing what you do, Pat.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
1064. Patrap
We are searching for any members in OK who would like to assit Portlight in our Ok push.

Contact me via u-mail.
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I'm honestly angry that the school was put on lock down, the tornado was warned to be one which is not safe to ride out above ground, school authorities should know that schools while certainly strong buildings are still not safe given such a violent tornado. From what I know they had time to evacuate those kids.

And why the heck don't schools have underground safe rooms built in? I don't care how confident school officials are of the building strength. High end tornadoes are a different animal, schools should have safe rooms. The building itself is not enough.

Maybe I'm wrong here, I'm just emotionally shaken to here what has happened with these schools and the fact that kids were forced to in essence meet their end...
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.