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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Quoting Ameister12:
Tornado warning issued for Joplin. Storm has some strong rotation, but it appears that the tornado will remain south of Joplin.

Edit: Doppler radar is showing a TDS (tornado debris signature), so it's probably producing a significant tornado right now.

There was one back just to the N of Wyandott, but it seems to have gone away for now. Circulation headed toward Neosho... should miss Joplin.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3197
1012. Patrap
Damage trackCredit: National Weather Service, @NWSNormanPreliminary tornado damage track for the Newcastle-Moore-South OKC tornado, on May 20, 2013. Based on radar and damage reports.

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Quoting TomTaylor:
I never said you were specifically making these claims, relax. KFOR's claim of 200 MPH winds by the NWS is irrelevant to me...and it should be to everyone else. It makes absolutely no sense for the NWS to make such a claim so early on.Yea that is more of a technicality. One shouldn't say "the NWS already rated this an EF-4." The NWS hasn't officially rated it yet. You are correct to assume it will likely be at least an EF-4, but has it been rated an EF-4? No :)

Is there a possibility the official rating is lower than the preliminary? Absolutely, though it is highly unlikely in this situation.

The NWS has officially rated it an EF4 at least. That's been said already.
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Reporter asking a young lady. "How do you feel looking around, seeing your house and your neighbourhood is like this"

Young lady answered, I feel like I am in a dream, I can not believe it.
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1009. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54268
69 kids were killed in the 1925 Tri-state tornado

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


HUH? We're not making those claims, I'm certainly not. I'm just posting on what KFOR is claiming regardless of the validity of those claims for people who may not have access to these feeds. I do NOT believe we will know this will be an EF-5 until we get an official report and as I mentioned yesterday KFOR is known for jumping around and saying things that "Jump the gun" so to speak.
I never said you were specifically making these claims, relax. KFOR's claim of 200 MPH winds by the NWS is irrelevant to me...and it should be to everyone else. It makes absolutely no sense for the NWS to make such a claim so early on.
Quoting MississippiWx:


Agree with most of what you said, but it's not an assumption when the NWS clearly states that they rated it a preliminary EF-4. Nothing wrong with stating that at all.
Yea that is more of a technicality. One shouldn't say "the NWS already rated this an EF-4." The NWS hasn't officially rated it yet. You are correct to assume it will likely be at least an EF-4, but has it been rated an EF-4? No :)

Is there a possibility the official rating is lower than the preliminary? Absolutely, though it is highly unlikely in this situation.
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Link

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Can we please stop jumping down each others throats for just reporting what various media outlets are posting?


OMG. A blog with a bunch of weather enthusiasts, there are people who get excited and jump to conclusions about extreme weather-related disasters??! No way! Some of you expect way too much. The truth will come out eventually and people reporting false information isn't going to change the truth. Sure, it's nice to verify info as much as possible, but the constant correcting about rating is ridiculous. Who cares? People have died and a town destroyed. That's what matters.
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1002. Patrap
abcnews.go.com

May 20, 2013 6:24pm

Watch live coverage of Tornado Damage in Oklahoma on ABCNews.com.
7:30 p.m.

Ten people confirmed dead in wake of tornado, Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiners Office says.
7:24 p.m.

Red Cross Oklahoma tweets: Please RT: Shelter opening at: St. Andrews Church, SW 119 & S May. Location will also serve as reunification site.
7:23 p.m.

Emergency Management Office plans to hold news conference at 8.30 p.m. ET at City Hall in Moore, Okla., with several agencies to be represented.
7:20 p.m.

All children at Briarwood Elementary School have been accounted for, first responders on the scene tell ABC News.
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
637 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHERN COAL COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA...
CENTRAL ATOKA COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA...
NORTHEASTERN JOHNSTON COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 700 PM CDT

* AT 635 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR WAPANUCKA...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 60 MPH.

IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO...LARGE DAMAGING HAIL UP TO TWO INCHES IN
DIAMETER IS EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
ATOKA...COALGATE...WAPANUCKA...STRINGTOWN...LEHIGH ...BROMIDE...
PHILLIPS...WARDVILLE...CLARITA...OLNEY...CONNERVIL LE...CHOCKIE...
REDDEN...BOGGY DEPOT STATE PARK AND ATOKA RESERVOIR.
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Possible Tornado heading towards Joplin, hopefully goes south of the city..
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Tornado Warning
2013-05-20 19:40:44 EDT until
2013-05-20 20:00:00 EDT
638 PM CDT Mon may 20 2013

...Tornado Warning remains in effect until 700 PM CDT for eastern
Ottawa County...

At 636 PM CDT...a damaging tornado was located near Wyandotte...
moving east at 50 mph. This is a life threatening situation...radar
confirms tornado debris in the air!

This storm will otherwise remain over mainly rural areas.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Heavy rainfall may obscure this tornado. Take cover now! If you wait
to see or hear it coming...it may be too late to get to a safe place.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Just came in from outside. Did I hear on MSNBC 26 children have passed away?
Yes... not confirmed though.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Media only reenforces it, unfortunately. Hype! Hype! Hype!
Especially KFOR.
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Can we please stop jumping down each others throats for just reporting what various media outlets are posting?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24153
Tornado warning issued for Joplin. Storm has some strong rotation, but it appears that the tornado will remain south of Joplin.

Edit: Doppler radar is showing a TDS (tornado debris signature), so it's probably producing a significant tornado right now.
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Just came in from outside. Did I hear on MSNBC 26 children have passed away?
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Joplin under tornado warning.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Thanks for being here Scott, it's nice having a voice of reason on the blog. I understand the excitement in tracking these events but it seems a lot of people on the blog get to caught up in the excitement and incorrectly jump to conclusions.

Here are some of my favorites:

"NWS says 200 MPH winds via KFOR" -- why would NWS even make this claim? They haven't even sent out a team yet, this is ridiculous.

"This is an EF-5" -- ?

"NWS already rated it an EF-4" -- Preliminary, sure, but officially it isn't anything.

"This is 2 miles wide" *posts picture of live stream of tornado* -- as if we can deduce the width of the tornado from that

----------

Seriously? Have some patience folks, you'll know soon enough. Right now you just look silly spewing out these assumptions. Anyway, thoughts go out to those affected.


Agree with most of what you said, but it's not an assumption when the NWS clearly states that they rated it a preliminary EF-4. Nothing wrong with stating that at all.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Agreed. I'm not sure why there always seems to be a rush to classify and categorize any particular tornado (or hurricane). And that's true for not just this forum, but almost everywhere.After all, all such classifications and categorizations are man-made and therefore arbitrary, so from a destructive standpoint, there's almost no discernible difference between the damage a high-end EF-4 and a borderline EF-5 can cause (or between a 155 mph Cat 4 or 157 mph Cat 5).
Media only reenforces it, unfortunately. Hype! Hype! Hype!
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Certainly hope that is some way false news.
The way KFOR had been reporting the last two days, I'm not accepting the news until a source confirms.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8027
This storm headed directly for Joplin.

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

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TULSA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EASTERN CHEROKEE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
NORTHERN ADAIR COUNTY IN NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA...
SOUTHWESTERN BENTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS...
NORTHWESTERN WASHINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS...

* UNTIL 715 PM CDT

* AT 634 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR PROCTOR...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 60 MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM INCLUDE...
CHRISTIE...BARON...WESTVILLE...WATTS...CINCINNATI AND FARMINGTON.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Thanks for being here Scott, it's nice having a voice of reason on the blog. I understand the excitement in tracking these events but it seems a lot of people on the blog get to caught up in it and incorrectly jump to conclusions.

"NWS says 200 MPH winds via KFOR" -- why would NWS even make this claim? They haven't even sent out a team yet, this is ridiculous.

"This is an EF-5" -- ?

"NWS already rated it an EF-4" -- Preliminary, sure, but it hasn't officially been rated.

"This is 2 miles wide" *posts picture of live stream of tornado* -- as if we can deduce the width of the tornado from that

----------

Seriously? Have some patience folks, you'll know soon enough. Right now you just look silly spewing out these assumptions.


HUH? We're not making those claims, I'm certainly not. I'm just posting on what KFOR is claiming regardless of the validity of those claims for people who may not have access to these feeds. I do NOT believe we will know this will be an EF-5 until we get an official report and as I mentioned yesterday KFOR is known for jumping around and saying things that "jump the gun" so to speak.
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NWS Tulsa getting reports of debris from Moore falling in Broken Arrow, OK ... 105 miles away.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
They're moving from "search and rescue" to "search and recovery" in the elementary school per KFOR.
Quoting FlyingScotsman:
Just said two dozen kids dead at Plaza Towers. "No longer search and rescue. Search and recovery mode now" said emergency personnel.

No words....


Certainly hope that is some way false news.
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One of the top trends on twitter atm:
#PrayForOklahoma

I love seeing all this support.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:
Thanks for being here Scott, it's nice having a voice of reason on the blog. I understand the excitement in tracking these events but it seems a lot of people on the blog get to caught up in the excitement and incorrectly jump to conclusions.

Here are some of my favorites:

"NWS says 200 MPH winds via KFOR" -- why would NWS even make this claim? They haven't even sent out a team yet, this is ridiculous.

"This is an EF-5" -- ?

"NWS already rated it an EF-4" -- Preliminary, sure, but officially it isn't anything.

"This is 2 miles wide" *posts picture of live stream of tornado* -- as if we can deduce the width of the tornado from that

----------

Seriously? Have some patience folks, you'll know soon enough. Right now you just look silly spewing out these assumptions. Anyway, thoughts go out to those affected.
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Initial reports suggesting at least two dozen lives lost in the Plaza Tower Elementary School. Tragic.



Initial reports suggested as many as 75 students and teachers were inside. Hopefully that means at least 50 of them escaped...
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Two dozens "little victims" in the elementary school per KFOR..


Why am I not surprised KFOR said that? They have been doing pretty poor job the last few days. (I know I'll get blasted at, but it's true)
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Quoting indianrivguy:


Good to see you Pat, sorry it was because of a disaster.


Hi irg...
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978. KRL
This is the NOAA List of the 25 Deadliest Tornadoes in recorded US history.

DATE LOCATION(S) DEATHS

1 18 Mar 1925 Tri-State (MO/IL/IN) 695
2 06 May 1840 Natchez MS 317
3 27 May 1896 St. Louis MO 255
4 05 Apr 1936 Tupelo MS 216
5 06 Apr 1936 Gainesville GA 203
6 09 Apr 1947 Woodward OK 181
7 22 May 2011 Joplin MO 158
8 24 Apr 1908 Amite LA, Purvis MS 143
9 12 Jun 1899 New Richmond WI 117
10 8 Jun 1953 Flint MI 116
11t 11 May 1953 Waco TX 114
11t 18 May 1902 Goliad TX 114
13 23 Mar 1913 Omaha NE 103
14 26 May 1917 Mattoon IL 101
15 23 Jun 1944 Shinnston WV 100
16 18 Apr 1880 Marshfield MO 99
17t 01 Jun 1903 Gainesville GA 98
17t 09 May 1927 Poplar Bluff MO 98
19 10 May 1905 Snyder OK 97
20 3 Jun 1860 Comanche IA, Albany IL 92
21 24 Apr 1908 Natchez MS 91
22 09 Jun 1953 Worcester MA 90
23 20 Apr 1920 Starkville MS to Waco AL 88
24 28 Jun 1924 Lorain/Sandusky OH 85
25 25 May 1955 Udall KS 80
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Just said two dozen kids dead at Plaza Towers. "No longer search and rescue. Search and recovery mode now" said emergency personnel.

No words....
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They're moving from "search and rescue" to "search and recovery" in the elementary school per KFOR.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24153
as usual i had to go to swim practice right after the first tornado warning got issued...is the moore storm the same storm that first got tornado warned with wall cloud over okc downtown?

Also arent some of the other tornadoes ongoing in cities?
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

It is far too early to be trusting any of these preliminary width, length, and intensity estimates. Far too early. Tornado width estimates are notoriously overestimated during realtime events. Almost always.
We will eventually know the scope of the tornado's damage. No need to speculate now.
Agreed. I'm not sure why there always seems to be a rush to classify and categorize any particular tornado (or hurricane). And that's true for not just this forum, but almost everywhere.After all, all such classifications and categorizations are man-made and therefore arbitrary, so from a destructive standpoint, there's almost no discernible difference between the damage a high-end EF-4 and a borderline EF-5 can cause (or between a 155 mph Cat 4 or 157 mph Cat 5). And the same goes for body counts; speculating on the number of dead and maimed at this stage--that is, while cadaver dogs have barely started sniffing their way through the jumbled piles of timber and trees and cars and swingsets that used to be neighborhoods--seems to me unnecessarily macabre. It's enough (and sad enough) to realize that some have died, and perhaps even many; that sadness isn't changed by news that more or fewer were killed than first thought...

As Scott says, we'll get a meteorological assessment of the twister, a tally of the damage, and a death toll soon enough; no need to race to judgement.
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BARTON MO-CEDAR MO-VERNON MO-DADE MO-
629 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR DADE...SOUTHEASTERN
VERNON...CEDAR AND EASTERN BARTON COUNTIES UNTIL 700 PM CDT...

AT 625 PM CDT...A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING APPROACHING WESTERN CEDAR
AND DADE COUNTIES...AND MOVING EAST 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...
GOLDEN CITY...GREENFIELD...LOCKWOOD AND STOCKTON.

THIS WARNING ALSO INCLUDES STOCKTON LAKE AND STOCKTON STATE PARK.
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Quoting Patrap:
Big Duke NOLA-7 on the Wunderground Big Loop.


Portlight is asessing the OK situ and is in contact with Officials in the affected area.


We will have a statement likely tomorrow a'm.

Portlight response to Oklahoma tornados

Portlight will be working with shelter operators and disability stakeholder organizations in Oklahoma to serve the needs of people with disabilities. We will focus on shelter and transportation accessibility issues and the provision of durable medical equipment as needed.

As always your support makes our work possible and we are very grateful for it.






Good to see you Pat, sorry it was because of a disaster.
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@wunderground 1m

The Okla. City medical examiner told NBC News that there are at least 10 fatalities from today's tornadoes.
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Two dozens "little victims" in the elementary school per KFOR..
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24153
JOHNSTON OK-
623 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 645 PM CDT FOR JOHNSTON
COUNTY...

AT 619 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS CONTINUED TO
DETECT A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS
DANGEROUS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR REAGAN...MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.

IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO...LARGE DESTRUCTIVE HAIL UP TO TENNIS BALL
SIZE IS EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
TISHOMINGO...MANNSVILLE...RAVIA...MILBURN...FILLM ORE...REAGAN AND
RUSSETT.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

I have severe doubts that the NWS office has stated that winds were over 200mph at the surface by this point. Far too early. It took days with specialized teams to rate the higher-end tornadoes of the 2011 outbreak. Rating a tornado EF5 is not taken lightly by the NWS. Be skeptical of people jumping to conclusions this early.
It's KFOR reporting it... not surprised they said it.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8027
Quoting louisianaboy444:


Why did they lower the wind speeds so much on the enhanced scale? It is so much easier to get an EF5 now days than it was to get an F5 years ago...even on the old scale this tornado would still be a weak F4 probably

It's not easier to get a EF5 today than it was to get an F5 in previous years. The scale was developed in such a way that there would be minimal changes to how ratings were done, and they wanted a scale where old tornado ratings would be roughly comparable to today's ratings. All that changed was the wind speeds. Numerous meteorologists and engineers worked together to develop the new scale. We now know that wind speed estimates associated with the original scale were not accurate; the new EF-scale has better estimates, including ranges of wind speeds that can be used to evaluate good/fair/poor construction of similar building types.

The SPC links to the original 95-page report on the new scale here:
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/ef-scale.html
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3197
Quoting nervouspete:

This is horrible. I wasn't even paying attention today figuring it'd be a small event day. I finish tea, log on to check my emails and come across this. Transatlantic thoughts with you guys. I can't even conceive how we'd react if one of these dropped on the UK.

Can I ask where the Mike Bettes stream is? I can't remember who he's with, but I've seen him before and he's a good man.

Fingers crossed for the schools.


I concur these thoughts from across the other side of the Pacific.

Stream here
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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.

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