Tornado Scientist Tim Samaras and Team Killed in Friday's El Reno, OK Tornado

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:43 PM GMT on June 02, 2013

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Veteran tornado scientist Tim Samaras, his son, environmental photographer Paul Samaras, 24, and meteorologist Carl Young, 45, died while chasing Friday's EF-3 tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma. The tornado killed at least nine people, in total. "Thank you to everyone for the condolences. It truly is sad that we lost my great brother Tim and his great son, Paul," said the brother of Tim Samaras, Jim Samaras, on Tim's Facebook page. "They all unfortunately passed away but doing what they LOVED." Tim, his son Paul, and Carl Young were all featured chasers on the Discovery Channel’s series, Storm Chasers, and Tim was known throughout the chase community as a conscientious and safety-minded chaser. Carl Young, who holds a Masters degree in meteorology from the University of Nevada, joined Samaras in the field in 2003. According to his Discovery Channel biography, Young and Samaras chased over 125 tornadoes together: "Carl's finest moment came on June 11, 2004 near Storm Lake, Iowa. Working with Tim, they defied the odds and deployed their probes right in the path of a tornado. The six-camera video probe captured amazing footage from multiple angles while the sensor probe recorded data that revealed just how fast wind speeds are close to the ground."


Figure 1. TWC's Mike ‪Bettes‬ crew caught this image of the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado of May 31, 2013 before the tornado caught them and rolled their vehicle. The tornado killed tornado scientists/storm chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young.


Figure 2. Storm chasers in North Dakota aligned themselves to spell out "T S" in honor of Tim Samaras today. Image credit: spotternetwork.org.

Tornado science loses a pioneer
Tim Samaras had been a tornado scientist for over 25 years. He was the founder of TWISTEX, the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment, a 2011 field experiment designed to help learn more about tornadoes and increase lead time for warnings, which resulted in many peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. One of Tim Samaras' most widely recognized contributions to tornado science is his placement of an aerodynamically-designed probe in the path of an EF-4 tornado near Manchester, South Dakota on June 24, 2003. The probe measured a world-record pressure fall of 100 mb over a 40 second period.

One of the publications from the TWISTEX program, "Near-Ground Pressure and Wind Measurements in Tornadoes" recounts this close call Tim had in a tornado in 2011: "As the storm approached, the crew noted that the supercell was moving more sharply to the right of its former course, placing them near the projected path of the low-level mesocyclone. The crew drove south on Highway 259, attempting to position south of the low-level mesocyclone before it crossed the highway. With considerable tree cover in this region hampering the visual observation of the storm's features, TWISTEX crews could not position south of the mesocyclone on Highway 259 before the mesocyclone reached this road. Thus, the two mobile mesonet stations, M2 and M3, had an unplanned tornado encounter with a developing tornadic circulation while the mesonet was traveling south on Highway 259."


Figure 3. One of Tim Samaras' most widely recognized contributions to tornado science is his placement of an aerodynamically-designed probe in the path of an EF-4 tornado near Manchester, South Dakota on June 24, 2003. The probe measured a world-record pressure fall of 100 mb over a 40 second period. See the NWS article and conference paper on the event. Thanks to wunderground member Scott Lincoln for this link.

A storm chasers' nightmare
Cars and tornadoes can prove a dangerous mix even for the world's most experienced storm chasers. Driving at high speeds though heavy rain, large hail, and high winds is hazardous. If one is lucky enough to chase down a tornado, even the most experienced chasers can find themselves in a serious life-threatening situation when unexpected events occur. The exact circumstances of the deaths of Tim Samaras and his team are not clear, but the El Reno tornado was an extremely dangerous one to chase. Tornadoes by their nature are unpredictable, and can change course unexpectedly, or pop up suddenly. It's particularly dangerous when a tornado is wrapped in rain, making it hard to see, or if a chaser is operating in a heavily populated area, where roads may suddenly become congested. All four of these conditions occurred Friday during the El Reno tornado. The El Reno tornado was wrapped in rain and difficult to see as it headed west towards Oklahoma City, and suddenly made a jog to the southeast as a Weather Channel team led by Mike Bettes was attempting to get in front of the storm, and the tornado lifted their vehicle off the ground, rolled it multiple times, and hurled it 200 yards into a nearby field. Austin Anderson was driving the Tornado Hunt vehicle, and suffered several broken bones and was hospitalized. Although Austin will have to undergo surgery in the next few days, doctors say he is expected to make a full recovery. StormChasingVideo.com storm chaser Brandon Sullivan and his chase partner Brett Wright got caught in the tornado northwest of Union City, OK and slammed with debris as the tornado hit a barn that exploded in front of them. Meteorologist Emily Sutton and storm chaser Kevin Josefy of local Oklahoma City TV station KFOR also had a very close call with the El Reno tornado Friday afternoon. They got too close to the tornado, and were forced to floor the car in reverse to escape flying debris. With branches of trees crashing around them, Sutton began feeling debris hitting her back, and realized that the rear windshield of the car must have gotten destroyed. Both were uninjured. Reed Timmer's armor-plated "Dominator" chase vehicle had its hood torn off by the tornado. Wunderground member Levi32 was out storm chasing during the El Reno Tornado, and got stuck in traffic on Highway 4 and couldn't move. "We looked up above the car and saw the wall cloud over top of us, with very quick rotation and rising scud indicating the updraft. We were definitely too close."


Video 1. Severe storm researcher and engineer Tim Samaras talks about his view on tornadoes and what remains to be understood in this interview posted on May 21, 2013.


Video 2. A tornado passes over one of Tim Samaras' specially designed six-camera video probes on June 11, 2004 near Storm Lake, Iowa.

Tornadoes and cars: a dangerous mix
A vehicle is about the worst place you can be in a tornado, as the tornado's winds can easily roll a car. (The only place less safe is probably a mobile home, as a tornado's winds can roll mobile homes almost as readily, and mobile homes don't come with seat belts and air bags.) At least five of the deaths in Friday's El Reno tornado occurred in vehicles. There was one local TV station that urged residents without underground shelters to get in their cars and "get south" in advance of the tornado that was approaching Oklahoma City, since chasers were reporting that the El Reno tornado may have been so strong that only an underground shelter would have provided adequate protection. This terrible piece of advice likely contributed to the incredible traffic jams that we saw on I-35, I-40, I-44, and other local roads Friday night. Thousands of cars were bumper-to-bumper on the roads as a dangerous tornado approached them. Had the El Reno tornado plowed directly down one of these car-choked interstates, the death toll could have easily exceeded 500. If you are located in a metro area and don't have an underground shelter, the best thing to do it to take shelter in an interior windowless room or hallway, with protective furniture over your body. Getting in a car and attempting to flee the tornado is the worst thing you can do in an urban area. You may not be able to see the tornado if it is dark or the tornado is wrapped in rain. You are likely to encounter hazardous winds, rain, and hail, run into unexpected traffic, or flooded or debris-blocked roads that will put you directly in the path of the tornado. Even without an underground shelter, most people will be able to survive a dangerous EF-4 tornado. Case in point: during the Mannsford, Oklahoma EF- 4 tornado of 1984, a packed church received a direct hit, and everyone in the church survived. The only fatality was a man who drove to the church to get his wife. It is often better to abandon your vehicle and take shelter in a ditch, if you are caught in a car during a tornado. However, if there is already flying debris in the air, leaving your car and exposing yourself to the debris in order to get to a ditch may be more hazardous than staying in your car. Furthermore, ditches are prone to flash floods. Four deaths during the El Reno tornado were from a family of seven that sheltered in a drainage ditch, and were washed into the Deep Fork River by a flash flood. Searchers are still looking for the other three bodies. A 2002 research paper, "UNSAFE AT ANY (WIND) SPEED? Testing the Stability of Motor Vehicles in Severe Winds" found that: "The stability and superior safety of being in a vehicle in severe winds, relative to occupying a mobile home or being outdoors, should be considered." Also, TWC's severe weather expert, Dr. Greg Forbes, commented on the pros and cons of abandoning one's vehicle for a ditch in a 2009 blog post, "Tornado Safety - Cars Versus Ditches: A Controversy." His personal take on what he would do if his car was being overtaken by a tornado, and no sturdy buildings were nearby to take shelter in: "I can't see myself getting out of the vehicle. I'd try first to drive away from the tornado. Both the NWS and the American Red Cross actually also advocate this. If you can determine which way the tornado is moving toward, face your body toward that direction and then go to the right, as shown in the diagram below. That is usually toward the south or southeast. The reason that it's best to head this way is that if you went to the left you would normally get into the region where largest hail and blinding rain occur in the kind of supercell, rotating thunderstorms that often spawn tornadoes. If I had no such driving option and I did feel the urge to get out of my car, I'd try to get into a building, and into a ditch well away from the car as the last resort."

My condolences and prayers go to all of the family and friends of Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young. Their deaths are a terrible shock to the meteorological community, and a great loss for tornado science. I hope that their deaths will lead towards safer tornado chasing, and help spur efforts to use emerging drone technology to take measurements in dangerous storms such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting BahaHurican:
Didn't the dominator get the hood ripped off by this same tornado?
Quoting BahaHurican:
Didn't the dominator get the hood ripped off by this same tornado?


My understanding is that they got snagged by some downed cables, and when they backed out, that is when the cable pulled the hood off.

EDIT: I have searched for any source of this version.... finding none, so take this as my memory only. (My recollection is that I heard this in the live audio report Reed made during the event)
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Just remember damage doesn't support anything higher than EF3, although they might be studying couple of damage spots before updating to higher ranking. I think DOW MIGHT support EF4 as well. We'll see.

The damage doesn't have to. Numerous tornadoes in the past have been upgraded based on radar alone when the structures hit by the tornado didn't support that particular rating.

The Rozel, Kansas tornado received an initial rating of EF2. It was upgraded to EF3 based on further inspection of the barn it hit. The tornado was further upgraded to a high-end EF4 based on wind observations taken by the DOW.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
We'll know more about the intensity of this tornado once the information collected by a DOW comes in later in the week. With 298 knots of shear (120.4 knots on the north side [maxed out my scale], -177.9 knots on the south side [also maxed out my scale]) there is no doubt in my mind this was a very violent tornado. By far the strongest couplet I have ever seen, a statement that has been uttered by many professional meteorologists as well.



Seems to me from the radar data this may have exceeded F3? At least when it was doing the I40 crossing.

We will have to see. Also I didn't know dow was deployed? I hope they got good data.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
We'll know more about the intensity of this tornado once the information collected by a DOW comes in later in the week. With 298 knots of shear (120.4 knots on the north side [maxed out my scale], -177.9 knots on the south side [also maxed out my scale]) there is no doubt in my mind this was a very violent tornado. By far the strongest couplet I have ever seen, a statement that has been uttered by many professional meteorologists as well.

Just remember damage doesn't support anything higher than EF3, although they might be studying couple of damage spots before updating to higher ranking. I think DOW MIGHT support EF4 as well. We'll see.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8075
Quoting sar2401:

Spooky. Last line: "I don't care what kind of vehicle you have, you're toast". The picture of his truck posted earlier certainly shows what happens. I hope Reed Timmer sees this and doesn't place too much faith in the "Dominator" being safe either.


They sustained quite a bit of damage themselves. Supposedly portions of the outer frame of the dominator are not attached all that well and the front low hanging hood extension thingy was torn off.

Honestly its a wakeup call for everyone giving me second thoughts as well because I was planning a chase next year in the same area. I hope they find Tim's gear that could tell us alot about what happened.
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We'll know more about the intensity of this tornado once the information collected by a DOW comes in later in the week. With 298 knots of shear (120.4 knots on the north side [maxed out my scale], -177.9 knots on the south side [also maxed out my scale]) there is no doubt in my mind this was a very violent tornado. By far the strongest couplet I have ever seen, a statement that has been uttered by many professional meteorologists as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the winds found by the DOW surpass the winds measured in the '99 Moore tornado.



Note: the radar registered winds so intense that it couldn't resolve them; as such, the radar replaced those regions with no data squares (the black squares). In the bottom right, the big squash no data area is a result of radar's issues with this circulation.
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Just in from work and popping in before a very early morning tomorrow. But wow. RIP to them. Doesn't sound like they'd have been careless. Like I say, wouldn't want to live in a tornado prone area and despite how amazing images from places are, doubt I would open myself to that risk from them. Thoughts for their families.
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Quoting sar2401:

Spooky. Last line: "I don't care what kind of vehicle you have, you're toast". The picture of his truck posted earlier certainly shows what happens. I hope Reed Timmer sees this and doesn't place too much faith in the "Dominator" being safe either.
Didn't the dominator get the hood ripped off by this same tornado?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22727
Quoting GTcooliebai:
18z GFS shows sheared system convection displaced to the east of the center. Looks like Debby wants to comeback from the grave :~P



European takes it up the east coast, though it's hard to say for sure whether that big low is the remnants of this or not, since the Euro is weird on initialization sometimes, and frames are 12 hours apart instead of 6.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
WOW 18Z GFS look at that!
If that happens I will need to move to higher ground, my house would be flood out!
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From what I can tell, Union City is the area south of both El Reno and Yukon, and the Radio Rd / 10th street intersection would be in or near that location. I wouldn't be surprised if the chasers mentioned here turned out to be Samaras and crew.

On this map, the part of the track where most fatalities seem to have occurred was the NE diagonal, the zig that ends with a zag back along I-40:

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22727
Hello all back again today. Just recently heard the news that Tim was dead, and his crew and his son. Unbelievable, I had some interaction with Tim many years ago and was a great fan of his work. Total tragedy I never thought we would have lost chasers in a storm like the Reno storm but somehow not lose them a few days before in the Moore storm, it baffles me, but the Reno storm was very shifty and very hard to get a fix on by all accounts so I suppose that made it much more dangerous. My heart goes out to his family and the family of those hurt or lost over the last two days.


Back on track, in the gulf looks alot better today than it did 24-48 hours ago. Got a well defined trough and what looks to be a new surface low forming on RGB imagery right in the gap between the yucatan and cuba, possible just north of that. Not anywhere near a closed low yet but getting closer. Going to wait another 24 hours to see what the models says after we are closer to a closed low, as I expect we will get that in that time period.

Seems to me this will be an eastern gulf storm but its too early to tell, however I do think we will see Andrea out of this thing one way or another.
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WOW 18Z GFS look at that!
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18z GFS shows sheared system convection displaced to the east of the center. Looks like Debby wants to comeback from the grave :~P

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Quoting ScottLincoln:
Youtube video from 2010 where Tim Samaras describes his chase vehicle. This appears to be the same vehicle he was driving 2 days ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YO1RA-tkWI


Tim also talks about his hail pads and some of the newer probes he developed.

Spooky. Last line: "I don't care what kind of vehicle you have, you're toast". The picture of his truck posted earlier certainly shows what happens. I hope Reed Timmer sees this and doesn't place too much faith in the "Dominator" being safe either.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17336
Quoting ScottLincoln:

I'm actually going to say a I am a bit skeptical of this, and it really could have been stronger than EF3, but was prevented from getting that rating due to lack of damage indicators. I'm not their office, it's not my responsibility to do that rating, and I was not there... take it for what it is, but my gut is that EF3 could be low.
The argument that radar data only supported EF3 is a bit weak in my opinion, especially considering that in much stronger tornadoes, we are telling people not to take the radar velocities at face value for the winds in the tornado. This is because radar is usually always sampling higher than the tornado itself, and in most cases when the tornado is sampled, it is sampling winds hundreds of feet above the ground. Because of these limitations, we usually don't see the radar being used as an indication of tornado strength beyond the realtime event.

So yes, it certainly could have just been a high-end EF3; contrary to what some suggest to the public, it is not always a great correlation between tornado size and tornado damage severity. But to say that it was the NEXRAD radar data that helped back up that classification, well... I'm a little skeptical.
Yeah, my gut is saying higher as well. I believe it'll be updated to low-end EF4 eventually after going over the data, although damages might not support that. Like you said, most of us thought tornado was really powerful but that might've been because the radar was looking high like you said. It's just another tornado showing us that regular radar isn't a great way to tell the strength of an tornado. This tornado reminded me of what happened in Sanford, NC in 2011. I thought it was an EF4 damage after seeing the damage myself in Sanford but when I took a tour around NWS Raleigh, they said there weren't any damage to support that rating as well as some other data. I am still little surprised that an high-end EF3 managed to flatten Lowe's store and couple of brick factories to twisted steel. It was a little lesson that there is more into doing the rating other than looking at the damage.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8075
102HR
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http://www.news9.com/story/22479359/okc-police-se veral-people-still-missing-since-friday-nights-sev ere-storms


OKC Police: Several People Still Missing Since Friday Night's Severe Storms
Posted: Jun 02, 2013 9:14 AM EST Updated: Jun 02, 2013 11:46 AM EST
By News9.com - email

The National Weather Service says a total of five tornadoes touched down across the metro, including a powerful EF-3 that hit near El Reno. The National Weather Service says a total of five tornadoes touched down across the metro, including a powerful EF-3 that hit near El Reno.
EL RENO, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma City Police confirmed several people are still missing following severe storms in central Oklahoma Friday evening.

Right now, the death toll stands at 11, including two children. More than 100 people were injured in the severe storms.

According to the Oklahoma City Fire Department, there were ten people who sought shelter in a storm drain near the Dell Plant in Oklahoma City. Six of them have been accounted for.

Emergency crews continue to search for the other four who are still missing.

Authorities say they are also searching in the area of 55th and Western, where seven people went into a storm drain to seek shelter, and were washed away.

Chief Mark Woodard with the fire department said one of those seven people have been found dead.

Chief Woodard said it will take some time to locate these missing victims, because of the rushing waters and timing of when the river may crest.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

The National Weather Service says a total of five tornadoes touched down across the metro, including a powerful EF-3 that hit near El Reno.

Several of those deaths were people caught in their cars, one of the worst places to be during a severe storm.

Some storm chasers may be reconsidering their job after getting caught in the storm's path.

Two people who died in Friday's tornados were tossed in their vehicles across a Union City field. Witnesses tell us, a man in the truck was "storm chasing" at the time.

"Oh man it was ridiculous just to see all the vehicles, storm chaser vehicles off and upside down. It was a mess. Bad news, real bad. It made us all think twice about doing it. The fact that we've all got kids at home," Storm Chaser Bill Gerdes said.

In all, three people died in Canadian County. All were in vehicles.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22727
18Z GFS 87HR!
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Surprised at the ferocity of some of the storms up in Maine right now. Looks like a nicely formed Bow echo pushing its way northeast with a lot of rain with it.

Interesting to see a decent Tor-Con rating for the North East area, not a common thing.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

I'm actually going to say a I am a bit skeptical of this, and it really could have been stronger than EF3, but was prevented from getting that rating due to lack of damage indicators. I'm not their office, it's not my responsibility to do that rating, and I was not there... take it for what it is, but my gut is that EF3 could be low.
The argument that radar data only supported EF3 is a bit weak in my opinion, especially considering that in much stronger tornadoes, we are telling people not to take the radar velocities at face value for the winds in the tornado. This is because radar is usually always sampling higher than the tornado itself, and in most cases when the tornado is sampled, it is sampling winds hundreds of feet above the ground. Because of these limitations, we usually don't see the radar being used as an indication of tornado strength beyond the realtime event.

So yes, it certainly could have just been a high-end EF3; contrary to what some suggest to the public, it is not always a great correlation between tornado size and tornado damage severity. But to say that it was the NEXRAD radar data that helped back up that classification, well... I'm a little skeptical.
From some stuff I have been reading, I don't think they've completed the surveys out there; seems like tomorrow is when they expect to be done at earliest. So they may not have surveyed everything...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22727
18z GFS 72 hours
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


UL winds still unfavorable for development, not a huge change there


I think he is looking at the anticyclone moving towards the disturbance, thus allowing shear to decrease over at least the western flank of the disturbance.

With that in mind too, looks like a circulation is being spit out into the gulf of mexico and a new one reforming over or near the Yucatan. As a result the latest satellite images show the system organizing, doesn't look as elongated and sheared as it did earlier (though there are still issues on the eastern side). Thunderstorms are now forming around the new center too. Appears that the convection looks more concentrated too and not so spread out. Only problem is, the center needs to move over water if it wants to have a chance at forming.

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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11539
5:49 p.m. EDT Sunday: The potential for damaging winds and quarter-sized hail is associated with a thunderstorm that is moving through Guilford, Maine.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
I say we will have 91L tomorrow morning!

hmm maybe I think it would be too quick to call it
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
I say we will have 91L tomorrow morning!
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
still very powerful that would fall under the saffir scale as a hurricane category 5

Not necessarily. One is sustained winds, the other is 3-second gust.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
now

6 Hours Previous

it big and monsoonal it will kick around it vort

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
I just don't see anything coming from that mess.I mean look at it!
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
It's really hard to swallow that an EF3 killed so many people including couple of good chasers. This shows that it doesn't have to be a violent torndao (EF4 or EF5) to kill many people. However, NWS Norman is still going over the data and there is DOW data to look over as well. It's just hard to believe this tornado was only EF3 because of what the radar were showing, but there's no damage to support higher than EF3. Shows that sometimes looking at radar doesn't automatically mean there's EF4 or EF5 on ground.

EDIT: NWS Norman said their radar and surveys only supported EF3 winds with estimate peak of 156 mph.

I'm actually going to say a I am a bit skeptical of this, and it really could have been stronger than EF3, but was prevented from getting that rating due to lack of damage indicators. I'm not their office, it's not my responsibility to do that rating, and I was not there... take it for what it is, but my gut is that EF3 could be low.
The argument that radar data only supported EF3 is a bit weak in my opinion, especially considering that in much stronger tornadoes, we are telling people not to take the radar velocities at face value for the winds in the tornado. This is because radar is usually always sampling higher than the tornado itself, and in most cases when the tornado is sampled, it is sampling winds hundreds of feet above the ground. Because of these limitations, we usually don't see the radar being used as an indication of tornado strength beyond the realtime event.

So yes, it certainly could have just been a high-end EF3; contrary to what some suggest to the public, it is not always a great correlation between tornado size and tornado damage severity. But to say that it was the NEXRAD radar data that helped back up that classification, well... I'm a little skeptical.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Um it looks like one area to me for now

the models showing a split may agree with you though

FWIW, I believe in the split models right now. That area off Cuba will continue to tap into the deep layer moisture and feed rain into South Florida. I think the only questions are how much, when, and does this get out into the Atlantic and turn into something later. As far as the "blob" off the Yucatan, it's been there for almost two days and isn't showing much signs of wanting to move or develop. This time of year, there's almost always some kind of blob off the Yucatan. There's a lot of dry air in the Gulf, and the shear is still pretty high. The dry air needs to moisten up, the shear needs to relax, and the blob needs a kicker before anything will happen over our way. Like I wrote before, my excitement alarm is set for Tuesday at noon, when we should have a better idea if anything is really going to happen.
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now

6 Hours Previous
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Now!

3 Hours Previous


UL winds still unfavorable for development, not a huge change there
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Quoting FOREX:


Now we can debate this.lol


I like the below headline thresholds

its almost like they are saying...NO HYPE!!! lol
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Now!

3 Hours Previous
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215. Skyepony (Mod)
Pretty awful what happened. That was a particularly erratic tornado, given that & being rain wrapped, plus traffic..goes to show even the most informed, experienced & safest can still die chasing. The remains of their chase vehicle is certainly a testament to a vehicle being the last place you want to ride out a tornado..
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214. FOREX
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
This update from the nws Tampa should clear up any deliberation on our current disturbance.... W can all stop going back and forth now. Lol




Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Tampa Bay Ruskin Florida
319 PM EDT sun Jun 2 2013


Short term (tonight - tuesday)...
currently at the surface...high pressure is centered over the
western Atlantic with ridging extending westward into the
southeast states. Upstream...a cold front stretches from the
eastern Great Lakes southwestward into the northwest Gulf of
Mexico. While a broad area of low pressure stretches from the Bay
of Campeche eastward into the Caribbean Sea. Visible satellite
imagery shows partly cloudy skies across most of the area...with
radar imagery showing scattered showers and thunderstorms
developing primarily along the Gulf Coast sea breeze. Main short
term concerns will revolve around probability of precipitation over the next several
forecast periods.


Model solutions are in general agreement showing the upstream cold
front weakening and dissipating across the southeast states over the
next couple of days. Guidance differs with respect to strength and
position the broad area of low pressure...but generally suggests
some weak development over the southern and central Gulf early in
the work week. What this most likely will mean for the local area is
an unsettled short term period with scattered to numerous rounds of
showers and isolated thunderstorms as deep tropical moisture advects
northward from the southern Gulf and Caribbean Sea.


Tonight...
will carry slight chance/low chance probability of precipitation this evening to account for
some lingering sea breeze convection. After midnight...model
solutions show an increase in deep layer moisture across the
area...and with south-southwest boundary layer flow in place of the
Gulf...will need keep rain chances in the forecast. Low temperatures
are expected to bottom out in the low to middle 70s.


Monday through Tuesday...
unsettled conditions are expected through the period. It/S difficult
at this point to pin down timing details for rainfall given the deep
layer moisture with a connection to the southern Gulf and Caribbean
Sea and several upper level impulses swinging across the region. As
a result...will high chance and likely probability of precipitation going through the
period. High temperatures will likely be held down by cloud cover
and showers/storms...topping out in the middle to upper 80s most
locales. Lows Monday night are expected to bottom out in the low to
middle 70s.


&&


Long term (tuesday night-saturday)...
no changes made to the extended forecast from the previous shift.
Please reference the latest products from the National Hurricane
Center and the weather prediction center.


An area of low pressure could possibly develop near the
Yucatan/northern Caribbean and head in the general direction of
Florida over the coming week. Satellite imagery shows an area of
convection off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Convection also spanned Cuba...the Florida Straits...and the Florida
Keys over the last 12 hours. The moist air mass currently over much
of the peninsula of Florida will continue to be a dominant factor
into the long term...enriching itself with deep tropical moisture.


12z model guidance has differing solutions for this potential
system. The 12z CMC offers a solution of a low developing in the
central Gulf on Tuesday night...deepening before moving into The Big
Bend of Florida late Thursday into Friday. This solution is the most
aggressive and an outlier of note compared to other global model
guidance.


The 12z GFS hints at a trough over the Gulf for much of the forecast
period...with a weak low possibly developing at some point in the
central Gulf. The 00z European model (ecmwf) seems to agree with the trough/weak low
solution...though timing and location are slightly different since
the European model (ecmwf) has a more southerly Route across Florida for the trough
axis/weak low. NHC gives this area of disturbed weather a 10
percent chance of developing into tropical system over the next 48
hours per the latest tropical weather outlook/twoat.


The main concern for west central and southwest Florida continues to
be the threat of heavy rains and possibly flooding thanks to
abundant tropical moisture and recent heavy rains.


&&


Aviation...
showers and thunderstorms along the sea breeze this afternoon. SW
winds should allow storms to drift inland...away from most terminals
except lal. Overnight...lingering showers...low clouds...and some
patchy ground fog at pgd/lal will need to be monitored. Rain chances
increase tomorrow morning...have included vcsh in the tafs along
with a prob30 for rain due to higher confidence.


&&


Marine...
high pressure will slowly lose it/S influence over the marine area
as a broad area of low pressure begins to develop over the southern
and central Gulf of Mexico. There is quite a bit of uncertainty
regarding the track and strength of this area of low pressure at
this time...but model guidance is suggesting it may push across
northern Florida late in the work week.


For now winds and seas are expected to remain below headline
thresholds through Monday. Exercise caution or advisory headlines
may eventually be needed for the waters during the middle to late week
time frame as the developing area of low pressure approaches from
the southwest.


&&


Fire weather...
ample moisture will lead to high relative humidities and no
significant fire weather concerns.


&&


Preliminary point temps/pops...
tpa 75 86 73 86 / 30 70 40 60
fmy 73 87 73 87 / 40 70 60 70
gif 73 88 71 88 / 30 70 40 70
srq 75 85 74 87 / 30 70 50 60
bkv 71 87 71 88 / 20 70 40 70
spg 76 86 75 87 / 30 70 50 60


&&


Tbw watches/warnings/advisories...
Florida...none.
Gulf waters...none.


&&


$$


Short term/marine/fire weather...jelsema
long term/aviation...Garcia












Now we can debate this.lol
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new maps out and shear is still falling in the GOH and NW Caribbean shear still high in the GOM Florida and the Bahamas
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Back for the season... Good to see the same people around. This storm seemed to be aiming for those involved in weather research and forecasting! Such a sad loss. He dedicated his life to work that will save countless lives in the future.
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Mile Wide Tornado: Oklahoma Disaster Tonight on the Discovery Channel 10/9C
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5:36 p.m. EDT Sunday: A thunderstorm capable of producing strong winds and heavy rain is headed toward Danville, Va.
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2029
This update from the nws Tampa should clear up any deliberation on our current disturbance.... W can all stop going back and forth now. Lol




Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Tampa Bay Ruskin Florida
319 PM EDT sun Jun 2 2013


Short term (tonight - tuesday)...
currently at the surface...high pressure is centered over the
western Atlantic with ridging extending westward into the
southeast states. Upstream...a cold front stretches from the
eastern Great Lakes southwestward into the northwest Gulf of
Mexico. While a broad area of low pressure stretches from the Bay
of Campeche eastward into the Caribbean Sea. Visible satellite
imagery shows partly cloudy skies across most of the area...with
radar imagery showing scattered showers and thunderstorms
developing primarily along the Gulf Coast sea breeze. Main short
term concerns will revolve around probability of precipitation over the next several
forecast periods.


Model solutions are in general agreement showing the upstream cold
front weakening and dissipating across the southeast states over the
next couple of days. Guidance differs with respect to strength and
position the broad area of low pressure...but generally suggests
some weak development over the southern and central Gulf early in
the work week. What this most likely will mean for the local area is
an unsettled short term period with scattered to numerous rounds of
showers and isolated thunderstorms as deep tropical moisture advects
northward from the southern Gulf and Caribbean Sea.


Tonight...
will carry slight chance/low chance probability of precipitation this evening to account for
some lingering sea breeze convection. After midnight...model
solutions show an increase in deep layer moisture across the
area...and with south-southwest boundary layer flow in place of the
Gulf...will need keep rain chances in the forecast. Low temperatures
are expected to bottom out in the low to middle 70s.


Monday through Tuesday...
unsettled conditions are expected through the period. It/S difficult
at this point to pin down timing details for rainfall given the deep
layer moisture with a connection to the southern Gulf and Caribbean
Sea and several upper level impulses swinging across the region. As
a result...will high chance and likely probability of precipitation going through the
period. High temperatures will likely be held down by cloud cover
and showers/storms...topping out in the middle to upper 80s most
locales. Lows Monday night are expected to bottom out in the low to
middle 70s.


&&


Long term (tuesday night-saturday)...
no changes made to the extended forecast from the previous shift.
Please reference the latest products from the National Hurricane
Center and the weather prediction center.


An area of low pressure could possibly develop near the
Yucatan/northern Caribbean and head in the general direction of
Florida over the coming week. Satellite imagery shows an area of
convection off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Convection also spanned Cuba...the Florida Straits...and the Florida
Keys over the last 12 hours. The moist air mass currently over much
of the peninsula of Florida will continue to be a dominant factor
into the long term...enriching itself with deep tropical moisture.


12z model guidance has differing solutions for this potential
system. The 12z CMC offers a solution of a low developing in the
central Gulf on Tuesday night...deepening before moving into The Big
Bend of Florida late Thursday into Friday. This solution is the most
aggressive and an outlier of note compared to other global model
guidance.


The 12z GFS hints at a trough over the Gulf for much of the forecast
period...with a weak low possibly developing at some point in the
central Gulf. The 00z European model (ecmwf) seems to agree with the trough/weak low
solution...though timing and location are slightly different since
the European model (ecmwf) has a more southerly Route across Florida for the trough
axis/weak low. NHC gives this area of disturbed weather a 10
percent chance of developing into tropical system over the next 48
hours per the latest tropical weather outlook/twoat.


The main concern for west central and southwest Florida continues to
be the threat of heavy rains and possibly flooding thanks to
abundant tropical moisture and recent heavy rains.


&&


Aviation...
showers and thunderstorms along the sea breeze this afternoon. SW
winds should allow storms to drift inland...away from most terminals
except lal. Overnight...lingering showers...low clouds...and some
patchy ground fog at pgd/lal will need to be monitored. Rain chances
increase tomorrow morning...have included vcsh in the tafs along
with a prob30 for rain due to higher confidence.


&&


Marine...
high pressure will slowly lose it/S influence over the marine area
as a broad area of low pressure begins to develop over the southern
and central Gulf of Mexico. There is quite a bit of uncertainty
regarding the track and strength of this area of low pressure at
this time...but model guidance is suggesting it may push across
northern Florida late in the work week.


For now winds and seas are expected to remain below headline
thresholds through Monday. Exercise caution or advisory headlines
may eventually be needed for the waters during the middle to late week
time frame as the developing area of low pressure approaches from
the southwest.


&&


Fire weather...
ample moisture will lead to high relative humidities and no
significant fire weather concerns.


&&


Preliminary point temps/pops...
tpa 75 86 73 86 / 30 70 40 60
fmy 73 87 73 87 / 40 70 60 70
gif 73 88 71 88 / 30 70 40 70
srq 75 85 74 87 / 30 70 50 60
bkv 71 87 71 88 / 20 70 40 70
spg 76 86 75 87 / 30 70 50 60


&&


Tbw watches/warnings/advisories...
Florida...none.
Gulf waters...none.


&&


$$


Short term/marine/fire weather...jelsema
long term/aviation...Garcia










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Quoting Seflhurricane:
still very powerful that would fall under the saffir scale as a hurricane category 5


Yup, just barely.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
still very powerful that would fall under the saffir scale as a hurricane category 5
Very true. EF2 or EF3 are still very powerful and it's enough to kill people.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8075
Quoting BahaHurican:
I think it was the multiple vortices that created the problem with this storm, that and the abrupt direction changes. With out further information, it looks like Samaras and crew may have been attempting to get away from congested main roads and to parallel the storm that, like others that evening seemed to be heading SE, when it took that abrupt NE run. I think there were 5 or 7 fatalities all together in that little area from 10th St to I-40...
Yeah, there were satellite tornadoes around the main storm. They're typical of violent tornadoes though. I'm not sure I've heard of satellite tornadoes in an EF3 before, but I'm sure others have. There's also too many chasers out there with few roads so it was hard to escape.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8075
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I am driving back from Commerce GA and just passed quite the shelf cloud. When I get back I will post it. Not sure how good the photo is as I took it on the phone. Was quite beutiful. The storm itself was very strong as well.

Yeah, you guys in Georgia are stealing all the good storms from Alabama. :-) We finally have a pretty wimpy line of storms that's headed toward Eufaula but it's starting to look like swiss cheese on radar. I'm just hoping it holds together long enough to at least give my lawn a little drink. Geez, it's 90 with a dewpoint of 72. You'd think that would be good for something.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17336
Quoting Bluestorm5:
It's really hard to swallow that an EF3 killed so many people including couple of good chasers. This shows that it doesn't have to be a violent torndao (EF4 or EF5) to kill many people. However, NWS Norman is still going over the data and there is DOW data to look over as well. It's just hard to believe this tornado was only EF3 because of what the radar were showing, but there's no damage to support higher than EF3. Shows that sometimes looking at radar doesn't automatically mean there's EF4 or EF5 on ground.

EDIT: NWS Norman said their radar and surveys only supported EF3 winds with estimate peak of 156 mph.
still very powerful that would fall under the saffir scale as a hurricane category 5
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Quoting sar2401:

Let's see if we can get this straight. There is a moderate size mass of disturbed weather of the tip of the Yucatan. It's not a tropical depression, it's not an invest, it's not even a clearly identified low pressure area. Some models, the CMC in particular, want to develop this into a tropical depression and bring it on a track crossing the Panhandle area of Florida later this week. That's the one that shows a track near PCB. Nothing is happening yet, and, if anything does happen, it probably won't start happening until Tuesday.

There is a separate mass of clouds and disturbed weather off Cuba and Hispaniola. This area of disturbed weather has a lot of convection and moisture associated with it. This mass of disturbed weather is the one forecast to move across south Florida in the next few days, bringing anywhere from a a couple up to 20 inches of rain. So, there are two different areas of interest, and, if they develop as some models forecast, they will affect two different areas of Florida.


Um it looks like one area to me for now

the models showing a split may agree with you though
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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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