Stories tagged Oklahoma tornado 2013

May
21
2013

More details are starting to emerge from the enormous tornado to rip through Oklahoma yesterday. Wind speeds were measured over 200 miles per hour. As of Tuesday morning, authorities had put the death toll at 24 but rescue crews were continuing to sort through the rubble looking for more casualties.

Here are a couple YouTube posts from storm chasers who were on the scene for yesterday's devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Listening to their voices, you can really get a feel for the huge magnitude of this tornado.

Oklahoma tornado paths: Three tornadoes have taken vary similar courses near Oklahoma City in the past 15 years.
Oklahoma tornado paths: Three tornadoes have taken vary similar courses near Oklahoma City in the past 15 years.Courtesy Oklahomanick
This map shows that three major tornadoes have taken very similar paths through this section of Oklahoma in the past 15 years, all occurring in May. The May 3, 1999 tornado killed 36 people and was rated EF-5, the strongest ranking on the tornado scale. The May 8, 2003 tornado was rated EF-4, but no one was killed. It is almost a certainty that the 2013 tornado will also be rated EF-5.

Click here to access an interactive slider graphic showing before and after aerial views of the destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School building.

Satellite view: This satellite image shows the storm system that spawned the deadly tornado.
Satellite view: This satellite image shows the storm system that spawned the deadly tornado.Courtesy NOAA
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) captured this image of the storm system that spawned the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma. The storms’ violent updrafts sucked in air that shot up 40,000-50,000 feet or more into the atmosphere. The bubbly white structures you see in the image are known as overshooting cloud tops and are textbook features of violent thunderstorms.

A couple months ago, USA Today reported on global climate change's impact on tornadoes. You can read it here. Trying to draw conclusions about the impacts to this type of weather is twisted, to say the least.

Weather.com's Greg Forbes surveys the damage and gives his insights on the strength of the Oklahoma tornado.

Minnesota-based meteorologist Paul Douglas today gives some great analysis, and some amazing radar images, in the Start Tribune today on why this storm turned out to be so big and powerful. He also reviews the good and the better weather apps to have on your phone or mobile device to help you know when bad weather is coming.

Storm shelter: This commercially made storm shelter made of steel can hold up to six people.
Storm shelter: This commercially made storm shelter made of steel can hold up to six people.Courtesy Survive-a-storm
National Geographic shares information about how uncommon it is for tornadoes to hit developed, populated areas along with some of the basic science on what makes tornadoes occur.

USA Today reports that the phone is ringing off the hook for this tornado shelter sales company. A 4-by-6 steel shelter that can hold up to six people runs about $4,000. The demand is highest in the southern states where most homes are built without basements.

And here's the link to MDR's earlier post on the tornado, showing its movement in time lapse photography.