Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moore Oklahoma Tornado


A devastating EF5 tornado struck Moore Oklahoma the afternoon of May 20, 2013.  There has been extensive media coverage including videos etc.  This post will provide a look at the radar data that was used to provide the life-saving warnings.

Following is the path of the EF5 tornado along with the additional two devastating tornado paths that have struck the Moore community in the past 14 years.






Tracks of 3 major tornados that have hit Moore OK since 1999.













The Oklahoma City Doppler radar shows both the reflectivity and velocity signatures at the time when the  EF5 damage was occurring.


The velocity image on the right shows the intense velocity couplet, while the reflectivity image on the left shows the huge debris ball about the time the tornado was destroying the Plaza Towers Elementary School.

Here is a link that will provide a time lapse of both the velocity and reflectivity of the storms as it track from Newcastle eastward across Moore OK.

Radar animation of the Twin Lakes 88-D radar


The official statement issued by the Norman Forecast Office Tuesday follows

Public Information Statement Issued by NWS Norman
for the Tornado Outbreak of May 20, 2013

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT 
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK 
250 PM CDT TUE MAY 21 2013

...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 5/20/2013 NEWCASTLE/MOORE TORNADO EVENT - 
UPDATE 3... 

...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY HAS NOW RATED THE NEWCASTLE/MOORE TORNADO AS EF5... 

.OVERVIEW...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DISPATCHED FOUR DAMAGE SURVEY TEAMS TO 
THE PATH OF THE NEWCASTLE/MOORE OK TORNADO. NEW STATEMENTS WILL BE 
ISSUED THROUGHOUT THE DAY AS THESE TEAMS REPORT FINDINGS. THIS 
INFORMATION REMAINS PRELIMINARY AND THE INFORMATION HERE COULD 
CHANGE. 

.NEWCASTLE/MOORE TORNADO  
 
RATING:                  EF5 
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:     200-210 MPH 
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:   17 MILES 
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:    1.3 MILES 
FATALITIES:              N/A 
INJURIES:                N/A

START DATE:              MAY 20 2013
START TIME:              2:45 PM CDT 
START LOCATION:          4.4 W  NEWCASTLE /GRADY COUNTY /OK
START LAT/LON:           35.2580 / -97.6775

END DATE:                MAY 20 2013
END TIME:                3:35 PM CDT
END LOCATION:            4.8 E OF MOORE OK /CLEVELAND COUNTY /OK
END LAT/LON:             35.3409 / -97.4007
    
SURVEY SUMMARY: EXPERTS SURVEYING IN MOORE HAVE DETERMINED DAMAGE IS 
EF5 WITH MAXIMUM WINDS OVER 200 MPH. FOUR SURVEY TEAMS CONTINUE TO 
INSPECT DAMAGE FROM THIS LONG TRACK TORNADO. INITIAL DAMAGE WAS 
FOUND AROUND 4.4 MILES WEST OF NEWCASTLE...SOUTH OF TECUMSEH ROAD 
ALSO KNOWN AS NW 16TH STREET AND EAST LAKE ROAD. THE TORNADO TRACKED 
NE TO THE INTERSTATE 44 BRIDGE OVER THE CANADIAN RIVER AND THEN TOOK 
A MORE EASTWARD TRACK THROUGH MOORE. TORNADO DAMAGE ABRUPTLY ENDS 
0.3 MILES EAST OF AIR DEPOT ROAD AND N OF SE 134TH ST. 

INITIALLY PRODUCING EF0 AND EF1 DAMAGE THE STORM INTENSIFIED VERY 
RAPIDLY IN 4 MILES OR AROUND 10 MINUTES PRODUCING EF4 DAMAGE BEFORE 
REACHING INTERSTATE 44. NUMEROUS INDICATIONS OF EF4 DAMAGE WITH SOME 
AREAS NOW DETERMINED AT EF5 DAMAGE...THE HIGHEST CATEGORY ON THE EF 
SCALE...WITH OVER 200 MPH WINDS.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SUCH AS MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH WILL BE UPDATED
AS THE TEAMS COMPLETE THEIR SURVEYS.
 

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