There’s no doubt that yesterday’s tornado that struck the town of Moore, Oklahoma was a devastating event.
The tornado’s damage path is around seventeen miles long and about a mile wide. Entire neighborhoods have been erased from the map. Two schools were heavily damaged from the storm. Hundreds of cars were tossed aside like toys. Around 20,000 families have been displaced because of the tornado’s incredible path of destruction.
Sadly, 237 people were injured from the storm, and as of the last official statement, 24 people were killed. Last night the death toll was 51 people, but that number was lowered this morning by the office of the medical examiner. The excuse for having an incorrect death count was that apparently many of the victims were counted twice.
The National Weather Service is still examining the wreckage and making a decision about the true power of the storm. We know that the tornado was at least a strong EF-4 tornado, but latest reports claim that destruction has been found that equals the incredible power of an EF-5, the strongest class of tornadoes. Word has it the tornado had a peak wind speed of a whopping 210 mph.
In reality, the ultimate strength of the May 20, 2013 tornado that struck Moore, OK is meaningless. It’s just a statistic for the record books. The reality is that this was a monster storm that nearly wiped out an entire town. The incredible amount of damage stretches for miles and miles in that section of the greater Oklahoma City metro area.
For the residents of Moore, OK, tornadoes are just a part of life. The town is located in the heart of Tornado Alley, and it’s been struck by deadly tornadoes at least five times since 1998. Until yesterday, the most destructive tornado to hit the city was an F5 tornado on May 3, 1999. That storm had the strongest tornado winds ever recorded and was responsible for the deaths of thirty-six people.
VIDEOS OF THE MAY 20, 2013 MOORE, OKLAHOMA TORNADO:
time-lapse video of the tornado recorded from a news helicopter
tornado footage recorded from outside of town
Earlier today on January 30, 2013, northern Georgia experienced an intense squall line associated with a strong cold front sweeping through the Great Plains, upper midwest and southern part of the country.
The region had been experiencing unseasonably warm weather for the past couple of days, and the Atlanta area flirted near 70 degrees Fahrenheit before today’s storms arrived. Considering that it’s the end of January, that kind of a high temperature is quite impressive. It also tells you that something big with the weather is about to occur. You don’t reach high temperatures like that in the winter without “paying” for it. As of right now the storms have passed and we’re dropped twenty degrees in temperature with our low tonight expected to be around freezing. In other words, we went from an early spring back to winter in the course of a few hours.
WSB-TV news footage of the Adairsville, Georgia, tornado
The deadliest part of today’s weather occurred when an estimated EF-2 or possibly EF-3 tornado ripped through the Adairsville, Georgia, area, destroying parts of the town and shutting down interstate 75 for a brief period of time. One person was killed and fourteen others were injured. About 100 cars have been reported to have been tossed around and flipped over by the tornado.
Just north of Adairsville, the outskirts of Calhoun, Georgia, was also hit by a tornado. Eight people were reported to have been injured and local damage includes homes and poultry farm buildings.
As an avid storm watcher, it’s interesting watching the formation and progress of these supercell thunderstorms and how many of the thunderstorm cells tend to hit the same areas of town. Keep in mind what I’m about to discuss is just a theory based on general observations made over the past few years. I don’t have solid facts in front of me right now. Read more…
Two days ago, an area from northwestern Oklahoma to southeastern Nebraska and Iowa experienced a deadly tornado outbreak. The damage occurred right in the heart of the Great Plains and its infamous “Tornado Alley.”
So far the National Weather Service has confirmed 41 tornadoes out of the 156 reported during the outbreak. The vast majority of tornadoes struck central and southern Kansas. The only reported fatalities came when an EF3 tornado hit a mobile home park in Woodward, Oklahoma, killing six people.
What makes the April 14-15, 2012 Great Plains Tornado Outbreak interesting is that the National Weather Service began issuing statements warning of extremely dangerous weather two days in advance of the outbreak. Normally those kinds of warnings are only issued 12-24 hours before the weather develops. Read more…
Friday, March 2, 2012 witnessed a deadly tornado outbreak across the southern states and Ohio Valley region.
Out of the 127 reported tornadoes, 57 of them were confirmed by the National Weather Service. One of them struck about two miles from my parent’s house here in the Atlanta metro area.
Forty-one people ultimately lost their life from the deadly storms, with the worst hit areas in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky. In particular, one of the hardest hit areas was a damage path caused by an EF-4 tornado. Eleven people died as the twister tore through the small towns of New Perkin, Henryville and Chelsea, Indiana. South of the Ohio River, twenty-five people were killed in northern Kentucky. The town of West Liberty, Kentucky, suffered extreme damage.
As it was noted, that region of the country was experiencing unusually warm air for that time of year. Through in a strong low pressure system and extreme wind shear, and the area was just ripe for the formation of violent supercell thunderstorms.
The day of violent tornadoes started early with twisters striking in northeastern Alabama.
Harvest, Alabama – EF3 tornado footage
The town of Harvest, Alabama, was hit with an EF3 tornado on Friday morning. Take note that the same town was hit by an EF5 tornado in the April 25-28, 2011 super outbreak. Some of the very homes that were being rebuilt were struck AGAIN by a tornado in less than a year. Read more…
In what has already been an early start to the spring severe weather season, there is another threat of severe storms and tornadoes. As of this very moment, there have already been thirteen reports of tornadoes in Alabama, Tennessee and Illinois.
Today’s biggest threat area stretches from northern Tennessee to southern Illinois and Ohio. This includes major cities such as Nashville, TN, Knoxville, TN, Cincinnati, OH, along with Louisville and Lexington, KY.
Today’s activity had an early start as tornadoes touched down in northern Alabama around the Huntsville area. Many homes and buildings suffered moderate levels of damage. Thankfully, there have not been any reported fatalities or significant injuries from those storms.
As of right now, tornado watch boxes much of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the northern parts of Mississippi and Alabama. The two northern watch areas are labeled as Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) Tornado Watches. Read more…
When it comes to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, this past spring has been nothing short of unbelievable.
Parts of the nation not only experienced tornado outbreaks, but this time some of the strongest of storms struck populated areas from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Joplin, Missouri. And sadly, this has included significant loss of life and complete destruction of an untold number of homes, schools and businesses.
- April of 2011 set a new record of 875 confirmed tornadoes, smashing the previous record of 267 back in April of 1974.
- 2011 has been the seventh deadliest year on record with a total number of 508 tornado-related fatalities.
- The EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, MO is the eighth deadliest tornado on record with 135 (updated – June 1, 2011) confirmed fatalities.
- The National Weather Service has estimated that the U.S. has experienced 1,228 tornadoes so far this year. The yearly average number of tornadoes within the past decade is 1,274.
So what does this mean? Read more…
A few days ago we witnessed what is now being described as the second deadliest tornado outbreak in the history of the U.S.
As of right now the official death toll is over 350, though this is expected to rise as search crews are still combing through debris, hoping to find any sign of life in the mountains of rubble. Northern Alabama took the brunt of the damage with many towns and cities from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Cullman suffering from significant damage reports and loss of life.
The damage and loss of life doesn’t stop in Alabama.
Smithville, Mississippi was hit hard by an EF-5 tornado that left at least 15 people dead, Ringgold, Georgia suffered from an extreme amount of damage, and even Rabun County and Lake Burton in northwest Georgia were hit hard by a tornado.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t include the tornado reports from Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. The NOAA estimated that a record 211 tornadoes occurred on this day.
Here’s a collection of videos that help document the April 27, 2011 super tornado outbreak and take a look at some of the damage.
A small collection of tornado videos from Mississippi and Alabama.
This past Saturday afternoon and night saw a rather impressive tornado outbreak throughout central and northern Illinois, northern Indiana, northern Ohio and southeastern Michigan.
In all, fifty-five tornadoes were reported, and sadly, seven people were killed in the storms. Large sections in Millbury, Ohio (just southeast of Toledo) were virtually obliterated as an EF-3 tornado ripped a 300 yard path ten miles through the town, killing five people in the process.
Believe it or not, but the midwest does experience its fair share of tornadoes each year, usually in the late spring and early summer. It’s common to see tornado shelters outside of homes out in farm country. It’s just that for the most part, the tornadoes are not as strong as violent as those that commonly strike the central and southern Great Plains as well as throughout the south.
The first time I saw an actual tornado shelter was not when living in Michigan or here in Atlanta, GA, or when going to college in Starkville, MS. No, the first tornado shelter that I saw was when visiting friends of the family outside of the Dayton, Ohio metro area. In their backyard they had an underground storm shelter. When visiting the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson (also in Dayton), I saw numerous signs pointing the way to storm shelters in the basements of buildings. Oddly enough, here in Atlanta where we experience violent storms each spring and fall, you never see signs or shelters. Read more…
For the second time in less than a month, central Oklahoma experienced another tornado outbreak.
A total of twenty-five tornado reports were made yesterday: sixteen of them in Oklahoma, eight in southwestern Kansas, and one in Washington. As wild as the weather was, it’s even more impressive that so far only two reports of injuries have come out of Oklahoma.
Despite being in the middle of the forecast zone, Oklahoma City was spared from the deadly weather.
Here are several video highlights of yesterday’s action.
May 19, 2010 – A day in the life of a stormchaser. Features tornado videos from near Cordell, OK and Norman, OK. Read more…
Another day in the spring, another round of severe weather.
The only difference today is that instead of focusing on severe weather in the southeastern part of the country, the storms are being forecast for northern and western Oklahoma. Oklahoma City lies right smack in the middle of the current prediction and probability map.
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has issued a public statement concerning the likelihood of tornadoes over this part of the country.
UPDATE – As of 2:05 pm CST, the National Weather Service has issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado watch for most of central and eastern Oklahoma valid until 10 pm CST. This is going to be a long afternoon for those living throughout the state.
Part of today’s Public Severe Weather Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center: Read more…