The above feature photo was captured by Tim Marshall. Provided with permission. This historic Tornado happened six years ago today.
The maximum width of the Tornado was two point six miles wide!
On the 31st May 2013, a powerful, long-track Tornado developed southwest of El Reno, Oklahoma (OK). This remarkably wide Tornado took a difficult path, changing in both speed and direction rapidly.
You can find out more about the Tornado’s movement on a minute-by-minute basis here.
The Tornado damaged many homes as well as a few businesses near El Reno, OK. Furthermore, significant sub-vortices destroyed crops in a number of fields in the area. Eight people were killed in the Tornado, all in vehicles…
…This included three severe storm researchers who were killed east of U.S. Highway 81 as the Tornado overtook their position. We will have an article on those incredibly talented and well-respected researchers coming out later tonight.
Additionally, a number of people were killed whilst attempting to escape the Tornado near U.S. Highway 81. Finally, two people were killed along 1-40 while waiting for the Tornado to pass. Suffice to say the monetary damages were estimated.
It’s safe to suggest this Tornado was well “sampled” by two separate mobile research radar teams – bullet point listed below.
- University of Oklahoma’s RaXPol radar
- Center for Severe Weather Research’s Doppler on Wheels
Both radars captured measured winds in the Tornado of more than two hundred miles per hour.
The RaXPol radar data shows winds of at least two hundred and ninety five miles per hour very close to the surface. The intense winds were present in a very small sub-vortices within the larger Tornado circulation.
An analysis of the high resolution radar data combined with the results of the ground damage survey illustrates that none of these intense sub-vortices impacted any structures. Despite the measured wind speeds…
…Surveyors could not find any damage that would support a rating higher than EF-3 based upon the damage indicators used with the EF scale. The maximum Tornado width was two point six miles.
We didn’t particularly want to make this a wordy article, however we wanted to give this Tornado a detailed introduction. Now you’ve read about it…
…In the videos below, relive the EF-3 El Reno, OK Tornado that struck on the 31st May 2013.