31st May 2013 El Reno, Oklahoma Tornado – relive the Tornado in video

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.

El Reno, OK Mayor says two dead after Tornado swept through the town

The above screen grab was captured from KHOU’s helicopter.

Update #3: It’s official. Last night’s El Reno, Oklahoma Tornado has been rated an EF-3 by the NWS.

Update #2: It has been reported that almost thirty people have been hurt because of the Tornado.

Update: The Norman NWS is continuing to survey the Tornado damage in El Reno, Oklahoma. They confirm the Tornado was at least an EF-2

Original Post: A “likely” Tornado has killed at least two people as it destroyed a roadside hotel, swept through a mobile park and caused significant damage in the area, officials have said. 

RELATED: Tornado touches down near the town of El Reno, OK: Damage, deaths and injuries reported

El Reno, Oklahoma mayor Matt White said during a press conference that “there have been two fatalities at this point,” adding that officials are working to let relatives know. 

White said search and rescue efforts are continuing – even when we’re writing this.   

National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Rick Smith told The Associated Press that the likely Tornado hit last night as a significant storm swept through the state. Survey crews are expected on scene to determine the severity of the damage to the town. 

The roadside hotel, American Budget Value Inn was destroyed by the Tornado. Photos that emerged shortly after the event showed emergency crews going through rubble after an element of the roadside hotel’s second story collapsed into a pie of debris – scattered about the first floor and parking area. 

Mobile homes at the Skyview Estates adjacent to the roadside hotel suffered significant damage, as was a part of a car dealership which is nearby. 

RELATED: Photos of last night’s El Reno, Oklahoma Tornado damage in daylight

During the press conference, the El Reno mayor said the town had “experienced traumatic event”. White said several people were transported to hospitals in Oklahoma City. 

We’re going to leave this post here, we highly recommend you read khou’s article on the Tornado which includes survivor stories – click here.  

Photos of last night’s El Reno, Oklahoma Tornado damage in daylight

The above featured photo was captured by Aaron Brilbeck. Daylight reveals the carnage caused by last night’s Tornado.

In the photos below, take a look at the damage caused by last night’s Tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma in daylight.

When more photos emerge, we will make sure to add them to the gallery above. Video of the damage can be seen below.


Tornado touches down near the town of El Reno, OK: Damage, deaths and injuries reported

Update #3: Via his Twitter account, KFOR’s Mike Morgan has posted what looks to be a Tornado path map – with quite a gut wrenching caption.

Update #2: KOCO is reporting that last night’s El Reno Tornado was estimated to be an EF-3 – which has the wind speeds of one hundred and thirty six to one hundred sixty five.

However, we will wait for the National Weather Service to determine that.

Update: KFOR is reported that two children from a trailer park in El Reno are missing after a Tornado did significant damage there.

Original Post:

Details are still emerging at this time. News 9 in Oklahoma is reporting deaths due to this Tornado – we will have more on that when it emerges.

Significant damage and possible injuries have been reported after a Tornado touched down south of El Reno, Oklahoma. 

One report suggests that a hotel was hit and leveled. That report suggests that victims are being pulled from the rubble – see above tweet.

Residents – via social media – have been sharing images of significant damage caused by the Tornado – see below. 

Photo credit: Samuel Roback

When more photos and videos emerges online, we will post them.


News to us! Tornadoes form from the ground up…

FYI: This post was inspired by science mag’s 2018 article.

…We still don’t believe it – the video below proves it. 

The formation of Tornadoes has been completely knocked on its head. Measurements from Tornadoes in Oklahoma and Kansas seems to suggest these weather events first develop near the ground.

That’s country to the widely-known theory the winds of a Tornado develop many kilometres up in the clouds – only later to touch down on the ground.

Researchers studied four Tornadoes – including the El-Reno Tornado, which holds the record as the widest ever measured. 

The researchers noticed something particular when they compared radar measurements that tracked wind speeds with a number of photographs and videos of the El Reno Tornado taken by storm chasers.

The funnel was already on the ground minutes before the radar minutes before the radar data – roughly taken two hundred and fifty meters off the ground – recorded any rotation.

Just to find out, the researchers re-analysed the radar measurements taken near the ground.

A hilltop vantage point during the storm serendipitously allowed the team to scan close to the ground with the interfering effects of trees and telephone poles.”

Katherine Kornei, Science Mag

The researchers discovered rapid rotation near the ground before it appeared higher up – a pattern that was later confirmed in the three other Tornadoes.

These findings have significant implications for how forecasters issue Tornado watches/warnings – researchers suggest. 

Simply because forecasters often rely on measurements of wind speeds higher up in the clouds.

The reason why, the wind might be already swirling at dangerous speeds near the ground – “warnings might be late in the sounding the alarm for Tornado-strength winds.”

It’s suffice to say we still believe in the widely-known theory.