Wednesday, June 05, 2013

El Reno Oklahoma Tornado Upgraded To EF5 and Broke Width Record at 2.6 Miles

On May 31, 2013 a tornado that killed many storm chasers and drivers was classified as an EF3.  But just this morning, NOAA raised it to an EF5 with a width of 2.6 miles, making it the widest tornado in history.
060413aThe El Reno Tornado of May 31, 2013 was well predicted for.  Here at, an Enhanced Tornado Watch was issued for the Central Oklahoma area.  This Enhanced Tornado Watch means that conditions were favorable for large and violent tornadoes that would be capable of EF4 or EF5 status.
You can see the width of this monster by looking at the image with the red dots.  These red dots are storm chasers inside the width of this tornado.  This is why you don’t want to get too close to even what you might think is a funnel tornado.  The parent mesocyclone could spawn satellite tornadoes that merge into a much wider tornado, which is likely what happened to the storm chasers that day.  Everyone was caught off guard.
The tornado behaved a lot like the Greensburg tornado of May 2007.  It was at it’s most dangerous when it took the north turn into to the city, widening as it did so.
The El Reno Tornado of May 31, 2013 now holds the record as the widest tornado in U.S. History.  Standing now at 2.6 miles.  Can it get any wider than that?  It probably can.


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