Tuesday, June 4, 2013

El Reno/Union City Friday Night Tornado Widest on Record and now an F-5

Flash flood warning now in effect for Central Oklahoma!

Today when I heard the Friday night tornado that hit South El Reno and Union City was the widest on record and had been upgraded to an F-5 confirmed what many meteorologist had suspected here.  Fortunately, it didn't stay on the ground to track directly into Oklahoma City or the death toll would have climbed even more.  The explanation on this tornado from a storm chaser for Channel 4 news in OKC on the video below found interesting as this storm kept turning rapidly and like the Moore tornado blew up rapidly from small to huge.  Moore tornado you see but there was so much rain wrapping the El Reno tornadoes that they were mostly spotted by power flashes as they took out power poles.
UPDATE: El Reno, Union City tornado widest tornado on record 
Posted on: 11:08 am, June 4, 2013, by and , updated on: 05:13pm, June 4, 2013

The National Weather Service has just upgraded the May 31 El Reno, Union City tornado to an EF-5 with a width of 2.6 miles wide, making it the widest tornado ever documented. EF-5 is the highest possible rating for tornadoes on the Enhanced Fujita scale.   
The upgrade was based on information from OU RaxPol Doppler data or mobile radar data, that measured low level winds of 296 miles per hour. The National Weather Service said some of the subvortices had a forward movement of up to 180 miles per hour.  
This tornado is double the width of the May 20 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. The F-4 Wilber-Hallam, Nebraska, tornado May 22, 2004 was the previous record holder for the widest tornado on record at 2.5 miles wide.

*Click here for full coverage of the El Reno, Union City tornado*
We were questioning whether we made the right move to evacuate and after reading the strength of this tornado, we made the right decision.  We stayed off the interstate using back roads.  Purcell fast food made a lot of money Friday night from Norman residents.  Keep running into people this week who also evacuated to Purcell.

Last night in the middle of the night the storm warning of severe weather went off on my phone - it was loud enough to wake the dead - no one is going to sleep through that unless they are a very sound sleeper.  Immediately turned on the TV and discovered the storms in western OK they thought would dissipate during the evening hours didn't.  We received a lot of rain but wind was not that bad and no hail.  It has been cloudy for the last few hours and more storms could be on the way.  There is already a flash flood alert until 7 pm Thursday due to all the high water.

Here in Oklahoma politics is playing a second fiddle to the weather.  We had one of our sports talk anchors do a mea culpa to Mother Nature the other day.  I agree - ready for sun and low humidity.  The lawn is now squishy with all the rain and needs mowing.  Imagine we are going to have giant size mosquitoes this summer.  Shame they cannot drown.

Hopefully this will be my last update on tornadoes and storms that hit Oklahoma in the last few weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment