The massive tornado that hit the suburbs of Oklahoma City last Friday was a game-changer. The NWS confirms the widest tornado ever observed on the planet: 2.6 miles. Winds reached 296 mph; based on a portable Doppler on the scene, which itself is generating controversy, since EF-rating is always tied to damage on the ground.
The El Reno tornado is generating a firestorm of criticism for an Oklahoma City TV meteorologist, who told people in the path to get into their cars and try to drive away. Tens of thousands heeded the warning, only to be stuck in traffic. Sitting ducks.
Data seems to show you have a better chance of riding out even an extreme tornado in your home vs. tempting fate and trying to drive to safety. No basement? Consider a bathtub. People are alive today because they put on football & bike helmets to protect themselves from G-forces and flying debris. Yes, it probably looks goofy, but it might just save your life.
More details below.
It may surprise you to hear of more showers today, another round late Saturday & Sunday, yet more puddles the middle of next week. Highs hold in the 60s and 70s, a bit too cool and stable for anything severe.
We'll see glimpses of summer every now and then. Long-range ECMWF (European) guidance hints at a 90-95F degree heat spike by the end of next week.
Photo credit above: "In this May 31, 2013 file photo a tornado forms near Banner Road and Praire Circle in El Reno, Okla. The National Weather Service says the deadly tornado that struck near Oklahoma City late last week was another top-of-the-scale EF5 that packed winds reaching 295 mph. The weather service also says the twister's 2.6-mile width is the widest ever recorded." (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams, File)
Photo credit above: "A storm develops just before it produced a tornado near El Reno Okla. just south of Interstate 40 on Friday May 31, 2013. Several tornadoes in the area caused damage and injuries." Photo: Chris Machian, ASSOCIATED PRESS.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK 1206 PM CDT TUE JUN 4 2013 ...UPDATE ON MAY 31 EL RENO TORNADO... METEOROLOGISTS WITH THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND RESEARCHERS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE INFORMATION RELATED TO THE MAY 31 EL RENO TORNADO. WITH THIS INVESTIGATION... THE TORNADO HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO AN EF5 TORNADO BASED ON VELOCITY DATA FROM THE RESEARCH MOBILE RADAR DATA FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA RAXPOL RADAR. IN ADDITION... THE WIDTH OF TORNADO WAS MEASURED BY THE MOBILE RADAR DATA TO BE 2.6 MILES AFTER THE TORNADO PASSED EAST OF US HIGHWAY 81 SOUTH OF EL RENO. THIS WIDTH IS THE WIDTH OF THE TORNADO ITSELF AND DOES NOT INCLUDE THE DAMAGING STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS NEAR THE TORNADO AS DETERMINED BY THE HIGH-RESOLUTION MOBILE RADAR DATA. THE 2.6 MILE TORNADO PATH WIDTH IS BELIEVED TO BE THE WIDEST TORNADO ON RECORD IN THE UNITED STATES. .EL RENO TORNADO RATING: EF5 PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 16.2 MILES PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 2.6 MILES FATALITIES: N/A INJURIES: N/A START DATE: MAY 31 2013 START TIME: 6:03 PM CDT START LOCATION: 8.3 WSW OF EL RENO /CANADIAN COUNTY /OK NEAR COURTNEY ROAD ABOUT 1 MILE NORTH OF REUTER ROAD START LAT/LON: 35.495 / -98.095 END DATE: MAY 31 2013 END TIME: 6:43 PM CDT END LOCATION: 6.2 ESE OF EL RENO /CANADIAN COUNTY /OK NEAR INTERSTATE 40 AND BANNER ROAD END LAT/LON: 35.502 / -97.848
Photo credit above: "Amateur tornado chaser Richard Charles Henderson sent this cellphone photo of a tornado to a friend minutes before the tornado killed him. The friend, George "Sonny" Slay, provided the photo to The Oklahoman."
Photo credit above: "People arrived at Fred and JoAnn Horn's home to help in their salvage efforts, Saturday, June 1, 2013 in El Reno, Okla. . He is a retired state trooper and now serves as a deputy for the Canadian County Sheriff's Department. Their home was heavily damaged in Friday night's tornado. More than two dozen family members, church friends and neighbors came to the Horn's home to help recover items that can be saved." (AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Jim Beckel)
Image credit above: "This May 21, 2013 file aerial photo shows the remains of houses in Moore, Okla., following a tornado the May 20, 2013 tornado. The Oklahoma City area has seen two of the extremely rare EF5 tornadoes in only 11 days. The tornado that hit El Reno had a record-breaking width of 2.6 miles. The one in Moore, a city about 25 miles away from El Reno, killed 24 people and caused widespread damage." (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin, File)
Photo credit above: "Rudolf (11) crosses the flooded market place of the city of Wehlen at river Elbe, Germany, Tuesday, June 4, 2013. After heavy rainfalls, swollen rivers flooded areas in Germany, Austria , Switzerland and Czech Republic." (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Photo credit above: Shutterstock. "The gem of Florida's long eastern coast faces -- not surprisingly -- the greatest risk of damage, with 615,756 homes susceptible to flooding caused by hurricanes. About 25 such storms have struck the city in the past century. The city's location near the tip of Florida makes it highly vulnerable."
* photo above: Mike Hall.
Photo credit above: "A magnolia warbler, one of the most-sought birds on the shores of Lake Ontario this month. One of dozens of types of warblers to make appearances in trees and bushes from Oshawa to Hamilton in May."
Stephan Lewandowsky: The Mind Of The Conspiracy Theorist. Yes, Uncle Bud, I'm talking about you. Here's an interesting audio interview with Chris Mooney at Point of Inquiry: "From 9-11, to the death of Osama bin Laden, to the Boston Bombings, there's been a consistently bizarre and troubling reaction by some members of the public. We're referring to the people—a minority, to be sure, but a surprisingly large one—who always seem to think there's some kind of cover up. The U.S. government, they feel, was really behind the attacks on, uh, itself. And as for Bin Laden—well, he isn't really dead. These people are called conspiracy theorists, and, their particular form of irrationality is uniquely befuddling. It has been often denounced, but rarely understood. That's too bad, because conspiratorial thinking clearly plays an important role in science denial, on matters ranging from the connection between HIV and AIDS, to the safety of vaccines, to global warming..."