Oklahoma tornado tears massive path of death, destruction

Moore, Oklahoma (CNN) -- Rescue workers raced against time and darkness Monday night looking for survivors after a powerful tornado blasted an area outside of Oklahoma City, leveling homes and leaving at least 51 people dead.

At least 20 of the dead were children, including at least seven from Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, which lay directly in the path of the monster storm's wall of wind.

Seventy-five students and staff members had been huddled at the school when the tornado hit, CNN affiliate KFOR reported.

As nightfall descended, determined searchers in hard hats dug in the debris for those possibly trapped, but authorities described the work as a recovery, not rescue, effort. Search lights illuminated their efforts.

A father of a third-grader still missing sat quietly on a stool. Tears fell from his face as he waited for news.

Get the latest developments in the story

"I'm speechless. How did this happen? Why did this happen?" asked Norma Bautista, whose son, a student, survived.

"How do we explain this to the kids? How are they going to wake up tomorrow and everything's missing -- the school, these houses, their friends," she said. "In an instant, everything's gone."

After the ear-shattering howl of the killer storm subsided, survivors along the miles of destruction emerged from shelters to see an apocalyptic vision -- the remnants of cars twisted and piled on each other to make what had been a parking lot look like a junk yard.

Block after block of homes were gone. Bright orange flames flew from a structure that was blazing even as rain continued to fall.

"Our worst fears are becoming realized this afternoon," said Bill Bunting, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center.

"We certainly hope everyone heeded the warnings, but it's a populated area and we just fear that not everyone may have gotten the word," he said.

Bodies of those killed in the storm were being sent to Oklahoma's office of the chief medical examiner, said the office's Amy Elliott. At least 145 people were reported injured at three area hospitals.

The preliminary rating of damage created by the tornado is at least EF4 (winds 166 to 200 mph) -- the second-most severe classification on a scale of zero to five -- according to the National Weather Service.

The tornado was estimated to be at least two miles wide at one point as it moved through Moore, KFOR reported.

Lando Hite, shirtless and spattered in mud, told the CNN affilaite about the storm hitting the Orr Family Farm in Moore, which had about 80 horses.

"It was just like the movie 'Twister,'" he said, standing amid the debris. "There were horses and stuff flying around everywhere."

'This is not over yet'

Speaking to reporters Monday night, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said that officials are doing everything they can to help find people who may be lost or injured.

Sixty-five patients, including 45 children and 20 adults, were at Oklahoma University (OU) Medical Center, said spokesman Scott Coppenbarger.

Injuries ranged from minor to critical.

Moore Medical Center in Oklahoma was evacuated after it sustained damage, a hospital spokeswoman said.

All patients were being sent to Norman Regional Hospital and Healthplex Hospital, and residents injured in the storm were being told to go to those centers as well.

Between those two facilities, 80 patients were being treated for signs of trauma, lacerations and broken bones, among other injures.

The tornado also disrupted roads, piling them high with debris and complicating both travel and communication.

10 deadliest tornadoes on record

Interstate 35 in Moore was closed, Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokesman Cole Hackett said. Crews were heading to the north-south highway to start the cleanup process.

"People are trapped. You are going to see the devastation for days to come," said Betsy Randolph, spokeswoman for Oklahoma Highway Patrol. She did not say how many people were stuck.

More than 38,000 electricity customers in Oklahoma are without power, according to local power providers.

Even as authorities worked to wrap their heads around the damage, NOAA's Bunting warned the worst may be yet to come.

"These storms are going to continue producing additional tornadoes. They'll also produce some very, very large hail, perhaps larger than the size of baseballs. We're also concerned that there may be an enhanced and widespread damaging wind threat with storms as they merge together," he said.

"As bad as today is, this is not over yet."

Track current severe weather

Oklahoma resident: 'It's just all gone'

The severe weather came after tornadoes and powerful storms ripped through Oklahoma and the Midwest earlier Monday and on Sunday.

Forecasters had said that the destructive weather, which killed at least two people, was perhaps just a preview.

Before Monday afternoon's devastation, residents in areas hard hit by weekend storms were combing through rubble where their homes once stood.

"My mind is, like, blown, completely blown," said Jessie Addington, 21, who found that few pieces of her childhood home in Shawnee, Oklahoma, were still standing Monday.

Addington, who now lives in a nearby town, said her mother huddled in the mobile home's bathroom when the weekend storm hit. But the tornado still tossed her around like a rag doll, leaving her bruised.

When Addington arrived, she was shocked to find the neighborhood where she had lived for 17 years reduced to ruins.

"I'm feeling cheated, to be honest," she said, "like, it's just all gone."

An estimated 300 homes were damaged or destroyed across Oklahoma in weekend weather, Red Cross spokesman Ken Garcia said.

Two men, both in their 70s, were confirmed dead as a result of an earlier tornado that hit Shawnee, said Elliott, the spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office.

As many as 28 tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Iowa, according to the National Weather Service, with Oklahoma and Kansas the hardest hit. Some of those reports might have been of the same tornado.

A combination of factors -- including strong winds and warm, moist air banging against dry air -- means severe weather could continue sweeping across a wide swath of the United States for days, Petersons said.

"Keep in mind we have all the ingredients out there that we need," she said.

Tornado watches were in effect for portions of southeastern Kansas, western and central Missouri, northwest Arkansas, central and eastern Oklahoma and northwestern Texas until 10 p.m. (11 p.m. ET).

Source

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/20/us/severe-weather/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

 

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ZetaTalk about the relationship between the earth wobble and an increase in tornadoes

We stated that tornadoes would become more frequent, more intense, and appear in areas not previously subject to tornadoes. These predictions of ours, made in the past, were based on our knowledge that the Earth wobble would intensify and become more violent. Now that the wobble is rising to meet our predictions the tornado spates and surprises are likewise on the increase. This is certainly not going to go away. The wobble will continue to worsen, and problems with tornadoes will follow. Since you are going to have to live through hurricane force winds during the hour of the pole shift, our advice would be to prepare a storm shelter early, and use this during tornado weather.

http://www.zetatalk.com/ning/04ju2011.htm

The more violent wobble is inciting tornadoes over the N American continent in several ways. First, it drives the Earth under her blanket of air twice daily. During the Figure 8 the N Pole of Earth forms daily, the Earth first leans her magnetic N Pole away from the Sun when it rises up over the horizon at dawn, and then leans her magnetic N Pole away from the Sun toward the other direction ahead of sunset. Since the magnetic N Pole is in the Arctic between Canada and Siberia, this lurching about affects the N American continent primarily. What happens when the N American continent is pushed into the north Pacific at dawn, and again into the north Atlantic at dusk? Cold air is driven over the warm air found overland - precisely what tornadoes need in order to form. A tornado is a pool of cold air atop a pool of warm air. The cold air drops, and spirals as it does so. As the N American continent has warmed inland due to the change of seasons, the contrast between air over the northern oceans and the air inland has increased. Thus the increase in tornadoes during May. What will happen as the continent warms during summer, increasing the contrast? The cold air driven atop the now hot air will find a greater contrast, and tornadoes will increase!

http://www.zetatalk.com/index/zeta456.htm

 

The Earth wobble is intrinsically connected to a churning atmosphere, and is one of the reasons ZetaTalk was able to go on record early in the ZetaTalk saga with predictions on weather irregularities and tornadoes and hurricanes occurring in atypical places. We knew that the Earth wobble would develop. The Earth wobble centers around the magnetic N Pole, forming a Figure 8. This means that the up/down and side-to-side motion of the wobble engages the Arctic region, daily. Where the complaint is that a normal 40 hour cyclone became a 5 day cyclone, this may in the near future be a minor complaint. It is likely to become a perpetual cyclone, or close to this scenario.

http://www.zetatalk.com/ning/18ag2012.htm

 

It seems the tremendous increase in tornadoes in the past week must be due to the approach of Nibiru. Is this in response to the wobble, and will it settle down soon or should we expect even more and worse after the "traditional" end of the tornado season

Yes, this is due to the wobble. And no, it will not settle down. And yes, it will get worse.

http://www.zetatalk.com/index/zeta452.htm

2008 ZetaTalk Newsletter about the record breaking tornado season

http://www.zetatalk.com/newsletr/issue080.htm

 

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Comment by Kojima on June 5, 2013 at 5:46pm

Deadly Okla. tornado widest on record, rare EF5 [Newsday; 5 June 2013]

Photo credit: AP | A tornado touches down near El Reno, Okla. causing damage to structures

and injuring travelers on Interstate 40. (May 31, 2013)

OKLAHOMA CITY - The deadly tornado that plowed through an area near Oklahoma City last week was even larger and more powerful than previously estimated — a record 2.6 miles wide with winds that reached nearly 300 mph, just shy of the strongest winds ever measured.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday announced that the twister that hit El Reno was a top-of-the-scale EF5 twisterthe second to strike the area in less than two weeks.

Friday's tornado was initially rated as an EF3. But the agency upgraded that ranking after surveying damage and concluding that the storm had winds of 295 mph. Nineteen people died in the storm and subsequent flooding, including three storm chasers.

The Oklahoma City area also saw an EF5 tornado on May 20. That one raked Moore, a suburb 25 miles southeast of El Reno, and killed 24 people. Moore was hit in 1999 by another EF5, which had the strongest winds ever measured on earth: 302 mph.

The massive tornado that formed Friday avoided highly populated metro areas, a fact that almost certainly saved lives.

Winds were at their most powerful in areas devoid of structures, said Rick Smith, chief warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service's office in Norman.

"Any house would have been completely swept clean on the foundation," Smith said.

The twister marched through the countryside between El Reno and Union City, a region of largely rural farm and grazing land. Most of the destruction came toward the end of the tornado's 16.2-mile path along Interstate 40, where several motorists were killed when their vehicles were tossed around.

Like many Midwestern cities, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area continues to expand in the suburbs, but the rapid growth hasn't quite reached as far west as where Friday's tornado tracked.

William Hooke, a senior policy fellow of the American Meteorological Society, said the continued growth of cities in tornado-prone areas makes it only a matter of time before another monstrous twister hits a heavily populated area.

"You dodged a bullet," Hooke said. "You lay that path over Oklahoma City, and you have devastation of biblical proportions.

In El Reno, the city of 18,000 suffered significant damage, including to its vocational-technical center and a cattle stockyard that was reduced to a pile of twisted metal. But Mayor Matt White said it could have been worse had the twister passed to the north.

"If it was two more miles this way, it would have wiped out all of downtown, almost every one of our subdivisions and almost all of our businesses," White said. "It would have taken out everything."

The EF5 storm that hit Moore decimated neighborhoods.

"It's very scary ... I don't think a normal person can fathom just how scary," White said. "I don't think they realize how lucky El Reno was."

The storm's 2.6-mile-wide path surpassed a record set in 2004 in Hallam, Neb. And it would have made the storm hard to recognize up close, Smith said.

"A 2 ½-mile wide tornado would not look like a tornado to a lot of people," Smith said, explaining that the twister would not have a tapered funnel and would instead resemble a dark cloud hanging below the horizon.

Greg Carbin, a meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, said May in Oklahoma is a time of weather transition, offering the perfect fuel for violent thunderstorms that can produce tornadoes — a combination of warm, moist air combined with cooler jet stream energy that causes massive instability in the atmosphere.

"In these past two events, we've had a lot of unstable air sitting around, a lot of moisture and warm air," Carbin said. "That provides the fuel for thunderstorm development."

Comment by Tracie Crespo on June 1, 2013 at 1:23pm

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/01/18648500-mom-baby-three-...

Mom, baby, three others killed as tornadoes hit Oklahoma City suburbs

Richard Rowe / Reuters

A mile-wide tornado is seen near El Reno, Oklahoma, Friday.

Multiple tornadoes — one a mile wide — killed a mother, her baby and three other people Friday evening in the Oklahoma City area, which was being hit by “life-threatening” flash floods early Saturday.


KFOR-TV

Click to view scenes from Friday's violent storm.

The twisters landed just 11 days after a monster tornado left 24 dead in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, where power outages were reported Friday.

They were part of a massive storm that also spun off tornadoes in Missouri, North Dakota and Tennessee. States of emergency were declared in Oklahoma and Missouri. There were at least 210,000 power outages.

Hospitals in Oklahoma City reported 98 casualties, including four critical patients.

The weather system was headed eastward and was expected to hit the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys by Saturday night bringing “strong to severe” storms and heavy rain, The National Weather Service said.

An SUV used by Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes and a crew of storm trackers was thrown 200 yards by one tornado near Oklahoma City suburb El Reno. The vehicle tumbled about eight times and came to rest in a field, Bettes said. Some members of the crew suffered minor injuries, and the vehicle was destroyed.

"That was the scariest moment of my life," Bettes said. "I saw my life flash before my eyes."

4Warn Storm Team meteorologist Emily Sutton and 4Warn Storm Team storm chaser Kevin Josefy also had a close call with a tornado near El Reno, broadcasting live as they fled.

Later Sutton told NBC station KFOR of Oklahoma City that they were driving near the twister when it started to turn. 

"All of a sudden, we felt the wind behind us picking up, picking up," she said. 

She said "chunks of trees" began falling "in front of our eyes." "I felt stuff hitting my back and I knew that's not right ... all I did was just say 'Oh my God,' and then we just kept our composure because you've got to keep moving on."

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph said the woman and baby were killed when the SUV they were in overturned on Interstate 40 between El Reno and Yukon.

One person was killed in Yukon and two others died elsewhere, KFOR reported, citing the state medical examiner's office. KFOR reported that all the victims were in vehicles.

Brooke Cayot, a spokeswoman for Integris Health, said 71 people were treated for injuries at the hospital system's facilities in the Oklahoma City area after the tornadoes struck.

Spokespeople for OU Medical Center, St. Anthony Hospital and Mercy Health Center said they had received a total of 27 patients. Of those, 10 were still being treated and 17 had been released.

Eric Ferguson, public information officer with the OU Medical Center, said four patients – two adults and two children – were in critical condition.

Oklahoma resident Garrett Occhipinti speaks with MSNBC via phone about a photo he took of the storm that showed massive wall clouds stretching for over a mile.

Many of the injured were hurt in accidents along Interstates 35 and 40 west of the city, where at least three semi-trailer rigs were overturned after the biggest tornado touched down near El Reno, authorities said.

Authorities said some of the worst damage on Friday was from flooding around El Reno and Yukon and the danger continued into Saturday.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for parts of Oklahoma early Saturday.

“At 2:21 a.m. CDT, National Weather Service radar and rain gauges indicated over six inches of rain has fallen across parts of Oklahoma and Canadian counties. Additional storms will move across these counties through the early morning with additional 1 to 2 inches of rain possible. Life-threatening flooding is already occurring and will continue for the next several hours,” the weather service said.

There were also flash flood warnings in place for parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas and  Kansas.

On Friday, one tornado turned south from Oklahoma City and then toward the suburb of Moore, which was hit by a devastating twister on May 20 that killed 24 people and injured hundreds of others.

“I think we are still a little shaken by what happened in Moore. We are still burying children and victims, so our emotions are still strong," Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett told Reuters.

More than 94,000 customers were without power in the metro area, according to the OG+E power company, including bout 12,000 customers in Moore.

Power company Ameren said there were 87,000 outages in Missouri and 30,000 in Illinois.

Interstates 35 and 40 were closed. "We've got a terrible situation going on," Trooper Randolph told NBC station KFOR of Oklahoma City.

Dylan Dreyer, MSNBC meteorologist, updates Rachel Maddow with the latest details of tornadic storms sweeping across the Oklahoma City area.

Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency.

"This has been a very large storm that hit a lot of communities," she told KFOR. She said she had heard from at least 30 fellow governors offering assistance.

At Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, where winds hit 71 mph, all flights were canceled and about 1,000 travelers were herded underground, where they were told to put their hands on their heads.

Tornado warnings — meaning a funnel cloud that could become a tornado had been spotted in the area — were in effect much of the day for numerous counties in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Forecasters sounded the alarm that much of the Midwest — already pummeled by a week of tornadoes and flooded with drenching rains — was facing another round of violent weather overnight and into the weekend.

Observers at Tinker Air Force Base reported a tornado on the ground near the base southwest of Oklahoma City. In Norman, home to the University of Oklahoma, a tornado touched down near Norman North High School and Norman Regional Hospital.

Buildings at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport were damaged by tornadoes with debris strewn across the runway. The airport was closed because of the damage, but re-opened just before midnight, the airport said in a statement.

Another tornado touched down Friday night 7 miles northeast of Moscow Mills, Mo., about 50 miles northwest of St. Louis. In St. Charles County, 24 houses were severely damaged or destroyed, said Mike O'Connell, communications director for the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

The National Weather Service evacuated its St. Louis office as tornado warnings were issued for north and northeastern St. Louis and surrounding counties.

Severe thunderstorm warnings, meanwhile, stretched from Minnesota and Michigan south to Arkansas. Forecasters said storms overnight could bring several more intense tornadoes, hail up to 4 inches in diameter and wind gusts approaching 80 mph.

Janet Shamlian and Aaron Marmelstein of NBC News, Mike Bettes of The Weather Channel, and Reuters contributed to this report. Follow M. Alex Johnson on Twitter and Facebook.

Comment by Kris H on June 1, 2013 at 3:54am
Social media reporting "nightmare" situation with gridlock on the interstates out of OKC of people trying to flee tornadoes. Emergency vehicles unable to get through.
Comment by Tracie Crespo on June 1, 2013 at 2:07am

Happening now - heading on a direct tract toward a VERY populated area. 

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51298071/?launch=52048284&height=429&...

Tornado emergency declared for Oklahoma City

By M. Alex Johnson, staff writer, NBC News

A tornado emergency was declared for Oklahoma City on Friday as a large twister touched down, destroyed a Weather Channel vehicle and headed for Oklahoma's largest city.

No injuries were immediately reported after the tornado touched down near El Reno, in Canadian County, Okla., west of Oklahoma City, authorities said. A vehicle being used by Weather Channel personnel near El Reno was thrown 200 yards by the tornado, said Mike Bettes, a meteorologist for the station. Bettes and his crew weren't hurt, but the vehicle was destroyed.

Tornado warnings — meaning a tunnel cloud that could become a tornado had been spotted in the area — were in effect for numerous counties in  Oklahoma and Missouri. Forecasters sounded the alarm  that much of the Midwest — already pummeled by a week of tornadoes and flooded with drenching rains — was staring at yet another round of twisters overnight and into the weekend.


Describing conditions as "particularly dangerous," the National Weather Service declared tornado watches over large areas of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri through late Friday and severe storm warnings over an area stretching from Minnesota and Michigan south to Arkansas.

Oklahomans in particular were in the cross-hairs of a storm that forecasters said could bring several intense tornadoes, hail up to 4 inches in diameter and wind gusts approaching 80 mph.

An extraordinarily unstable air mass across central and eastern Oklahoma will churn out severe "supercell" thunderstorms over most of the state, forecasters said.

"Cells that form over southwestern or west-central Oklahoma will move east with a very high threat of giant hail and a few strong to violent tornadoes," the National Weather Service said late Friday afternoon.

KFOR-TV

A tornado was spotted near El Reno, Okla., west of Oklahoma City, early Friday evening.

A vehicle being used by Weather Channel personnel near El Reno was thrown 200 yards by the tornado, said Mike Bettes, a meteorologist for the station. Bettes said he and his crew weren't hurt.

"This is definitely an afternoon to stay extremely vigilant," said Eric Fisher, a meteorologist for the Weather Channel.

Heavy rain had already caused flash-flooding Friday in Missouri and in Iowa, where a police officer swimming to rescue a man from his truck had to be rescued himself. Residents of Missouri and Illinois were erecting sandbag walls in areas that still haven't dried out from floods in April.

A pair of tornadoes that passed through Arkansas overnight, accompanied by hail and heavy rain, killed two people. In the Midwest, the worst of the flooding is yet to come. NBC's Janet Shamilan reports.

In Stotts City, Mo., emergency responders were looking for a man whose truck was washed off a bridge into the Spring River on Friday morning, the state Highway Patrol told NBC station KYTV of Springfield, Mo., reported.

In Indian Creek, Mo., near the Kansas state line, nearly 30 homes and about 20 businesses were evacuated Friday because of flash floods, NBC station KSHB of Kansas City reported.

"It's like a freight train," Cathy Pickens, general manager a bar and restaurant whose parking lot was inundated, told KSHB. "That water goes so fast, and it's just amazing how fast it moves."

 Severe thunderstorms were blamed for the death Thursday of Sheriff Cody Carpenter of Scott County, Ark., who was overcome by flash floods while responding to a swift water rescue near the Fourche La Fave River in western Arkansas, the state Game and Fish Commission said.

Thursday's storms injured nine other people.

The National Weather Service also logged 16 more reports of tornadoes Thursday in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Illinois and said a house was reported to have been destroyed, injuring two people, in Oden, Ark. Three people were reported injured in Pike County, Ark., where a mobile home was destroyed and at least three houses were damaged.

There were 44 reports of large hail, including baseball-size precipitation in Stephens County, Okla., and 276 high-wind reports, including 81 mph gusts in Des Moines, Iowa, and 70 mph winds in Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and Tennessee.

In the Chicago area, severe storms felled trees, and lightning was blamed for a fire at a condominium building.

NBC News' John Newland, Elizabeth Chuck and Tracy Connor contributed to this report. Follow M. Alex Johnson on Twitter and Facebook.

Comment by Kojima on May 30, 2013 at 4:02pm

17 miles of surprises [CNN; 29 May 2013]

Walking the path of a tornado

A journey into the heart of a 17-mile storm

by John D. Sutter, CNN
published Wed May 29, 2013

Editor's note: John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion. Last week, he live-tweeted a walk down the path of the May 20, 2013, tornado in central Oklahoma. Scroll down to read the column and see his photos and tweets. Sutter's path, tracked by GPS, will load on the map as you read.

Comment by Howard on May 29, 2013 at 7:42pm

Aerial views of the unbridled destruction visited upon Moore, Oklahoma by last week's EF-5 tornado. 

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/05/us/oklahoma-aerial-photos/?h...

Comment by Howard on May 24, 2013 at 8:40pm

Video footage that captures the rapid intensification of the EF-5 Moore tornado. (Recommend viewing without volume).

Comment by ann s. on May 22, 2013 at 9:07pm

Good points, Howard!  The cover up is ultra concerned with numbers and will do anything to fudge, alter, or make up statistics for their own purposes.

The police know well that witnesses tend to report the truth soon after an incident.  Maybe the media did report accurate fatalities and had to back off of them because the way the tornado season in the U.S. is going there may be a whole lot more deaths this year.

Comment by Kojima on May 22, 2013 at 1:56am

* Path of the Tornado That Struck Near Oklahoma City [The New York Times; 20 May 2013]

A huge tornado flattened homes and businesses in Moore, Okla., Monday afternoon. Preliminary analysis of the storm track showed that it lasted about 40 minutes and traveled about 20 miles. Related Article

* Tornado and Severe Thunderstorms Strike Oklahoma [Earth Observatory; 22 May 2013]

On May 20, 2013, a supercell thunderstorm in central Oklahoma spawned a destructive tornado that passed just south of Oklahoma City. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of the storm system at 2:40 p.m. Central Daylight Time (19:40 Universal Time), just minutes before the devastating twister began.

The red line on the image depicts the tornado’s track. It touched down west of Newcastle at 2:56 p.m. and moved northeast toward Moore, where it caused dozens of deaths, hundreds of injuries, and widespread destruction to property and public buildings. The tornado had dissipated by 3:36 p.m., after traveling approximately 17 to 20 miles (27 to 32 kilometers).

According to National Weather Service and media reports, the mile-wide tornado had a preliminary damage rating of EF-4, with winds reaching 190 miles per hour. It had a relatively slow forward speed for such a violent storm—about 20–25 miles per hour—likely exacerbating the damage. Debris from the tornado fell as far as 100 miles (160 kilometers) away, reaching the city of Tulsa.

* Thunderstorms Spawn Tornado in Oklahoma [Earth Observatory; 20 May 2013]

NOAA’s GOES-East (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) collected this view of the storm system that spawned a deadly tornado on May 20, 2013, over Moore, Oklahoma. The downloadable animation runs from 10:45 a.m. through 6:45 p.m., Central Daylight Time.

Comment by Howard on May 21, 2013 at 11:14pm

While authorities have attempted to explain the reduction in reported fatalities from 51 to 24 the result of "counting the same bodies twice", this fails to explain why the number has also been reported to be as high as 91.

Google News Search Result  22:10 UTC May 21, 2013

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