Jump to content
Thunder?
Local
Radar
Pollen
IGNORED

The El Reno/S OKC tornados 31st May, 2013


nsrobins

Recommended Posts

Posted
  • Location: Wickham, S Hampshire, UK
  • Location: Wickham, S Hampshire, UK

    Following the dramatic and tragic events of Friday, May 31st, 2013 when a violent tornado developed and moved erratically across portions of C OK, I thought it might be worth discussing this in more detail as the nature and motion of the core circulation, coupled with the horrendous traffic chaos caused by rather precipitous broadcasts from local media advising people to evacuate the area and head south, led to several direct encounters and as we know the tragic loss of three respected members of the storm research community.

    The following graphic is a provisional tornado track map, clearly showing the sharp turn north of the first vortex as it crossed the I81 4 miles south of El Reno:

    Posted Image

    The gridded road network on and east of the I81 at this point was clogged with a mix of terrified members of the public attempting to evacuate the area and several dozen storm chasing vehicles, many of whom were caught out by unusual nature of the multi-vortex tornado and the deviant sharp left turn as it crossed the highway.

    I, and others I'm sure, would like to know more about why the storm behaved in this way, and perhaps learn for the future. Despite the awful events of Friday, there is no doubt that had the tornado continued to develop into a long-lived violent wedge east of El Reno, the casualty numbers would of certainly been much higher as the I40 and surrouding roads were gridlocked.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • Replies 27
    • Created
    • Last Reply
    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    I can't offer much in the technical side, but this is from Wiki:

     

    Escaping a tornado in a vehicle 

     
    Posted Image
     
    A 2008 tornado lifted this school bus and flipped it on top of a damaged elementary school in Caledonia, Mississippi. Often people try to avoid or outrun a tornado in a vehicle. In theory, cars can travel faster than the average tornado, and so it is better to avoid the tornado altogether than take shelter in its path. The official directive from the National Weather Service is for house-dwellers in the path of a tornado to take shelter at home rather than risk an escape by vehicle. This is a result of several factors and statistics. An interior room inside a well-built frame house (especially one with a basement) provides a reasonable degree of protection from all but the most violent tornadoes. Underground or above-ground tornado shelters, as well as extremely strong structures such as bank vaults, offer almost complete protection.
     
    Cars, on the other hand, can be heavily damaged by even weak tornadoes, and in violent tornadoes they can be thrown large distances, even into buildings. High-profile vehicles such as buses and tractor trailers are even more vulnerable to high winds.
     
    There are many reasons to avoid cars when a tornado is imminent. Severe thunderstorms which produce tornadoes can produce flooding rains, hail, and strong winds far from the tornado-producing area, all of which can make driving difficult or even impossible. Some tornadoes move faster than some cars (record speed for a tornado moving across land is 73 MPH), even when the road is clear and flat. Any of these situations can leave drivers stranded in the path of the tornado far from substantial shelter. When coupled with driver panic, they may also result in dangerous but preventable accidents. This situation would be magnified greatly if all the residents of a warned area left in their vehicles, which would cause traffic jams and accidents as the tornado approached. 
     
    Numerous victims of the deadly Wichita Falls, Texas tornado on April 10, 1979 died in their vehicles in such a situation. If a person spots a nearby tornado while driving, the official National Weather Service directive has been for the individual to abandon the car and seek shelter in a ditch or culvert, or substantial shelter if nearby. Far-away, highly visible tornadoes, however, can be successfully fled from at right angles (90-degrees) from its direction of apparent movement. Despite dangers inherent with operating a vehicle during a tornado, given sufficient advanced warning, mobile home residents have been instructed by the National Weather Service to drive to the nearest secure shelter during a warning

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado_myths

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Wickham, S Hampshire, UK
  • Location: Wickham, S Hampshire, UK

    Thanks Coast. I have always understood the NWS advice is to stay at home and shelter as the article states, because of exactly what happened on Friday with numerous people trying to flee the area in a short space of time and jamming the roads.If there's one thing that should be investigated about this event, it's the instruction from local media to evacuate the El Reno area. I'm sure this did not come from the NWS and it's only a by chance that the tornado didn't develop like it could have done. The casualty numbers may have been horrific if it had.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Wickham, S Hampshire, UK
  • Location: Wickham, S Hampshire, UK

    This article was written before news of Tim Samaras, his son and Carl Young filtered through. Although is contains some opinions I am not in agreement with, it also has many links to doppler grabs, Storm chaser locations, media footage, etc that you may see individually dotted about but not in one place.

     

    Spoiler alert: Read the comments with an open mind

     

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/06/01/the-night-that-should-change-tornado-actions-and-storm-chasing-forever/

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Whaley Bridge - Peak District
  • Location: Whaley Bridge - Peak District

    Pretty much on a similar red-top tabloid standpoint that you'd get here in the UK. I can envisiage your 'average joe' wanting regulations put in place given the now-worldwide interest that the US tornado season draws in, with chase teams, research teams, meteorologists, climatologists, and your adrenaline-junkie all wanting in on a part of the action. Especially so with the high rate of payout that the news companies provide for that money shot of a Tornado.

     

    How can we self-regulate ourselves without sacrificing the spectacle of witnessing something that's been happening on the continental US shelf for millions of years? I have an idea in my mind where chasing teams, amateurs, etc would be better off limiting themselves to more rural areas and the kinds of places where traffic, debris, etc isn't too much of an issue. When the same storm closes in on more urbanised areas then the newstations take over and especially with the eyes in the sky can provide a much better coverage of the same storm than someone using wi-fi at ground level. In this way the storm is still tracked from A to B and everyone does so in their respected field of expertees.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and storms
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.

    Following the dramatic and tragic events of Friday, May 31st, 2013 when a violent tornado developed and moved erratically across portions of C OK, I thought it might be worth discussing this in more detail as the nature and motion of the core circulation, coupled with the horrendous traffic chaos caused by rather precipitous broadcasts from local media advising people to evacuate the area and head south, led to several direct encounters and as we know the tragic loss of three respected members of the storm research community.

    The following graphic is a provisional tornado track map, clearly showing the sharp turn north of the first vortex as it crossed the I81 4 miles south of El Reno:

    Posted Image

    The gridded road network on and east of the I81 at this point was clogged with a mix of terrified members of the public attempting to evacuate the area and several dozen storm chasing vehicles, many of whom were caught out by unusual nature of the multi-vortex tornado and the deviant sharp left turn as it crossed the highway.

    I, and others I'm sure, would like to know more about why the storm behaved in this way, and perhaps learn for the future. Despite the awful events of Friday, there is no doubt that had the tornado continued to develop into a long-lived violent wedge east of El Reno, the casualty numbers would of certainly been much higher as the I40 and surrouding roads were gridlocked.

    Was asking the same question in the other thread myself. I think it will be a valuable lesson to look back at the supercell system that bred the El Reno tornado, to be able to determine what caused the left turn that put so many who thought that they may have been safe, in danger.

     

    On another note, I have long believed that some chasers have crossed a fine line, using the facade of scientific information gathering, in order to get as close as possible to the tornado and get some dramatic footage in the process. ( I do not include Tim Samaras and team in this). 

    We all know that seeing nature at it's best (or worst) is a terrific adrenaline rush and spectacle and well worth seeing. However, not at putting yourself at risk or setting a poor example to others and I think that the El Reno tornado has been a big eye opener for all involved in the chasing business and perhaps thosewho put themselves at risk will now step back and think about how they chase in future.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Hampton and Fairfield, Evesham , Worcestershire.
  • Weather Preferences: Love Weather, Hate the Spin and Lies to do with our Planets Climate.
  • Location: Hampton and Fairfield, Evesham , Worcestershire.

    The video of the tiv2 was amazing, and thank god the guys survived but put yourself too often in that position its not of "if" but when!!!Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
  • Location: Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

    Theres an as yet unconfirmed report floating around saying that the Tornado will be upgraded to an EF5 at some point today. 

     

     

    There is word tonight that the El Reno tornado will be upgraded to EF5 on Tuesday. Maximum path width 2.6 miles wide. This information is PRELIMINARY until the official statement is released. Doppler on wheels measured winds of very near 300 miles per hour......this information makes this tornado one of the very largest, if not the largest, and nearly the most violent tornado recorded. This information would give the El Reno tornado of May 31, 2013 THE MOST damage potential in the history of tornado documentation.

    Twisterchasers.com

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

     

    “We also want to say that storm chasers and meteorologists and news stations, that’s part of the vital link in getting the word out to people so that they don’t become victims,†he said. “A lot of these individuals have dedicated many years of their lives to going out and assisting and tracking storms, and getting footage and putting themselves in harm’s way so they can educate the public to the destructive power of these storms.â€
     
    Friday’s tornado took a sudden turn that surprised many observers, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. “It was a wobbler. And it was big. … I think the left-hand turn made a big difference on how this thing was chased as well and why people were killed and why people were injured in their vehicles,†he said. “A vehicle is not a place to be in any tornado, especially a big one like that, and those men doing their job, those field scientists out there doing their jobs, were killed in the process.â€

     

    Friday’s storm was particularly unpredictable, according to Mike Bettes, an anchor and meteorologist for The Weather Channel who had a close call himself. The tornado swept up the tornado-hunt truck he and a crew were traveling in, tossed it 200 yards into a field and smashed it to the ground. “I think this was just an erratic tornado. I think the size of it and the speed of it changed very, very quickly,†he told CNN on Sunday morning. “I think the direction of movement changed quickly. And I think there were a lot of people out there that, you know, ended up getting stuck in positions we didn’t want to be in.â€

     
    Bettes described the experience as the scariest moment of his life. “I saw people in my life, I saw their faces flash right in front of me. And it just seemed for a moment, everything was in slow motion, especially when we were floating,†he said. “I kind of felt like I was being lifted to heaven or something. I was conscious through the whole thing and remember the whole thing, but it’s still a surreal moment.†Bettes and several others emerged with scratches and bruises. One crew member had broken bones, he said, but was in good spirits.
     
    The experience left him rattled and unsure whether he’ll go out to chase storms again. But Bettes said he had no doubt about the value of storm chasing. “We show weather, and we like to be out there and show people what these things can do, and help give advance warning. A lot of times the storm spotters out there serve a very valuable purpose. They give ground truth to what meteorologists from the National Weather Service are doing,†he said. “But seeing it in person, seeing it for real, and giving that real time information, I think really supplements the warning. It helps people take shelter ahead of time.â€

     

    http://kdvr.com/2013/06/02/colorado-storm-chaser-tim-samaras-killed-in-oklahoma-tornadoes/

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
  • Location: Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

    El-Reno tornado now upgraded to EF5, as it went from 1 mile wide to 2.5 miles wide in 30 seconds... 

     

    Also, Radar loop of the tornado/storm system.. Watch the sudden southward surge then return north...

     

    http://wdssii.nssl.noaa.gov/web/wdss2/products/radar/NWRT_20130531_ElReno.gif

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK
  • Weather Preferences: anything extreme or intense !
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK

    ..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

     

     

     

    http://kamala.cod.edu/offs/KOUN/1306041706.nous44.html

     

     

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: West Sussex
  • Weather Preferences: Outdoors
  • Location: West Sussex

    IT was a real monster, unbelievable size and intensity :

     

    post-1056-0-61571600-1370367861_thumb.pn

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: East Hull, East Yorkshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm and stormy.
  • Location: East Hull, East Yorkshire

    Just been reading that...

     

    "Tim Samaras and Twistex had deployed 3 probes in the center of what is now the most violent tornado on record. All three probes have been recovered and all 3 are functional. Let this bring a platinum lining to what has become our darkest cloud!

     

     

     

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Wickham, S Hampshire, UK
  • Location: Wickham, S Hampshire, UK

    Not questioning the data and synopsis from NWS, but from the numerous footage clips and reports I've seen I have to ask 'when is a multi-vortex, cyclic ground-level mesocyclone a tornado proper?' I don't think it spent too much of it's life as a contiguous mainly single-circulation tube but rather a ragged system of spin-ups and threaded vortices. Very violent agreed, but does that maximum width really reflect a large wedge or as I say the maximum extent of the rapidly cycling multiple areas of spin within the main meso.

    Discuss.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: East Hull, East Yorkshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm and stormy.
  • Location: East Hull, East Yorkshire

    Its on Keith Fronk FB page and also confirmed by Caryn Hill a close friend of Tim, so hopefully  valuable data will be collected and analysed.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: west suffolk 12 metres asl
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms/squalls/hoar-frost/misty sunrises/
  • Location: west suffolk 12 metres asl

    The stats that are saying the Tornado grew from 1mile wide, to 2.6 miles wide in 30 seconds, explains why the chasers were so caught out....that is amazing, and frightening development.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK
  • Weather Preferences: anything extreme or intense !
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK
    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    Discovery Channel will air a special tribute Storm Chasers on Saturday 15th June

     

     

    Discovery Channel would like to put this page up in Memory of Storm Chasers Tim Samaras and Carl Young and Paul Samaras, three members of Discovery’s Storm Chasers who perished in a tornado outbreak in central Oklahoma on Friday, 31 May 2013.

     

     

    http://www.discoveryuk.com/the-loop/in-memory-of-storm-chasers-tim-and-paul-samaras-and-carl-young/

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
  • Location: Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

    Anvil from the supercell..

     

    @nwspueblo on twitter..

     

    Posted Image

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • 5 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Cumbria UK
  • Weather Preferences: Cloud 9
  • Location: Cumbria UK

    It is interesting to see how quickly the tornado closed in on us because we watched it through a range of distances and then to see how close it got as we were driving south!!

     

    I was trying to remember if the house in the foreground was left standing when we came passed on the way home.

     

    I slowed this down to get a better look at it

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cumbria UK
  • Weather Preferences: Cloud 9
  • Location: Cumbria UK

    When we moved to a location further south on Highway 81 we watched the tornado cross north of us. At one point I was waiting for the power lines to be hit to our north.

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Archived

    This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

    ×
    ×
    • Create New...