The deadly Moore,OKlahoma tornado crossing Sooner Road and SE 139th street in the Oklahoma City metro area.
First of all, this tornado was not the biggest and strongest tornado ever recorded on Earth, as one Oklahoma City weather-caster said.
Meteorologists positively CRINGE when a news anchor says the tornado hit with little warning. The Chief Meteorologist for KOCO TV, (Damon Lane) was tracking the tornado as it moved through the metro area.
With the one exception (I noted at the top of this post), the Oklahoma City media meteorologists did a superb job Monday afternoon.
I’ve many times told people that the rules for tornadoes (such as getting in a bath tub, or a hall closet) do not apply to EF 5 tornadoes. About Dan Dan Satterfield has worked as an on air meteorologist for 32 years in Oklahoma, Florida and Alabama.
COMMENTEMAILMOREThe deadly twister that struck near Oklahoma City on Friday was the second top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado to hit the area in less than two weeks. Tornado Alley is term that it is typically used to describe a wide swath of tornado-prone areas between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains that frequently experience tornadoes. While not as familiar as Tornado Alley, the designation Dixie Alley generally refers to another part of the country that is likely to experience tornadoes — generally the upper Tennessee Valley and Lower Mississippi Valley. Florida’s almost daily thunderstorms spawn a large number of tornadoes, designating it as the state with the with the highest number of tornadoes per square mile. Globally, latitudes between about 30 degrees and 50 degrees North or South provide the most favorable environment for tornadoes.


I wonder if Oklahoma has the text message system for severe weather alerts that is utilized in other states. Let’s be clear here, the NWS in Norman issued a tornado warning on the storm 16 minutes BEFORE the twister touched down. No, not everywhere and every school, but in high risk tornado alleys in the Plains and Deep South, YES.
It was in Moore, Oklahoma, during the May 3, 1999 EF 5 tornado, just about a ile north of where today’s tornado came through. According to the National Climatic Data Center, Texas reports the highest number of tornadoes of any state, although its very large land mass accounts for that status. However, a relatively small percentage of Florida’s tornadoes are considered high intensity.
The United States records about 1,000 tornadoes a year, by far the most prolific of any region in the world, with Canada ranking second at only 100 per year. Even then, a tornado of this magnitude is hard to survive unless you have ample shelter (preferably below ground, as you pointed out). I grew up watching Gary, and the tornadoes of June 8,1974 in Oklahoma City were primary reason I became a meteorologist.
The twister that tore through Oklahoma on Friday, which swelled from one mile to 2.6 miles wide in a 30-second span, is the widest ever recorded.
Generally, a Tornado Alley map starts in central Texas and goes north through Oklahoma, central Kansas and Nebraska and eastern South Dakota, sometimes dog-legging east through Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana to western Ohio.
Kansas and Oklahoma are second and third respectively when it comes to the number of tornadoes reported, but those states report more tornadoes per land area than Texas.


In this satellite image from NOAA & NASA a red line is drawn where the Moore, Oklahoma EF-5 tornado traveled. As he put it in a Facebook post afterwards “Reading the names of the streets in my neighborhood has never been so hard. Weather Bureau, tornadoes have occurred in every hour of the day, every month of the year, and in every state. Hi there, I saw what happened in the Tornado Belt that we have but what about else, dose anyone else in the world also have tornado allys. Although there are many places where tornadoes occur around the globe, nothing has a reputation for them like our Tornado Alley. The CNN anchor who implied there was no warning owes the meteorologists of the NWS in Norman an apology for saying that the tornado hit with little warning. Fawbush and Miller were no strangers to the study of twisters, as they have been credited with making the first successful tornado forecast in 1948 and setting off the first official tornado warning in modern times. They can actually determine the windspeeds by comparing how strongly structures were built with what’s left of them after the tornado. So, with around 1,000 twisters on average each year in the United States, you can tell just how rare these most devastating of tornadoes really are.



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