The University of Oklahoma has just released a new study regarding the tornado of May 31, 2013 in El Reno, Oklahoma. This study upgraded the El Reno tornado’s width from 2.6 to 4.3 miles wide; making it a colossal “super tornado.”
This is the largest recorded tornado in history. This tornado had wind speeds up to 335 mph. Originally the wind speeds were thought to be 295 mph. The study was based on weather data, videos collected and looking at the actual damage.
This system was a multiple-vortex tornado. This is a tornado that has multiple tornados inside the main tornado. The sub vortex tornados were recorded, based on this new report, to be one mile wide. The sub vortex are normally visible only as a tornado begins to form. A great video posted on YouTube by www.tornadotitans.com found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2OFq7lJ3yk in this video you can see the formation of these vortices. This is amazing video shot by Brandon Sullivan and Brett Write. I recommend the view not only to see the formation of multiple vortices, but to feel the danger these hunters but themselves in to collect data. Collection of videos and data from hunters has changed meteorology and enabled more an accurate warning system.
Large Multiple-vortex tornados are a rare weather event that has happened in Oklahoma before. On May 3, 1999 near Chickasha, Oklahoma a three mile wide multiple-vortex tornado ripped through town causing major damage. This was part of a week long system that moved across the country where one hundred and fifty two tornados were recorded. The wind speeds of the Chickasha, OK tornado was less than El Reno.
This new study shows that the El Reno tornado had destructive wind forces twelve times faster than the Joplin, MO tornado of 2011. The Joplin tornado was the most costly tornado recorded in all of history.
News commentators suggest, and I agree, there is a major difference between 1999 and 2013 tornados: Smartphone technology. Weather apps make it possible for alerts to come directly to your phone. This way you have time to get underground.