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El Reno Tornado Upgraded to an EF5 & Now Widest Tornado On Record

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Double tornadoes on May 31, 2013 (Photo: KFOR)

Based on veloctiy data from The University of Oklahoma’s RaXpol data (Rapid-scan X-band Polarimetric radar) the El Reno tornado that hit central Oklahoma Friday (May 31, 2013) has been upgraded to an EF5 tornado, with a maximum width of 2.6 miles. This makes it the widest tornado on record in the United States, wider than the F4 Wilber-Hallam, Nebraska, tornado May 22, 2004 that held the previous record for the widest tornado on record at 2.5 miles wide.  Below is an updated tornado path map from the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, showing where the widest part of the tornado was.

This tornado was double the width of the EF5 Moore, Oklahoma tornado that struck less than two weeks earlier.

Below is the Public Information Statement on the upgrade from the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma.

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

– Jennifer Watson

Twitter: @JWatson_Wx

Facebook: Jennifer Watson WHNT

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