The Norman National Weather Service has upgraded the Binger/El Reno/Piedmont/Guthrie tornado, the Chickasha/Blanchard/Newcastle tornado, and the Washington/Goldsby tornado to EF4. They say that the damage surveys are not done, though, so any of these could even be upgraded later to EF5.
The second of these three tornadoes was the one headed for northwest Norman, south Moore, and possibly downtown Oklahoma City if it had not occluded, and the third was the one headed for the National Weather Center and south Norman if it had not occluded.
Here is the public information statement from the National Weather Service with more info on these tornadoes: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-20110524-pns1
The Norman National Weather Service has put out more information on their page for the 24 May 2011 Oklahoma tornado outbreak.
So far they have rated 4 of the 7 confirmed tornadoes as EF3s, though these ratings could be raised (and probably will be) pending further damage analysis.
The following map shows an updated map of the preliminary tornado tracks, with times the tornadoes were on the ground.
The following images show the storm-relative velocity and radar reflectivity for the tornadic supercells approaching the Oklahoma City metro area. Click to enlarge.
Here is the Norman National Weather Service map of yesterday’s preliminary tornado tracks.
They are working on the damage surveys and have information on this page about the outbreak. So far they have rated the Canton multi-vortex tornado as an EF3, and many of the other tornadoes as at least EF3 (some of these are likely to go up).
There is another high risk for severe weather today in the central Mississippi River Valley, and so far there have been 56 tornado reports.
We saw two tornadoes today, a multi-vortex near Canton, Oklahoma at 3:20 pm and the rope-out stage of an elephant trunk tornado near Fairview at about 3:48 pm.
My photos didn’t turn out very well (the above photo is from the touchdown of the Canton tornado), as the rain was starting to fall and my camera had trouble focusing…plus I was busy trying to call in the tornadoes and plot our next route.
The high risk was certainly warranted today, and props to the forecasters for nailing this one. Sadly, there were many large, destructive tornadoes that affected many cities from Kansas to Texas. I thought for a while that my home was in the crosshairs, but the tornadoes lifted just in time. My heart is very heavy tonight for those who were hit by the storms, and for some areas it’s not over yet.
The 1630Z update from the Storm Prediction Center shows they expanded the High Risk area and increased the tornado risk to 45% hatched, which is almost unheard of! There is also a 60% hatched risk for large hail.
Be very careful today if you are in the risk area…keep a close eye on the weather and know where to go for safety if the sirens go off!
The first tornado watch will soon be issued for west Oklahoma into Wichita Falls, Texas. The National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center are wording these forecasts VERY strongly.
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