The 2013 Tornado and Severe Weather Season (Invited Presentation)
The severe weather season rapidly intensified in the second half of May with a sequence of violent tornado events centered over the southern Great Plains. Granbury TX was the sad victim of a violent EF4 tornado the evening of 15 May which caused 6 fatalities, and the following Sunday and Monday violent tornadoes hammered central Oklahoma. A cluster of supercell thunderstorms over central Oklahoma during the afternoon and evening of 19 May spawned an EF4 tornado which struck Shawnee Oklahoma. The following afternoon, a strong supercell intensified just southwest of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, and a horrific tornado rapidly intensified to EF5 strength and devastated the community of Moore Oklahoma claimed 23 lives including 7 school children. No vehicular fatalities occurred despite a tornado path which crossed several major interstate highways. On Friday 31 May, another powerful supercell intensified west of Oklahoma City and another strong-violent tornado struck near El Reno Oklahoma. Eight people lost their lives directly to the tornado, all in vehicles, while an additional 13 lost their lives to flash flooding associated with this powerful storm complex.
In mid June, a strong weather system spawned thunderstorms that caused widespread wind damage across the Midwest and the Mid Atlantic during the afternoon and evenings of 12 and 13 June. The story for the remainder of 2013 has yet to be written, but forecasts of an active Atlantic Hurricane season suggest considerable potential for tornadic events associated with tropical cyclone systems.