Damage Survey of the El Reno, OK Tornado

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 2:30 PM
Georgia Ballroom 1 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Roger Wakimoto, NSF, Arlington, VA; and N. T. Atkins, K. M. Butler, and H. Bluestein

On 31 May 2013, an EF5 tornado produced a swath of damage through a largely rural area near El Reno, OK. The entire track was documented based on a combined aerial and ground survey. The U-shaped path was ~23 km long and was associated with a wide swath of damage (~6 km at one section). The tornado track was also characterized by “cusp-like” features rather than being quasi-linear. A series of photos of the tornado have been photogrammetric analyzed to determine the dimensions of the funnel along the track. These calculations revealed that the funnel was ~2 km (~1.2 miles) wide toward the end of its life cycle. Preliminary results from an analysis of mobile radar data collected near the vortex will be shown. Brief remarks about using the EF scale to rate tornado damage over open country will be discussed.