Damage Survey and Analysis of the 20 May 2013 Newcastle-Moore, OK, EF-5 Tornado

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Kiel L. Ortega, Univ. of Oklahoma/CIMMS/NSSL, Norman, OK ; and D. W. Burgess, G. S. Garfield, C. Karstens, J. G. LaDue, T. P. Marshall, T. C. Meyer, B. R. Smith, R. Smith, D. Speheger, and G. J. Stumpf
Manuscript (1003.1 kB)

Handout (5.7 MB)

The 20 May 2013 Newcastle-Moore, OK, EF-5 tornado damaged thousands of buildings, most of them homes in the south-central portions of Moore, OK. The damage caused by the tornado was documented by several ground teams and multiple aerial surveys performed by government-, academic- and private-sector organizations. This presentation will focus on the efforts of survey teams originating from the National Weather Center, which included multiple ground survey teams and an aerial survey while also leveraging information collected by other surveys completed by different organizations.

This presentation will focus on: the damage survey methodology, which included reviewing data in near-real time to find areas needing further investigation; the separation of EF-4 and EF-5 ratings for residential structures; summary of lofted debris, including vehicles; the gradient of the damage encountered and whether there was consistency between nearby, but differing, damage indicators. The presentation will also discuss implications for future EF-scale refinement, comparisons of damage to Doppler wind information from a Terminal Doppler Weather Radar which was only 5 km from the tornado at its closest approach and the application of such high density information within the operations of the National Weather Service.