May 10th Tornado Ratings

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
1150 AM CDT WED MAY 12 2010

...PRELIMINARY DAMAGE SURVEY RESULTS FROM MAY 10TH OUTBREAK...

AS A RESULT OF THE TORNADIC SUPERCELLS THAT CROSSED THROUGH CENTRAL 
OKLAHOMA ON MAY 10 2010...WE RECEIVED MANY TORNADO REPORTS AND 
DAMAGE REPORTS. THEREFORE...SIX SEPARATE DAMAGE SURVEY TEAMS WERE 
DEPLOYED TUESDAY TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE. HERE ARE SOME PRELIMINARY 
RESULTS. 

REMEMBER THAT THIS INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING FURTHER 
INVESTIGATION. WE ARE STILL INVESTIGATING OTHER DAMAGE AREAS AND IT 
WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO COMPILE THE DETAILS OF EACH STORM.

SPECIAL THANKS GO TO VOLUNTEERS FROM THE NATIONAL SEVERE STORMS 
LABORATORY...VORTEX 2...WARNING DECISION TRAINING BRANCH...THE STORM 
PREDICTION CENTER...AND THE OU SCHOOL OF METEOROLOGY FOR THEIR 
ASSISTANCE IN THE NUMEROUS DAMAGE SURVEYS REQUIRED.  ALSO THANKS TO 
THE EMERGENCY MANAGERS AND STORM SPOTTERS AND CHASERS AROUND 
OKLAHOMA WHO PROVIDED INVALUABLE INFORMATION BOTH DURING AND AFTER 
THE EVENT.


...NORTHERN KAY COUNTY /TWO TORNADO TRACKS/...

NO SPECIFIC INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FOR THESE TORNADOES YET. TWO 
PARALLEL TORNADO TRACKS WERE FOUND...AND THESE WERE THOUGHT TO BE 
FROM THE SAME PARENT THUNDERSTORM.  ONE CROSSED INTO KANSAS NEAR 
INTERSTATE 35...AND THE OTHER PARALLELED THAT TRACK ABOUT TWO MILES 
TO THE SOUTH. BOTH OF THESE TRACKS EXTENDED WEST INTO GRANT 
COUNTY...BUT THE SURVEY TEAM DID NOT HAVE TIME TO ASSESS THAT 
SECTION OF THE TRACK.  

THE PORTION OF THE NORTHERN STORM TRACK IN KAY COUNTY ACHIEVED A 
MAXIMUM RATING OF EF-3.  5 MILES NORTHWEST OF BRAMAN...A 3 STORY 
HOUSE WAS DESTROYED WITH THIS TORNADO.  THE PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN 
STORM TRACK IN KAY COUNTY ACHIEVED A MAXIMUM RATING OF EF-1. MORE 
INFORMATION WILL BECOME AVAILABLE ABOUT THESE TWO TORNADOES IN 
SUBSEQUENT DAYS.


...MOORE TO HARRAH TORNADO...

RATING:       EF-3
MAX WIDTH:    1/2 TO 3/4 MILES
PATH LENGTH:  AROUND 23 MILES
BEGIN POINT:  ABOUT 3.6 SSW MOORE
END POINT:    ABOUT 1.9 S HARRAH

THE TORNADO BEGAN SOMEWHERE JUST WEST OF INTERSTATE 35 AND INDIAN 
HILLS ROAD AND MOVED TO THE NORTHEAST. A BROAD AREA OF PRIMARILY 
TREE DAMAGE WAS NOTED THROUGH MOST OF THE TRACK IN MOORE...BETWEEN 
THE INTERSTATE AND STANLEY DRAPER LAKE. THE DAMAGE PATH BECAME MORE 
FOCUSED AND INTENSE AFTER THE TORNADO HAD PASSED OVER STANLEY DRAPER 
LAKE.  AREAS OF EF-2 TO EF-3 DAMAGE WERE NOTED FROM NEAR HIWASSEE 
ROAD AND SE 89TH THROUGH MOST OF THE REMAINDER OF THE TRACK. NEAR 
INTERSTATE 40...THE TORNADO IMPACTED SEVERAL BUSINESSES...WITH EF-3 
DAMAGE NOTED AT A LOVES GAS STATION AND EF-2 DAMAGE ACROSS THE 
STREET TO THE SONIC RESTAURANT.


...NORTHERN POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY...

RATING:       EF-3
MAX WIDTH:    1/2 MILE
PATH LENGTH:  AROUND 9 MILES
BEGIN POINT:  ABOUT 4.7 NNW PINK
END POINT:    ABOUT 5.0 NW SHAWNEE

THIS TORNADO DEVELOPED LESS THAN A MILE INSIDE OF THE POTTAWATOMIE 
COUNTY BORDER AND MOVED NORTHEAST...LIFTING JUST BEFORE IT REACHED 
INTERSTATE 40.  SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED ALONG THE PATH. 
SEVERAL HOMES WERE DESTROYED EXCEPT FOR ONE OR TWO INTERIOR WALLS. 
SOME TREES WERE DEBARKED.  METAL POLES FROM A BARN...EMBEDDED IN 
CONCRETE...WERE RIPPED OUT OF THE GROUND WITH THE CONCRETE STILL 
ATTACHED.  A TRAIN BOX CAR WAS ROLLED ABOUT 300 YARDS.


...NORMAN TO LITTLE AXE TO PINK TORNADO...

RATING:       EF-3
MAX WIDTH:    1/2 MILE
PATH LENGTH:  AT LEAST 16 MILES
BEGIN POINT:  ABOUT 3.2 S NORMAN
END POINT:    NOT YET ASSESSED

THIS TORNADO DAMAGE PATH IS NOT YET COMPLETELY SURVEYED. THE SURVEY 
TEAM HAD TO STOP THE SURVEY JUST WEST OF THE CLEVELAND-POTTAWATOMIE 
COUNTY BORDER.  AT THIS TIME...IT APPEARS AS THOUGH THIS DAMAGE PATH 
IS SEPARATE FROM THE DAMAGE PATH THAT BEGAN NEAR TECUMSEH. THIS 
TORNADO DEVELOPED VERY CLOSE TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER CENTER. DAMAGE 
INTENSITY INCREASED GRADUALLY ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE PATH.  THE 
MOST SEVERE DAMAGE WAS NOTED FROM NEAR THE LITTLE AXE SCHOOL TO THE 
COUNTY LINE.  IN THE CLEAR DAMAGE PATH...TREES WERE STRIPPED OF SOME 
BARK AND BRANCHES.  LARGE OBJECTS WERE THROWN CONSIDERABLE 
DISTANCES...INCLUDING SOME CONCRETE PILLARS AND METAL BLEACHERS NEAR 
THE LITTLE AXE SCHOOL THAT WERE TOSSED OR ROLLED SEVERAL HUNDRED 
YARDS.  SOME APPLIANCES WERE ALSO LOFTED AS A DRYER WAS FOUND TO 
HAVE SETTLED ABOUT 50 FEET UP IN A TREE.  THERE WAS ALSO 
CONSIDERABLE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE...AS SOME FOUNDATION HOMES WERE 
MOSTLY DESTROYED.  THIS TORNADO ALSO CROSSED LAKE THUNDERBIRD AND 
DAMAGED A MARINA WITH ABOUT 300 BOATS.


...OTHER NORMAN TORNADO...

RATING:       EF-1
MAX WIDTH:    NOT YET ASSESSED
PATH LENGTH:  AROUND 1.5 MILES
BEGIN POINT:  ABOUT 3.6 S NORMAN
END POINT:    ABOUT 3.6 SE NORMAN

A GAP IN DAMAGE WAS NOTED TO THE SOUTH OF THE MAIN DAMAGE PATH 
CLOSER TO HIGHWAY 9.  ANOTHER TORNADO DAMAGE PATH WAS FOUND FURTHER 
TO THE SOUTH. THIS SEPARATE TORNADO WAS ALSO CORROBORATED BY A FEW 
INDEPENDENT EYEWITNESSES. MINOR DAMAGE TO HOMES AND TREE DAMAGE WAS 
NOTED ALONG THIS PARALLEL TORNADO TRACK.


...TORNADO THAT MERGED EAST OF LAKE THUNDERBIRD...

RATING:       EF-2
MAX WIDTH:    1/4 MILE
PATH LENGTH:  ABOUT 7 MILES
BEGIN POINT:  ABOUT 8.5 ENE NOBLE
END POINT:    ABOUT 2.7 SW PINK

ANOTHER TORNADO DEVELOPED IN CENTRAL CLEVELAND COUNTY...AND THE 
DAMAGE PATH CONTINUED NORTHEAST UNTIL IT WAS FOUND TO MERGE WITH THE 
PRIMARY TORNADO TRACK THAT HAD CROSSED LAKE THUNDERBIRD.  IN 
ADDITION TO TREE DAMAGE...A CELL TOWER WAS MANGLED AND DOWNED...AND 
THE COUNTRY BOY LOCAL STORE ALONG HIGHWAY 9 RECEIVED SOME STRUCTURAL 
DAMAGE. NEAR THIS STORE...AND TOWARDS THE MERGER POINT...THE 
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE AND TREE DAMAGE WERE SUPPORTIVE OF AN EF-2 RATING.


...TECUMSEH TO CROMWELL AND POINTS EAST TORNADO...

RATING:       EF-3
MAX WIDTH:    3/4 TO 1 MILE
PATH LENGTH:  AT LEAST 30 MILES ONLY COUNTING NWS NORMAN PORTION
BEGIN POINT:  ABOUT 2.8 WSW TECUMSEH
END POINT:    CONTINUED INTO NWS TULSA AREA ABOUT 0.8 E CROMWELL

THIS LONG TRACK TORNADO MOVED FROM POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY INTO 
SEMINOLE COUNTY...AND THEN CROSSED INTO OKFUSKEE COUNTY WHICH IS IN 
THE NWS TULSA COUNTY WARNING AREA.  THE TORNADO CAUSED SIGNIFICANT 
DAMAGE ALONG THE ENTIRE TRACK...WITH NO NOTABLE GAPS IN DAMAGE ALONG 
THE LENGTH OF THE PATH SURVEYED.  AT TIMES...THE DAMAGE FIELD 
WIDENED TO ABOUT 3/4 OF A MILE WIDE...POSSIBLY UP TO 1 MILE WIDE.  
THE MOST INTENSE DAMAGE SEEMED TO BE JUST NORTH AND NORTHEAST OF 
EARLSBORO NEAR THE POTTAWATOMIE-SEMINOLE COUNTY BORDER.  IT WAS IN 
THIS LOCATION THAT A 5 BEDROOM...2 STORY FOUNDATION HOUSE WAS 
DESTROYED EXCEPT FOR SEVERAL INTERIOR WALLS NEAR THE BATHROOM. IN 
THIS SAME VICINITY...A PICKUP TRUCK APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN LOFTED FOR 
ABOUT 1/4 MILE...AND A SEMI TRAILER WAS ROLLED OR LOFTED FOR A FEW 
HUNDRED YARDS.  BOTH OF THESE LARGE MISSILES WERE DRAWN FROM THE 
NORTHERN HALF OF THE DAMAGE PATH TOWARDS THE CENTER.  A LITTLE 
FURTHER EAST...7 HIGH TENSION TOWERS WERE DOWNED.  ALONG THE ENTIRE 
PATH...TREE DAMAGE WAS NOTED...AND A FEW TREES WERE DEBARKED AND 
STRIPPED OF ALL THEIR BRANCHES.


...CENTRAL CARTER COUNTY...

RATING:       EF-3
MAX WIDTH:    400 YARDS
PATH LENGTH:  4.9 MILES
BEGIN POINT:  ABOUT 6.0 NNW LONE GROVE
END POINT:    ABOUT 7.0 N LONE GROVE

PHOTOGRAPHS FROM AREA RESIDENTS INDICATE THIS WAS A WEDGE TORNADO. 
AT LEAST FOUR MOBILE HOMES AND 1 FOUNDATION HOME WERE DESTROYED. THE 
FOUNDATION HOME HAD NEARLY ALL EXTERIOR WALLS REMOVED WITH ONLY 
INTERIOR WALLS REMAINING. OTHER HOMES AND OUTBUILDINGS IN THE AREA 
SUSTAINED MINOR TO MODERATE DAMAGE.  WIDESPREAD TREE AND POWER LINE 
DAMAGE WAS NOTED ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE TRACK...AND SOME HIGH 
TENSION LINES WERE DOWNED NEAR THE AREA OF MOST INTENSE DAMAGE. 


...EASTERN LOVE COUNTY...

RATING:       EF-1
MAX WIDTH:    150 TO 200 YARDS
PATH LENGTH:  AROUND 2 MILES
BEGIN POINT:  ABOUT 5.1 ENE MARIETTA
END POINT:    ABOUT 7.3 ENE MARIETTA

LOTS OF TREE DAMAGE NOTED ALONG THE TRACK. NEAR THE BEGINNING OF THE 
PATH A LOCAL STORE WAS DAMAGED...AND THIS DAMAGE WAS RATED EF-1. 
OTHER OUTBUILDINGS ALONG THE TRACK WERE DAMAGED. SURVEYORS FOLLOWED 
THE TRACK AS FAR AS THEY COULD AS THE PATH ENDED NEAR THE RED RIVER. 
SEVERAL INDEPENDENT EYEWITNESS REPORTS SUGGESTED THAT TWO TORNADOES 
OCCURRED ABOUT 10 MINUTES APART...IN THE SAME DAMAGE PATH IN THIS 
AREA. WE CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE THAT THEORY...AND IN THE MEANTIME 
THE DAMAGE WILL BE CLASSIFIED AS ONE TORNADO.
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5 Responses

  1. I saw low end EF-4 damage along S.E. 29th street today. Might get changed from EF-3 to EF-4.

    • Stormboy, you were correct on the tornado being changed from an EF-3 to an EF-4. Good job finding that

  2. Wow Stormboy if you can really tell that little of a difference then I hope that you are in the weather field…. Paticulary something in the storm surveying field!:) 🙂 🙂 :).

  3. What is going on with the storms I thought that they were going to start moving to the southeast?

    • Hey there, actually we were anticipating that storms would start to develop as the front moved in. So, the cold front moves southeast, but the winds push the storms north.

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