Multiple Tornado Deaths in Oklahoma City Area

May 31st, 2013 at 9:56 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

hail el reno   tornado okc Hail this Fri. evening the size of grapefruits in El Reno, Oklahoma.  Here’s a preliminary path of the El Reno TornadoVideo from inside the tornado.   Preliminary path of Oklahoma City tornadoes.   Second picture is one of at least several tornadoes that have hit the Oklahoma City Area. So far, there are five fatalities, inc. a mother and baby that were in a car that was blown off I-40.  Two other fatalities were in vehicles.  14 people have been admitted to the hospital in Yukon OK with 3 in critical condition.   At least 6 semis have been blown over on I-40.  67,000 are without power in the OKC area. Winds hit 70 mph at the Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. Cells are training over the same area, producing very heavy rain. Tornadoes have been reported at Minco, Newcastle, Tuttle and perhaps near Moore (again). The town of El Reno has been hard hit. A Tornado Hunt vehicle was rolled with injuries. A Tornado Emergency has been declared for the Oklahoma City area. I-40 has been closed.  Here’s tornado/storm pics. from the Oklahoma City area.  Oklahoma City Police Lt. Jay Barnett::  “We are overwhelmed right now with calls of people trapped in vehicles in high water, to the point that we are having grave difficulty even responding to all of them. The flooding is the major problem in the Oklahoma City metro. Check out this picture of the flooding.   Wind Gusts:  87 mph at Tinker AFB SE of Oklahoma City, 66 mph at the National Weather Service in Norman. OK.   Windows blown out of KFOR vehicle from 100 mph winds.

Tornadoes have hit near St. Louis. Serious damage reported. Damage is on the northern side of the city, near Lambert Field. Possible injuries.  There has been some damage at Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals game was canceled.   Towns reporting tornadoes: Weldon Springs, Wood River, Earth City (injuries at the Holiday Inn at Earth City) and Maryland Heights where there was damage to the Hollywood Casino. Five tornado warnings now in Illinois.  Semis blown off I-55 in central Illinois.   Here’s storm pictures from the St. Louis area.  (This is Bill Steffen writing from the TravelLodge in Seymour, Indiana – cheap with a coupon from the rest stop).

Radar showing storms moving across N. Indiana.   Bow echo moving across central Illinois.

55 Responses to “Multiple Tornado Deaths in Oklahoma City Area”

  1. GunLakeDeb says:

    I just counted 9 different tornado warnings across this storm :-(

    Bill, you’re not in the path of any of that, are you??

  2. Mike M. says:

    Storm chasers get tossed by tornado…

    http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-central/tornado-hunt-team-takes-direct-hit-tornado-20130531

    Made Drudgereport, good for them. They lived.

    1. fixxxer says:

      the weather channel reminds me of msnbc or something now.

      1. Brent - Zeeland says:

        Weather channel has gone down hill since NBC bought it. Don’t even bother to watch it.

      2. Mike M. says:

        That’s funny, you remind me of Chris Matthews only without the charm and wit.

        1. Mike M. says:

          Excuse me Brent, I meant that for effinn fixxxer.

        2. fixxxer says:

          Offended much mike? Its funny how one person on a internet blog can piss so many people off. Its funny actually. All becuase i dont go with the flow like indy. Job well done id say.

          Not sure what your issue is as ive been conversing fine all day. Shall i go back to my normal ways? Becuase if a few of you think your rude comments offend me.or will chase me off the blog your dead wrong.

        3. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Fixxx is dying for a hug.

    2. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      Mom and child further down the road did not.

  3. Kevin(Rockford) says:

    The weather guy in Oklahoma is talking about hail…Baseballs here…small baseballs to golfballs here..baseballs here…quarters over here. Unreal.

  4. Cort S. says:

    Tornadoes (rain-wrapped too), straight-line winds over 80 mph, giant hail, flash flooding. This storm had all the hazards. And it’s going to be a big topic in upcoming meteorology conferences about why so many people were out on the roads, where they are more vulnerable to every one of those hazards.

    1. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      Seems they would be a little after what happened not long ago, they were in a moderate risk too. Have not paid attention today out there, did they just spawn out of no where?

      1. Cort S. says:

        This is a complex problem and there is no one single, easy explanation. I was watching the NWS social media accounts and they were posting numerous updates, including dozens of tornado safety tips, for hours before the PDS Tornado Watch was issued and before the storms explosively developed 50 miles west of OKC. Everyone in OKC knew (or should have known) that there was something coming.

        Maybe it’s the fact that people saw the tornadic storms 25 miles west of OKC and they thought that they could high-tail it southbound out of its way before it got there. Unfortunately, if everyone decides that they can flee OKC metro at once, then ironically, nobody can. Maybe it was raw memories from 11 days ago, and people just didn’t want to be there to repeat it. Could be a little bit of everything that conspired to make this a big human disaster.

        1. GunLakeDeb says:

          There’s also the “Friday After Work” mentality – everyone is in a big hurry to get home/get to a game/meet up with friends, etc….

    2. fixxxer says:

      im just wondering and i hate to say it. if as quiet as we have been up here so far might end up taking a really bad turn for the worse pretty soon? seems the storms this year mean business. now that we have had 6 tornado’s just east of here “in michigan”.

    3. Timmer2005 says:

      I think everyone hit the roads for two reasons: 1. People were getting out of work and did not know what was going on. 2. When the tornado started everyone said get out of the way of the tornado. People down there dont have basements like we do, so staying in your house on the main floor is the only option. But if I can drive fast to get out of the way, that may be safer. I think this was their mindsets.

      1. Kevin(Rockford) says:

        Think they would know better…car is the last place you want to be. Find a ditch

        1. fixxxer says:

          in a time like that you might not think to clear either.

        2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          And you know all about not thinking clearly…..

      2. Cort S. says:

        There might not have been very much of #1, but I think there was a lot of #2. That fact that I saw southbound I-35 clogged up and not northbound suggests to me that people saw the tornado near El Reno and the general storm motions toward the NE and they wanted to get south of the metro area into the clear weather. This was Wichita Falls 1979 all over again. Better to have an entire city shelter in place than to have everybody trying to get out of the way.

        1. Holly says:

          I don’t know which channel in Oklahoma City I was watching at the time (of three), but I know I heard a newscaster or weatherman tell people to take shelter or head south (he mentioned heading towards Moore) to get out of the way of the tornado that was heading towards the middle of Oklahoma City. At the time, I think the storm was heading pretty much straight east. But then it seemed to head towards the southeast.

        2. fixxxer says:

          You never learn do you? You seem like a little angry guy to me.

        3. fixxxer says:

          ^ This was meant for mark, not cort.

        4. Mike Geukes says:

          I think it was KFOR telling people to go south of OKC.

  5. Mike Geukes says:

    Storm Chasers hit by debris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veNJBosc6EA

    1. Mike M. says:

      That was hilarious. The dude screaming probably needs to find another hobby, though.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        Definitely needs to lay off the Red Bull!!!

        1. Katie in Kentwood says:

          Yeah….but he legitimately was afraid for his life. I’d panic and scream too.

  6. Sandy From Dewitt/Clinton County says:

    Thanks fur the update, Bill!!! Nice job on the hotel rate!!!

  7. Bnoppe(Albion) says:

    In my opinion the ability to track lightining in the intensity of it I believe with the danger of lightining that It needs to be added to the list of things that are considerd for warnings. Of course we would have to come up with a system for how much lightining in a country before a warning is issued

    1. Bnoppe(Albion) says:

      Cort what’s your opinion on Warnings being issued for lightining

      1. Cort S. says:

        Lightning warnings? Simple… If you hear thunder, you are close enough to get struck, and you should go inside.

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          *face palm*

        2. Cort S. says:

          Nah, it was a fair question. But I think lightning does a much better job of announcing itself than the other dangers that a storm might or might not have.

        3. fixxxer says:

          Dont mind mark.

        4. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          No I meant that your reply made me snicker.

        5. fixxxer says:

          So you did a facepalm to something i never replied to before you did? Good call!

        6. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          I wasn’t even referring to you. Paranoid much? Wow you’re dense. Please try to keep up. Never mind, just quit while you’re behind.

  8. Ray says:

    It pays to be frugal!

  9. Ray says:

    There are 4 tornado warnings around Springfield Ill right now.

  10. Kevin(Rockford) says:

    Looks like the worst will go north of Bill

  11. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Will we see any of these storms just not as strong make it up this way tonight early tomorrow??

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Yeesh – I sure hope not!!!!

    2. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      I thought we had 2 shots..one late tonight 2am and later?, and again tomm afternoon. NO idea if that has changed(wife mentioned Fox said it wasn’t going to be as bad as they thought, in fact they figured it would be raining right now. But thats Fox)

      1. fixxxer says:

        Nope. Nothing severe here. Just another cold front coming.

  12. Julie m says:

    I have a friend in Yukon, Ok. Havent heard fron her since she posted that there was a multi vortex tornado headed toward her.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      At least 4 of the 5 fatalities were to motorists…I think all on I-40. Most of the injuries, too. There is some damage around Yukon, but it looks like the worst is in El Reno and over by Tinker AFB, where they had 87 mph straight-line t-storm winds.

  13. Cort S. says:

    This is an extreme flash flooding danger for OKC metro. These storms have been training over the same spots and they just keep back-developing.

    1. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      6 inches of rain in some places.

  14. Cort S. says:

    For what it’s worth, here is the 20Z HRRR model’s prediction on what the storms will look like in Michigan tonight:

    Click Here

    1. fixxxer says:

      Doesnt look like much. To be honest i think we have had enough rain. No worries of a drought this year.

      1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

        Yup, just a rain event for us.

        1. fixxxer says:

          I just want some dry, sunny weather. Guess thats too much to ask.

  15. Kimeagle says:

    We’re getting rain now. Nothing violent. Lightning distant S and SW. Looks like FWA getting some strong stuff. The cells that headed this way dissipated — it could be either upper level winds blowing things apart, or simply early maturity. Temp currently 69F, Baro. 29.91″ and dropping slightly.
    That’s it in Angola right now. We are keeping a wary eye on the stuff coming out of STL, but it appears to be either heading toward CHI or just moderating. Hm.

    1. Kimeagle says:

      The 20Z HRRR tends to support my crude speculation… I hope so.

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