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Anniversary Of The Moore Tornado

May 20, 2022

By Paul Homewood

Today is the ninth anniversary of the tragic Moore tornado, which left 24 dead in Oklahoma:




Aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in a suburb of Oklahoma City

The Moore tornado was an EF-5 storm, the most powerful category, with estimated wind speeds of 210 mph. Fortunately, however, it is also the last EF-5 to hit the US, making it the longest such period on record. The previous longest gap was from 1999 to 2007.

Since 1970, there have been 36 EF-5s:


Sooner or later, another one will come along. Let us hope it is not too soon.

  1. May 20, 2022 9:46 am

    And when it does, you can predict the reporting… “worst eva”, “unprecedented”, “caused by man”, “ban fossil fuels now”, “lock everyone down to prevent it happening again”, “climate change is worse than everything else”, “the earth is on fire”, etc., etc. Will be interesting to see what Rowlatt, BBC’s chief propagandist, says.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      May 20, 2022 12:25 pm

      Well he won’t say anything about it until the next one occurs.

  2. Nordisch geo-climber permalink
    May 20, 2022 10:39 am

    RIP those people.
    My Houston house had no tornado shelter, the area was very low risk.
    However, US media and TV is obsessed with the weather.
    Forecasting is highly accurate and tornado risk is well understood in the OK, Kansas, North Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi tornado belt.
    Risk areas and time periods are well-defined.
    I don’t understand why so many people sometimes get injured or killed when there is a serious tornado watch as a norther blows through. I have seen temperatures drop 40 degrees F in five minutes.
    Trailer parks are particularly vulnerable and will not have individual shelters I agree, this is problematic, but in the high risk residential areas, all houses should have a shelter. It would be prudent to head underground for a half hour or an hour until the front passes.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      May 20, 2022 12:31 pm

      I’m guessing that being hit by a tornado is something that happens rarely even in high risk areas. People then get taken by surprise and unprepared, In the same way flood preparation is neglected until the flood happens, when Climate Change not lack of preparedness is blamed.

    • Gamecock permalink
      May 20, 2022 1:26 pm

      “but in the high risk residential areas, all houses should have a shelter”

      Statistics, my dear Nordisch. No one in the tornado belt is at high risk.

  3. Gamecock permalink
    May 20, 2022 2:16 pm

    BTW, and EF-5 can remove asphalt from the streets. Pic above shows the streets still intact. Other pix I have seen of Moore damage show streets intact. So I’m not convinced this storm was an EF-5.

    The officials say it was, but with today’s politicization of the of the weather, they may have just wanted it to be.

  4. Kerry Eubanks permalink
    May 25, 2022 12:10 am

    Interestingly enough, on March 25, 1948, Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma City, just a few miles NW of Moore, was the site where the first ever “tornado forecast” (today’s equivalent is the “tornado watch”), was issued. An F3 tornado just had hit the air base with little warning on the 21st causing what would today be at least $120M in damage.

    Two weather forecasters on duty during the day noted that the setup of the atmosphere on the 25th was very similar to what it had been on the 21st. They alerted their commanding officer who came to the office to see what they had, who then asked them if they were planning to issue a tornado forecast for the base. Although they were reluctant, they did so, giving the base a few hours to get things battened down. Although it at first looked like it was going to be a bust, a storm system quickly strengthened and sure enough, another F3 ripped through the base. So in many ways, not only was it the first ever tornado forecast, in many ways it was one of the most precise regarding location.

    Note that up to that time, the National Weather Service policy was to not issue tornado forecasts or watches, believing the panic they would cause for large numbers of people was was counter productive given the low probabilities of any particular location actually being struck.

    These things do make life here in the U.S. Midwest interesting at times! But advances in severe storm prediction and radar technology now mean that most of the time, people have plenty of advanced notice and the significant reduction in tornado fatalities over the years shows the results.

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