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The May 31-June 1, 2013 Tornado and Flash Flooding Event

Synopsis

Much like the events of May 19th and May 20th in mid May 2013, a potent set of ingredients came together during the afternoon hours of the May 31, 2013 for a major severe weather episode over central Oklahoma. A nearly stationary front was draped from southwest to northeast through central Oklahoma, with a dryline mixing eastward into portions of west central and southwest Oklahoma by mid afternoon. During the heat of the day, extreme instability developed ahead of the dryline and south of the frontal boundary, placing Oklahoma city in a very volatile severe weather environment. Storms erupted near the dryline-front intersection by late afternoon. These storms quickly became severe with strong mid level rotation.

As the southernmost storms moved east into better moisture and instability, they rapidly became tornadic. The first tornado touched down in Kingfisher county and produced little to no damage. The second tornado to form would go on to be one of the most powerful tornadoes sampled by mobile radar and also the widest known tornado on record. This tornado traveled eastward toward Union City and El Reno, producing extensive crop and property damage along the way. Several motorists were also killed by the tornado as it overtook them. This storm would go on to produce several other tornadoes in the Oklahoma City metro and a line of training supercells would cause historic flash flooding in the metro area. The two images below provide some idea of the surface conditions in place.

May 31, 2013 Surface Weather Conditions Overview Map #1 May 31, 2013 Surface Weather Conditions Overview Map #2

The latest Public Information Statements issued by the NWS Norman forecast office can be found here.

May 31, 2013 Tornado Table

Surveys conducted by crews in the NWS Norman and NWS Tulsa forecast areas revealed that 19 tornadoes occurred during the afternoon and evening of May 31, 2013. A total of 12 tornadoes occurred in the NWS Norman forecast area in Canadian, Oklahoma, Cleveland, and Grady Counties in central Oklahoma. A total of 7 tornadoes occurred in the NWS Tulsa forecast in Osage, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, and Delaware Counties in northeastern Oklahoma.

# Date Time
(CST)
Path
Length
(miles)
Path
Width
(yards)
F-Scale Killed Injured County Path
1 05/31/2013 1635-1637 1 50 EF0 0 0 Kingfisher 1 NE - 2 NE Omega
2 05/31/2013 1655-1656 0.3 30 EF0 0 0 Canadian 7 S Calumet
3 05/31/2013 1703-1744 16 4576 EF3 8 26 Canadian 8 S Calumet - 5.5 S El Reno - 6 SSW Richland
4 05/31/2013 1712-1713 0.5 120 EF0 0 0 Canadian ~6.5 SSW El Reno
5 05/31/2013 1713-1714 0.5 350 EF0 0 0 Canadian ~5.5 SW El Reno
6 05/31/2013 1718 0.1 50 EF0 0 0 Osage 2 NW Hulah
7 05/31/2013 1729-1741 5 150 EF2 0 1 Canadian 6 W - 4.5 SW Yukon
8 05/31/2013 1730-1737 2.5 200 EF1 0 0 Osage 15 WSW - 12.6 WSW Pawhuska
9 05/31/2013 1738-1740 1.2 200 EF1 0 0 Washington 6.8 NE - 7.9 NE Copan
10 05/31/2013 1751-1809 6 600 EF1 0 0 Canadian/ Oklahoma 4 SE Yukon - W OKC (SW 15th/Meridian; 5 WSW Downtown OKC)
11 05/31/2013 1755-1757 0.5 50 EF0 0 0 Canadian 6 S El Reno
12 05/31/2013 1821-1822 1.1 310 EF0 0 0 Nowata 10.4 ESE - 11.1 E South Coffeyville
13 05/31/2013 1835-1837 0.5 200 EF0 0 0 Oklahoma SE OKC (0.3 NNE SE59/Bryant)
14 05/31/2013 1842-1843 1 100 EF1 0 0 Cleveland SW OKC (near SW 119/Meridian)
15 05/31/2013 1845 0.2 50 EF0 0 0 Grady 2 NE Tuttle
16 05/31/2013 1853-1855 1.1 300 EF1 0 8 Oklahoma SW OKC (near SW59/Penn - SW59/Western)
17 05/31/2013 1921-1926 3.5 320 EF1 0 0 Rogers/ Nowata 4.4 NNW Talala - 1.3 SW Watova
18 05/31/2013 1927-1935 4.8 350 EF1 0 2 Rogers/ Nowata 4.9 NNE Talala - .7 ENE Watova
19 05/31/2013 2223-2227 1.8 500 EF0 0 0 Delaware 5 SW - 4 SW Grove

El Reno, OK Tornado Path Map

Interactive Map

The map below shows the outline of the El Reno tornado (light blue polygon with dark shading), the path of the tornado center (thick black line) and times the tornado center was along that line (black and white targets).


View May 31, 2013 El Reno, OK Tornado in a larger map

Information and Resources

Storm Observer Safety Video

El Reno: Lessons From the Most Dangerous Tornado in Storm Observing History

Storm Reports

Radar Imagery

Phased Array Radar Loop: Reflectivity

Social Media Products

The above image covers general tornado safety information. This graphic was published on our Facebook and Twitter pages several hours before the event. Line by line safety info was also retweeted throughout the event as it was occuring.

The above image covers tornado safety information for those in vehicles. This graphic was published on our Facebook and Twitter pages several hours before the event. Line by line safety info was also retweeted throughout the event as it was occuring.

If you have any pictures or personal accounts of weather phenomena or storm damage, please email them to us at sr-oun.webmaster@noaa.gov or sr-oun.spotter@noaa.gov and indicate whether or not we have permission to use them on our web-page.

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