May 13, 2010 Severe Bow Echo with Tornadoes
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 **This webpage will continue to be updated as the event is analyzed**

Event Summary

A line of severe thunderstorms developed across central Oklahoma during the early morning hours on May 13, 2010.  As this squall line moved east into northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, these storms produced exceptionally strong winds and formed a bow echo.  A bow echo is a radar echo which is linear but bent outward in a bow shape. Damaging straight-line winds often occur near the "crest" or center of a bow echo.  Areas of circulation also can develop along the leading edge of the bow echo, where brief tornadoes can occur.  Radar images of the bow echo are shown below.  Click on a thumbnail for a larger image.

Extensive wind damage has been reported from Okfuskee and Creek Counties, through Tulsa County, and into Carroll County.  The Oklahoma Mesonet site in Bristow measured an 80 mph wind gust, with several other sites measuring gusts over 55 mph (see map below).


Damage Survey Summary

A team of NWS meteorologists surveyed storm damage that occurred during the early morning hours of May 13th.  Below is a list of confirmed tornadoes from the bowing line.  Other potential tornado paths that are still under investigation include damage from near Depew to Bristow, as well as some damage in southern Ottawa County.  The tracks from the May 10th event are still considered preliminary. Anyone with information that could enhance the record of these storms should contact the NWS office in Tulsa at 918-838-7838 during buisness hours, or send us an email at

Click here for information on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale for tornado damage.


Tornado 1: A tornado path started on the south side of the Port of Catoosa and went northeast across Verdigris and appeared to end south of Claremore.  A metal building structure at the port and 2 homes in the path sustained major damage that was supportive of an EF2 rating with peak gusts near 120 mph.


Tornado 2: A tornado path started south of Inola and went northeast to a point just west of Chouteau.  This tornado destroyed a wood-framed metal shop, caused major damage to several homes, and downed numerous poles that supported high-tension wires, all of which supported an EF2 rating with peak gusts near 115 mph.


Tornado 3: A tornado path started in Kiefer, went northeast crossing the Arkansas River at South Harvard and into south Tulsa to near 101st and Garnett.  Homes sustained minor damage and numerous trees were snapped, all of which supported an EF1 rating with peak wind gusts near 95 mph.


Tornado 4: A tornado developed on the north side of Sapulpa, moved northeast across Tulsa and dissipated west of the Wagoner County line north of 21st St.  This tornado was rated EF2 based on damage to homes and trees near the Creek/Tulsa County line to the west of Highway 75.  Peak wind speeds were near 120 mph.


Tornado 5: A tornado moved from southwest of Oneta to the north of Coweta and dissipated east of the Muskogee Turnpike about 5 miles east of Oneta.  Severe damage to a home and adjacent workshops support an EF2 damage rating with peak gusts near 120 mph.


Tornado 6: A short-lived weak tornado formed east of Fair Oaks in southern Rogers County, producing damage to mainly trees, which support an EF0 rating.


Tornado 7: A tornado began southeast of Okmulgee and moved northeast to a point northeast of Morris.  Two homes were severely damaged supporting an EF2 rating with peak wind speeds of 120 mph.


Tornado 8: A tornado occurred near Turkey Ford in southern Ottawa/northern Delaware Counties.  Additional details will be forthcoming.


Tornado 9: A tornado occurred near Depew/Bristow in Creek County.  Additional details will be forthcoming.


Tornado 10:  A brief tornado occurred 2 miles northwest of Savoy, AR.



Tornado Track Map (Click on the tracks and report icons for additional information. Details are still being added to this map. Due to mapping/GPS software differences, use the plotted information for general reference only.)

Maps+: Counties:


 Image Courtesy of the Oklahoma Mesonet


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Radar Images

Upper images = reflectivity

Lower images = velocity

 radar image  radar image  radar image  radar images
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 4:33 am CDT  4:50 am CDT 5:03 CDT  5:32 am CDT
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 5:58 am CDT  6:23 am CDT  7:03 am CDT  4:45 am CDT rotation ~3 miles northeast of Sapulpa associated with tornado damage (this velocity image is storm relative)




Tornado damage at the Port of Catoosa  
Tornado damage at the Port of Catoosa    Tornado damage southwest of Morris, OK
 Tornado damage  Tornado damage Tornado damage  
 Tornado damage in Tulsa near 61st and Lewis  Tornado damage near the Creek and Tulsa County line near 81st Street  Tornado damage near Turkey Ford, OK  (Southern Ottawa Co.)  Photo courtesy of Chris Arnold, Director - Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma Dept. of Public Safety


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