Information on this webpage is considered preliminary and will continue to be updated as the event is analyzed.

April 17-18, 2013 Tornado and Flood Event

NWS Tulsa damage survey teams are investigating tornado damage in Broken Arrow, Inola, Salina, Spavinaw, and near Grove in northeast OK.  This webpage will be updated with information as reported by the survey teams.

Anyone with information that could enhance the record of these storms should contact the National Weather Service Office in Tulsa at 918-838-7838 during business hours, submit an online storm report, or send us an email at: sr-tsa.stormreport@noaa.gov

 

Event Summary

During the evening of the April 17, 2013 and into the morning of the 18th, severe thunderstorms and flooding occurred across northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. On the morning of the 17th, a warm front surged north into Kansas and Missouri setting the stage for the severe weather and flooding later in the evening. Thunderstorms developed along the front as it moved into Central and Northeast Oklahoma as a cold front during the afternoon and evening hours of the 17th. As the front moved slowly to the east, storms moved to the northeast along the frontal boundary, leading to flooding as the storms moving repeatedly across the same area.

There were several rounds of thunderstorms across northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, with a line of severe thunderstorms occurring late in the evening and into the early morning hours. This line of thunderstorms evolved into a bow echo and moved swiftly across northeast OK and northwest AR, producing wind damage, large hail, and several tornadoes.  The tornadoes were associated with rather brief circulations that apparently evolved from the interaction of thunderstorms near the apex of the bow with the quasi-stationary frontal boundary.  Tornado damage was reported in Broken Arrow, Inola, Salina, Spavinaw, and Butler (near Grove) in northeast Oklahoma.  Specific details about these tornadoes can be found below.

Flooding was widespread across east-central Oklahoma into far northwest Arkansas, where the rainfall amounts were most impressive: 3" to 5" with some isolated reports of up to 7".  Several State Highways were impassible due to high water, as well as many smaller city, town, and county roads. The heaviest rain fell over the Deep Fork River and Illinois River basins, causing flooding along Flint Creek near Kansas and the Illinois River near Watts and near Tahlequah.

 

24-hr rainfall measurements >3.50” ending 7am 4/18/13
Wagoner 4.1ESE, OK 7.00   Haskell 2E, OK 4.99   Locust Grove 4S, OK 4.67
Kansas 6ESE, OK 4.66   Pea Ridge, AR 4.58   Little Frock 2NNE, AR 4.20
Bristow 4SSE, OK 4.12   West Siloam Springs, OK 4.06   Bentonville 0.9NW, AR 4.00
Decatur 2.6ESE, AR 3.96   Bentonville 2.8SSW, AR 3.90   Porter 3ESE, OK 3.85
Bella Vista 1ESE, AR 3.80   Centerton 0.8SW, AR 3.65   Inola 6SSW, OK (L&D 18) 3.60
Colcord 4N, OK 3.56   Jay 3.3 NNE, OK 3.50      

 


Click on images for larger view in a new window

Rainfall totals radar image of Broken Arrow rotation radar image of Broken Arrow rotation
24-hr Rainfall Totals ending at 2pm CDT April 18, 2013 KINX Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity for tornado near Bixby, OK. Radar image valid 11:50pm CDT April 17, 2013 KINX Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity for tornado in Broken Arrow, OK. Radar image valid 12:04am CDT April 18, 2013
radar image of Inola rotation radar image of Spavinaw rotation roof damage in Broken Arrow
KINX Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity for tornado in Inola, OK. Radar image valid 12:34am CDT April 18, 2013 KINX Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity for tornado in Spavinaw, OK. Radar image valid 1:11am CDT April 18, 2013 Roof Damage in Broken Arrow
radar image of Grove rotation radar image of Grove rotation rail cars blown off tracks
 KINX Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity for Butler tornado. Radar image valid 1:30am CDT April 18, 2013  KINX Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity for Butler tornado. Radar image valid 1:34am CDT April 18, 2013 Rail Cars Blown Off Tracks in Inola

 

                                

Preliminary Information (last updated 9:18 pm CDT 4/22/2013):

Liberty Tornado (Tulsa County)

Began:  2.4 NW Liberty, OK at 11:50 pm CDT April 17, 2013

Ended:  2.4 NW Liberty, OK at 11:51 pm CDT April 17, 2013

Path Length:  0.5 miles

Max Path Width:  50 yards

EF Rating:  EF-0 with maximum wind speeds of 65-75 mph

Survey Summary:  A KOTV meteorologist observed this tornado crossing highway 75 just north of 201st street south in southern Tulsa County.  The tornado blew a vehicle off the road and onto the center median.  It also did some minor tree damage.

Preliminary Information (last updated 9:14 pm CDT 4/19/2013):

Broken Arrow Tornado #1 (Tulsa County)

Began:  6.0 SSW Broken Arrow, OK at 12:01 am CDT April 18, 2013

Ended:  6.0 SW Broken Arrow, OK at 12:03 am CDT April 18, 2013

Path Length:  1.3 miles

Max Path Width:  250 yards

EF Rating:  EF-0 with maximum wind speeds of 80-85 mph

Survey Summary:  This tornado damaged a number of homes and snapped numerous large tree limbs. The tornado moved north, and then curved northwest.

Preliminary Information (last updated 9:23 pm CDT 4/19/2013):

Broken Arrow Tornado #2 (Tulsa County)

Began:  6.6 SW Broken Arrow, OK at 12:03 am CDT April 18, 2013

Ended:  4.6 SW Broken Arrow, OK at 12:05 am CDT April 18, 2013

Path Length:  2.1 miles

Max Path Width:  400 yards

EF Rating:  EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 90-100 mph

Survey Summary:  This tornado severely damaged the second story of a permanent home and damaged many others.  Some windows in a few homes were blown out.  Trees were uprooted and large tree branches were snapped.  This tornado moved north-northeast, then curved slightly north.

Preliminary Information (last updated 9:29 pm CDT 4/19/2013):

Inola Tornado #1 (Rogers County)

Began:  3.9 SW Inola, OK at 12:28 am CDT April 18, 2013

Ended:  3.0 SW Inola, OK at 12:29 am CDT April 18, 2013

Path Length:  0.9 miles

Max Path Width:  125 yards

EF Rating:  EF-0 with maximum wind speeds of 70-75 mph

Survey Summary:  This tornado badly damaged a barn, downed several trees, and did minor damage to the roof of a home.  The tornado traveled northeast.

Preliminary Information (last updated 9:51 pm CDT 4/19/2013):

Inola Tornado #2 (Rogers County)

Began:  2.2 SW Inola, OK at 12:29 am CDT April 18, 2013

Ended:  1.1 SE Inola, OK at 12:32 am CDT April 18, 2013

Path Length:  1.8 miles

Max Path Width:  140 yards

EF Rating:  EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 100-110 mph

Survey Summary:  This tornado overturned several empty rail cars, destroyed a mobile home, and damaged several other homes.  The tornado traveled northeast and then more northerly the last half of its existence.

Preliminary Information (last updated 9:29 pm CDT 4/19/2013):

Inola Tornado #3 (Rogers County)

Began:  0.6 SE Inola, OK at 12:33 am CDT April 18, 2013

Ended:  1.9 ENE Inola, OK at 12:36 am CDT April 18, 2013

Path Length:  1.9 miles

Max Path Width:  180 yards

EF Rating:  EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 90-95 mph

Survey Summary:  This tornado damaged the roofs of a number of homes and badly damaged a metal frame building, destroying a smaller outbuilding.  This tornado's path is the most complex of the three.  The tornado initially moved east-northeast before turning sharply north.  Near the end of its existence, the tornado veered toward the east as complex interactions occurred within the broader area of rotation.

Preliminary Information (last updated 3:16 pm CDT 4/20/2013):

Salina Tornado (Mayes County, OK)

Began:  5.4 NE Chouteau, OK at 12:48 am CDT April 18, 2013

Ended:  2.4 NW Salina, OK at 12:58 am CDT April 18, 2013

Path Length:  6.5 miles

Max Path Width:  100 yards

EF Rating:  EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 85-95 mph

Survey Summary:  This tornado tore much of the roof off of an industrial building on highway 69A on the north side of the mid-America industrial complex, destroyed a barn, snapped numerous large tree limbs, and uprooted a couple trees.

Preliminary Information (last updated 9:46 pm CDT 4/19/2013):

Spavinaw Tornado (Mayes County, OK)

Began:  2.1 SW Spavinaw, OK at 1:07 am CDT April 18, 2013

Ended:  1.4 NE Spavinaw, OK at 1:13 am CDT April 18, 2013

Path Length:  3.5 miles

Max Path Width:  350 yards

EF Rating:  EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 100-110 mph

Survey Summary:  This tornado developed in the cyclonic comma head of the bow echo, well behind the initial storm surge and gust front.  It developed south of East 440 Road southwest of Spavinaw, snapping and uprooting numerous trees as it approached the town.  Numerous homes were damaged, including several mobile homes that were destroyed, the roof of the school was severely damaged, trees and power poles were blown down, and several businesses were damaged as the tornado moved through town.  It dissipated south of Highway 20 northeast of town.

Preliminary Information (last updated 9:45 pm CDT 4/19/2013):

Butler Tornado (Delaware County, OK)

Began:  4.0 E Zena, OK at 1:30 am CDT April 18, 2013

Ended:  7.0 SE Grove, OK at 1:40 am CDT April 18, 2013

Path Length:  8.0 miles

Max Path Width:  800 yards

EF Rating:  EF-2 with maximum wind speeds of 115-125 mph

Survey Summary: This tornado developed along the leading edge of the bow echo.  It formed just east of Highway 59, south of Highway 127.  The most intense stage of this tornado's lifecycle was early on as it produced an 800 yard wide corridor of impressive tree damage when it crossed the 638 Road and severely damaged a permanent home.  Numerous trees were snapped and uprooted, power poles were blown down, homes were damaged, and barns were destroyed as the tornado moved northeast.  It dissipated about 2 miles west of the Missouri state line, north of East 324 Road.

 

 

Preliminary Event Impact Map This map will be updated as additional information is received.  Click on the icons within the map for additional details related to that impact.  Tornado information can be found by clicking on the track.

Tornado Tracks: Due to mapping/GPS software differences and road accessibility along the track, use the plotted tracks for general reference only. Tornado tracks may be updated and/or changed due to storm damage surveys, data analysis, and eyewitness reports.

EF Rating: Numbered flags represent the EF-scale rating assigned to surveyed damage. Click on the flag for additional information and available photos.

Hail, Wind, and Flood Reports:  Time, location, and description of storm report. Click here to submit your storm report.

Radar and Photos: Radar images, photos, and other images from the event. Click on the photo for a larger image in a new window.


 
 
Maps
Maps+: Counties:

 

Updated: April 25, 2013


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