Aerial pictures like this (tweeted by @WCL_Shawn) show the view from above today, May 21, 2013. Somewhere on the ground amid the rubble, investigators from the National Weather Service.
They spent today looking at the damage–but it goes beyond that. They can actually determine the windspeeds by comparing how strongly structures were built with what’s left of them after the tornado.
Here’s their Tuesday afternoon report:
How rare are EF-5 tornadoes? Statistically, the lower 48 states average less than one of these each year. So, with around 1,000 twisters on average each year in the United States, you can tell just how rare these most devastating of tornadoes really are.
Incredible Satellite Images, Video Of Oklahoma Supercell Storms
How big and bright were the Oklahoma supercell thunderstorms when seen on the face of the earth from outer space? Big enough that in this NASA satellite image of both North & South America, you can actually see the line of storms from space that created the massive EF-5 tornado that traveled into Moore , Oklahoma. Wow.
One last thing. I’ve heard many storm chases talk about how quickly this line of storms went from nothing to devastating. Check out this amazing video from NASA that starts at 10:45am on May 20, 2013. It was a peaceful morning around Oklahoma although the National Weather Service had warned of “rapidly developing severe thunderstorms” — I found that on the National Weather Service facebook page from Norman, Oklahoma. Boy were those forecasters right.
No doubt, that saved lives. Here’s the video of those storms blowing up over Oklahoma and other parts of the mid-west: