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May 14, 2014

Okla., Ala. tie in EF-5 tornado list

EDMOND — Seven EF-5 tornadoes — the most powerful — have occurred in Oklahoma and Alabama since 1950, more than any other state, according to a Storm Prediction Center list.

The EF Scale, which became operational on Feb. 1, 2007, is used to assign a tornado a rating based on estimated wind speeds and related damage, according to the National Weather Service. It is related to how most structures are designed.

It uses three-second wind gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of eight levels of damage to a list of indicators such as type of construction. The low end, an EF rating of “0,” is associated with a three second gust of 65-85 mph; the high end, an EF rating of “5,” is associated with a three second gust of more than 200 mph.

The Storm Predication Center, an offshoot of the National Weather Service, mapped F5 (original Fujita Scale) and EF5 tornadoes that occurred in the U.S. since 1950. The first occurred on May 11, 1953 in Waco, Texas; the most recent listed occurred on May 20, 2013 in Moore.  

Since Jan. 1, 1999, Oklahoma has had three EF5 tornadoes in Bridge Creek/Moore (May 3, 1999), in El Reno/Piedmont (May 24, 2011) and in Moore (May 20, 2013).

Since Jan. 1, 1998, Alabama has had three EF5 tornadoes in Oak Grove/Pleasant Grove (April 8, 1998), in Hackleburg (April 27, 2011) and in Rainsville/Sylvania (April 27, 2011). Kansas, Texas and Iowa have had six F5 and EF5 tornadoes.

The tornadoes are numbered in the order they occurred since 1950 so they run from the bottom up:

59 May 20, 2013, Moore.

58 May 24, 2011, El Reno/Piedmont, Okla.

57 May 22, 2011, Joplin, Mo.

56 April 27, 2011, Rainsville/Sylvania, Ala.

55 April 27, 2011, Preston, Miss.

54 April 27, 2011, Hackleburg/Phil Campbell, Ala.

53 April 27, 2011, Smithville, Miss.

52 May 25, 2008, Parkersburg, Iowa

51 May 4, 2007, Greensburg, Kan.

50 May 3, 1999, Bridge Creek/Moore.

49 April 16, 1998, Waynesboro, Tenn.

48 April 8, 1998, Oak Grove/Pleasant Grove, Ala.

47 May 27, 1997, Jarrell, Texas

46 July 18, 1996, Oakfield, Wis.

45 June 16, 1992, Chandler, Minn.

44 April 26, 1991, Andover, Kan.

43 August 28, 1990, Plainfield, Ill.

42 March 13, 1990, Goessel, Kan.

41 March 13, 1990, Hesston, Kan.

40 May 31, 1985, Niles, Ohio

39 June 7, 1984, Barneveld, Wis.

38 April 2, 1982, Broken Bow.

37 April 4, 1977, Birmingham, Ala.

36 June 13, 1976, Jordan, Iowa

35 April 19, 1976, Brownwood, Texas

34 March 26, 1976, Spiro.

33 April 3, 1974, Guin, Ala.

32 April 3, 1974, Tanner, Ala.

31 April 3, 1974, Mt. Hope, Ala.

30 April 3, 1974, Sayler Park, Ohio

29 April 3, 1974, Brandenburg, Ky.

28 April 3, 1974, Xenia, Ohio  

27 April 3, 1974, Daisy Hill, Ind.  

26 May 6, 1973, Valley Mills, Texas

25 February 21, 1971, Delhi, La.

24 May 11, 1970, Lubbock, Texas

23 June 13, 1968, Tracy, Minn

22 May 15, 1968, Maynard, Iowa

21 May 15, 1968, Charles City, Iowa

20 April 23, 1968, Gallipolis, Ohio

19 October 14, 1966, Belmond, Iowa

18 June 8, 1966, Topeka, Kan.

17 March 3, 1966, Jackson, Miss.

16 May 8, 1965, Gregory S.D.

15 May 5, 1964, Bradshaw, Neb.

14 April 3, 1964, Wichita Falls, Texas

13 May 5, 1960, Prague.

12 June 4, 1958, Menomonie, Wis.

11 December 18, 1957, Sunfield, Ill.

10 June 20, 1957, Fargo ND

9 May 20, 1957, Ruskin Heights, Mo.

8 April 3, 1956, Grand Rapids, Mich.

7 May 25, 1955, Udall, Kan.

6 May 25, 1955, Blackwell.

5 December 5, 1953, Vicksburg, Miss.

4 June 27, 1953, Adair, Iowa

3 June 8, 1953, Flint, Mich.

2 May 29, 1953, Ft. Rice N.D.

1 May 11, 1953, Waco, Texas

To view the list online, visit www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/

tornado/f5torns.html.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121 ext. 108

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