Oklahoma Twister Track

May 25, 2003

Oklahoma_moore_tornado

Provided by: Earth Observatory, NASA GSFC
Summary authors & editors: Earth Observatory; Jim Foster

"Welcome be thou, faire, fresshe May."

Chaucer may not have been so kind to May if he had lived in the central U.S. Tornadoes have come thick and fast this month! Since the beginning of May, over 500 tornadoes have been sighted, and during the first 10 days of the month, more than 300 twisters were reported, which is about 100 more than the previous 10-day record in 1999! This barrage left 50 people dead and hundreds injured.

On May 3, 2003, intense supercell thunderstorms spawned multiple tornados that swept across Oklahoma and nearby states. One of the tornados ripped through the town of Moore, just south of Oklahoma City. The path of the tornado is visible on this high-resolution satellite image, acquired by the IKONOS satellite on May 10, 2003. In the center of the tornado’s swath, homes were totally destroyed by an F4 twister.

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