El Reno, Oklahoma tornado was a record breaker - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

El Reno, OK tornado was a record breaker

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Friday's monster twister that hit El Reno, OK was upgraded today from an EF3 to an EF5 with winds estimated at 295mph.

The tornado was on the ground for 40 minutes and carved a damage path 16.2 miles long and 2.6 miles wide making it the widest tornado in the history of the United States. The tornado went from a width of 1 mile to 2.6 miles in a 30 second time span. This could explain why so many storm chasers ran into trouble chasing this monster.

18 people were killed from this tornado, including 3 storm chasers. There were 23 high water rescues Friday night and 100,000 homes and businesses lost power after the storm.

11 days from May 20th – 31st is the shortest time span between EF5 tornadoes in Oklahoma history. Oklahoma now leads the nation with 8 F5 and EF5 tornadoes, 2 of which hit the OKC area(El Reno & Moore) in this 11 day span. Alabama is 2nd on that list with 7.

Keep in mind that only 1 of the more than 1,000 tornadoes that hit the U.S. each year might be an EF5. So far this year 478 tornadoes have been reported, not actual, compared to 617 through May of 2012.

For perspective, Manhattan is 2.3 miles wide at its widest point.

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