A massive tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, causing severe damage and over 50 deaths. Alexis Madrigal answers a number of frequently asked questions about tornados generally and this tornado in particular.
“Moore has a deep and tragic tornado legacy. The town could probably lay claim to being the very center of Tornado Alley… On May 3, 1999, Moore was hit by one of the worst tornadoes on record.”
“The National Weather Service’s Norman, Oklahoma office says that a tornado warning went into effect 16 minutes before the storm hit. That’s three minutes faster than the current average lead time for a warning.”
“Because there was a large tornado in 1999, we have detailed information on some of the problems with the construction methods in the area… much of the construction in the area does not follow best practices for resisting a tornado’s winds.”
Jeff Masters looks at the damage and expected costs of this tornado, noting that “after the damage tally from the May 20 tornado is added up, Moore will hold two of the top five spots on the list of most damaging tornadoes in history.”