Moore “Super Tornado”: Radar shows “hook echo” and “debris ball”

Major Tornado Outbreak In Moore, Oklahoma

A major tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma near Oklahoma City this afternoon.

There is major damage, with schools and many buildings devastated.

Here’s the WxUnderground “WxUndermap” image from 3:17pm showing the classic “hook echo” and “debris ball” just west of Moore as the tornado approached.

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Here’s a closer look. You can see the “debris ball” directly over Moore, OK at 3:32pm CDT.

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Debris balls occur when the tornado lifts debris high enough into the air to be detected by the radar beam.

Heres’ the radar loop just as the “Tornado Vortex Signature” (TVS – purple triangle) moves away from Moore to the east.

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Preliminary estimates put the tornado’s path length at 20 miles with an incredible path width from 1 mile… to possibly over 2 miles.

Here’s the preliminary path from the Norman, OK NWS.

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Looking at the damage, with concrete foundations wiped clean on some buildings this is likely going to be and EF4 to EF5 tornado with winds over 200 mph.

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-Here the latest OKC radar loop.

-OKC National Weather Service.

Reports indicate there was an estimated 16 minutes lead time between Tornado Warning and 1st tornado touchdown near Newcastle, and about 30 minutes before twister hit the town of Moore.

It will take some time, NWS damage surveys and analysis to put this tornado in proper perspective. One thing is clear now, this is a major historical and meteorologically significant event.

Paul Huttner

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