If the tornado had hit MSP

The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., was a top-of-the-scale EF-5 twister with winds of at least 200 mph, the Associated Press reports this afternoon.

The weather service says the tornado’s path was 17 miles long and 1.3 miles wide.

What kind of damage area would that be if it were the Twin Cities?



  • Kat S

    That adds really, really scary context to the storm. How did you pick the starting point?

  • Bob Collins

    I actually cheated and used the lengths of the big airport’s runways to measure out the 1 1/3 miles (they’re a little more than 1 1/2 miles long), And picked Burnsville just because I’m familiar with what’s 17 miles by air from there.

    I picked the swath direction because that’s the direction most tornadoes take.

  • Robert

    Interesting thought experiment.

    My only qualm is that Moore has a much smaller population density than the path you chose. The density of Moore is approximate to Bloomington, and about 1/3 as dense as Minneapolis. Since the Moore tornado actually went through a more rural setting before striking the city of Moore, I would have started the tornado down by Prior Lake, into Bloomington.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Bob Collins

    I wasn’t trying to show damage. I was trying to show area covered.

  • Mike

    If you reoriented that a bit, it would cover my work in Savage and my home in St Paul.