This is stuff I’ve picked up randomly on twitter and other sources. These are not my words, but the words of others and all due recognition goes to them.
The Boston Globe @BostonGlobe 2h
Several children pulled out of rubble alive at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.
Oklahoma tornado was an EF-4, the second most-powerful type, with winds up to 200 mph, weather service said
At least six people were killed and a number of other people were injured when a storm with a massive tornado struck an area outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, officials said.
At least one school in Moore, Oklahoma, appeared to have been hit by the tornado. Emergency personnel were scouring the school’s rubble Monday evening, video from CNN affiliate KFOR showed. The footage also showed a number of other leveled buildings.
The tornado was estimated to be at least 2 miles wide at one point as it moved through Moore, in the southern part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, KFOR reported. Video from CNN affiliates showed a funnel cloud stretching from the sky to the ground, kicking up debris.
The bodies of six people who died as a result of the storm that hit he Oklahoma City area Monday were being sent to Oklahoma’s office of the chief medical examiner, the office’s Amy Elliott told CNN.
Hospitals in metropolitan Oklahoma City are treating a number of people injured in the storm that hit the area Monday afternoon.
Twelve adults and eight children are being treated at the Oklahoma University Medical Center and The Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, OU Medical Center spokesman Scott Coppenbarger said. “We expect more patients to arrive this evening,” Coppenbarger said.
Elsewhere, the Norman Regional Hospital and the Healthplex in Norman, Oklahoma, are treating an unspecified number of people with “signs of trauma, lacerations and broken bones,” spokeswoman Melissa Herron said
More than 32,000 electricity customers in Oklahoma were without power early Monday evening, according to local power providers.
The preliminary rating of the Moore tornado is at least EF-4 (166 to 200 mph), the National Weather Service said on Monday afternoon.
Interstate 35 in Moore, Oklahoma, was closed as a result of debris from the tornado that hit the area Monday afternoon, Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokesman Cole Hackett said. Crews were headed to the north-south highway to start the cleanup process, Hackett said.
“People are trapped. You are going to see the devastation for days to come,” Betsy Randolph, spokeswoman for Oklahoma Highway Patrol, told CNN late Monday afternoon. She did not say how many people were trapped. “Send your prayers heavenward because there are people fighting for their lives.”
The National Guard has been activated in response to the tornado, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Ann Lee said.
Will Rogers World Airport reopened around at about 6 p.m. ET, spokeswoman Karen Carney said. All flights are delayed, and at least six flights have been canceled, she said.
Lance West, a reporter for CNN affiliate KFOR, said people late Monday afternoon were pulling students from a classroom at an elementary school heavily damaged by the tornado that hit Moore. There are no immediate reports on the condition of the children.
Congressman Tom Cole, who lives in Moore, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday afternoon the damage he saw on TV looks as bad as a 1999 tornado that destroyed more than 1,000 houses in his hometown.
McClain County Undersheriff Bill Shobe reported Monday afternoon there is significant damage near Newcastle, Oklahoma. Shobe went on to say there are a lot of structures with damage north of Newcastle and in the town of Tuttle. Most of the damage is parallel to Highway 37, he said.
Moore Medical Center in Oklahoma was evacuated after it sustained damages from the tornado, a hospital spokeswoman told CNN’s Sarah Baker. All patients are being evacuated to Norman Regional Hospital and Health Plex Hospital, and residents injured in the storm are being told to go to those centers as well.
A tornado struck just Moore, Oklahoma, south of Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, ripping apart homes and other buildings in populated areas. The National Weather Service issued a rare tornado emergency for the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, meaning that significant and widespread damage and fatalities were likely.
Meteorologists warned residents to go underground to survive a direct hit from the tornado.
2 dozen kids killed in Moore, ok They haven’t yet FOUND the 2 dozen children, so PLEASE Join Me In PRAYER that they are STILL FOUND ALIVE! Please RT!
Toll in Okla. tornado rises to 51; entire neighborhoods devastated
BREAKING: State medical examiner’s office: 37 killed in Oklahoma tornado; death toll expected to rise -RJJ
Medical Examiner’s Office in Oklahoma confirms 105 injured currently being treated at area hospitals–85 at OU Med Center, incl 20 kids.
The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., had wind speeds up to 200 mph.
The weather service’s preliminary classification of Monday afternoon’s tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale.
Authorities say emergency crews are working to rescue people trapped in Moore, which is southwest of Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said emergency crews are trying to reach the affected areas. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth’s surface.
Tornado season has been relatively quiet this year. There were only 72 tornadoes nationwide in April, 70 percent below the 10 year average, according to the Weather Channel. But within in the last week, tornado outbreaks have been erupting from North Texas to Minnesota.
Why do these tornadoes seem to be hitting all of a sudden?
An eastward advancing cold front is to blame. This pocket of cold air has run into warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. Like a wedge, the cold front has caused the warm air to rise, since it’s less dense, said Jeff Weber, a scientist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.
“It’s kind of the perfect setup,” Weber told LiveScience.
This rising warm air has created thunderstorms that have in turn spawned tornadoes, which draw their rotation from the system’s abundant wind shear, which is a change in wind speed and direction with altitude. In this case, winds have blown north off the Gulf of Mexico, and interacted with currents moving east along with the cold front, Weber said. This helps create swirling gyres that can be flipped vertically and create tornadoes, he said. [Infographic: Tornado! How, When & Where Twisters Form]
This follows a relatively calm spring that saw few tornadoes, which is largely due to unusually cold temperatures throughout much of the country. The cold can in turn be blamed on the fact that the jet stream, the ribbon of wind that stretches across the Northern Hemisphere, dipped farther south than usual. This brought with it frigid Arctic air and prevented warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico from advancing northward.
Last week, with the jet stream shifting north and the atmosphere more conducive to tornado formation, an outbreak of an estimated 16 twisters erupted in North Texas on May 15. The tornadoes ranged in strength from an EF-1 in the town of Millsap that caused damage to roofs, to an EF-4 in Granbury that completely destroyed houses.
The Texas tornadoes were worsened by the fact that the jet stream dipped south during this outbreak, adding extra rotational power to the twisters, Weber said.
In the next few days, this system should soon weaken, Weber said. That’s because the center of the cold front’s circulation is now over Minnesota and Wisconsin, and warm air has filled the center of the country. This means there will be less interaction between masses of cold and warm air, which fuel tornadoes’ destructive power, Weber said.