Share “Oklahoma tornado upgraded to EF5”

By The Associated Press Modified: June 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm •  Published: June 1, 2011

The National Weather Service has upgraded a tornado that tore through central Oklahoma last week to EF5, the highest rating given to tornadoes.

The weather service in Norman said Wednesday the May 24 tornado that started in Binger and traveled 75 miles to Guthrie had winds in excess of 210 mph in some parts.

Ten people died in the storm, which traveled across four counties.

Meteorologists from the weather service had been investigating the storm and its damage path for the past week, said Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service in Norman.

It was data from a University of Oklahoma mobile Doppler radar that convinced officials the twister reached an EF5 level.

“The data that they gathered indicates that over an extended period of time — several minutes — there were winds in the tornado that exceeded that 200 mph threshold for an EF5,” Smith said.

He said the data was gathered near what is believed to be the peak of the storm, near Interstate 40 and the exit for Calumet.

May 24 Tornadoes Coverage

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