Q:

What was the strongest tornado on record?

A:

Quick Answer

As of 2013, the strongest recorded tornado in terms of wind speed hit Moore, Okla., on May 3, 1999. The largest tornado and second-strongest by wind speed hit El Reno, Okla., on May 31, 2013.

Continue Reading
What was the strongest tornado on record?
Credit: Getty Images North America Getty Images News Getty Images

Full Answer

A June 2013 USA Today article states that an EF5 tornado that hit near Oklahoma City on May 31, 2013 had winds of up to 295 miles per hour. This tornado, which hit El Reno, Okla., was the largest and widest tornado ever recorded with a width of 2.6 miles and the second strongest by wind speed. According to Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground, the only tornado that had higher wind speed was a tornado that hit Moore, Okla., with wind speeds of up to 302 miles per hour. This tornado struck on May 3, 1999.

Learn more about Storms

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the biggest tornado that ever happened?

    A:

    According to the Washington Post, the widest tornado ever recorded was the El Reno tornado that touched down west of Oklahoma City on May 31, 2013. The twister reached a maximum width of 2.6 miles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How big can a tornado get?

    A:

    It is unknown how large and strong a tornado can get. As of 2013, the strongest wind speed recorded in a tornado was 318 mph in 1999 Moore, Oklahoma, by Doppler on Wheels (DOW), and the widest tornado on record occurred on May 31, 2013, near El Reno, Oklahoma.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Has anyone survived a tornado?

    A:

    There are numerous recorded instances of adults and children who have been physically lifted by a tornado and survived the experience. One case involved a young boy who was wearing a bike helmet when a 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo. enveloped him.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How is a tornado formed?

    A:

    Tornadoes are formed when hot air and cold air meet in a powerful storm, and the warm air begins spiralling upward, creating a funnel cloud. This funnel cloud forces objects on the ground and in the air around and upward, and can be strong enough to uproot trees, move cars and tear apart buildings. This extremely energetic air current is part of a special, very tall storm called a supercell.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore