The National Weather Service reported Tuesday that the killer
tornado that struck near Oklahoma City last Friday was a ferocious EF5
twister, which had winds that neared 295 mph.
An EF5 tornado, the
highest number on the "Enhanced Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity," has
wind speeds that are 200 mph or higher.
The weather service also
says the twister's 2.6-mile width is the widest ever recorded.
According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory, the tornado blew up
from one mile to 2.6 miles wide in a 30-second span.
which carved a path 16.2 miles long near El Reno, Okla., surpasses a
2.5-mile wide F4 tornado that hit Hallam, Neb., in 2004.
weather service has originally rated the tornado as an EF3. But the
agency upgraded the ranking Tuesday after surveying damage and reviewing
measurements from a portable Doppler on Wheels vehicle. Eighteen
people were killed in the tornado and flooding in the Oklahoma City
There have only been eight F5/EF-5 tornadoes in
Oklahoma since 1950, the Weather Underground reports, and two of them
have hit in the past two weeks. The other hit Moore on May 20, killing