Widest Tornado in History – Violent Wedge Tornado El Reno 31st May 2013

Video showing the wedge tornado as it maxed out rapidly! Although I have zoomed a little the relatively wide angle still shows just how massive this tornado was and we were at this point a few kilometres from the tornado!

The El Reno tornado developed on a day exhibiting potent conditions - an environment with extreme CAPE and an explosive atmosphere. The tornado emerged from the mass of cloud and instantly began to produce vorticies! We were only about 1km from the tornado.



Progressive videos will be added over the coming days to show different stages of the tornado and associated event! This is now the most incredible and dynamic storm I have ever seen!

Unfortunately, this event took the lives of at least 4 storm chasers chasing the tornado, injured several others and also damaged or toppled vehicles of at least two other chaser teams who survived through shear luck their vehicle was not taken up into the tornado. This is the first time such a tragedy is know to have occurred in storm chasing history.


NWS Norman have now confirmed this to be the widest tornado in history.




  • Jeff Brislane

    This video shows well how the tornado seemed to be moving parallel to these chasers but was in fact heading towards them rapidly. They realise this like others quickly retreat.

  • Jeff Brislane

    This event goes to show that not all tornadoes can be approached safely! I think with so many getting up extremely close to single vortex tornadoes there has probably developed a bit of complacency but this event should hopefully correct that. EF 5 multi-vortex wedge tornadoes of this magnitude should be given a much wider berth then 100-200 yards. This was a super supercell! It needs a whole new category!

  • A quote from stormgasm is worth reading for this event!

    The supercell developed in an extremely volatile environment with local environment effective-layer EHI (Energy Helicity Index) values between 18-23 (calculations performed by Juston Drake and Simon Brewer), which is ridiculous considering many past violent tornadoes have occurred in environments approaching the 10 effective-layer EHI value. EHI values are derived by a combination of environmental CAPE (energy) analysis and Helicity analysis (shear). The tornado and parent supercell were able to fully take advantage of the extreme atmosphere in Central Oklahoma and literally “blow up” south of El Reno becoming a figurative black hole causing everyone including storm chasers to run for their lives.