Comparing Oklahoma City tornadoes to those seen in the Metro

No it's not a case of dejavu… the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore got hit by ANOTHER tornado. While it may not be all that surprising that a city in Oklahoma would get hit with more than one tornado because it's in the most tornadic prone area in the world, but even by Oklahoma standards, the numbers of this suburb are pretty ridiculous. It appears that at least 1 EF1 tornado touched down in the city roughly the size of Burnsville on Wednesday, injuring about a dozen and leaving millions of dollars in damage in its wake. The National Weather Service is still investigating and say there could be as many as 3 that touched down. This continues the stretch of years that we have seen enormous devastation come from this town. 2 years ago, it was hit with its second modern day EF5 coming 14 years later of the now famous 1999 tornado that leveled nearly half the city. In all, Moore has been impacted by at least 15 tornadoes since 1950, 6 since 1998 not including Wednesday's.

Moore is a southern suburb of Oklahoma City. Its population is roughly sixty thousand people and sits about 10 miles south of downtown. It is roughly the same size and is in roughly the same location when comparing to downtown Oklahoma City as you would find Burnsville when comparing it to downtown Minneapolis. So can you imagine the city of Burnsville getting 8 tornadoes in the span of 16 years? I don't think any of us can. The Oklahoma City metro has seen nearly 100 tornadoes cross some portion of its city limits since 1950, that's average between 1 and 2 every year.


Comparing that to the Twin Cities metro, we have seen roughly 65 tornadoes cross through the major metro counties of Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Scott, Carver, and Washington since 1950. Granted, that doesn't even include what is considered to be the entire metropolitan area, but it includes the majority of the population. But if you were to look at these 2 numbers without considering any other variable, you wouldn't think that we are all that different. But the Twin Cities metro is 3 to 4 times as big as Oklahoma City, both in population and in land area. So you have to divide our 65 by at least 3 to get a comparable number to the same land area as Oklahoma City. So, in the same area that Oklahoma City has seen 97 tornadoes, the metro has seen just 22. Now it becomes clear just how many more twisters Oklahoma has to endure.

Below are 3 pictures showing tornado paths for 3 different counties from 1950-2013. This really shows you how many areas have been impacted by twisters in Oklahoma's largest city versus the metro…

Oklahoma County home to Oklahoma City


Cleveland County home of the southern suburbs including Moore and Norman


Western MSP metro with Hennepin County sitting center stage