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Tornado emergency

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Large, powerful tornadoes can cause a very large amount of damage when striking areas with a lot of people.

A tornado emergency is a stronger wording of tornado warnings used by the National Weather Service in the United States. It is used when a large, powerful tornado is in an area with a lot of people. It means that a very large amount of damage and a high possibility of a lot of deaths are expected.

The term was first used on May 3, 1999 when an F5 tornado hit just south of Oklahoma City in Moore. Between 5:30 and 6:00 PM, a large, powerful tornado was heading for Oklahoma City, leading to the first tornado emergency.[1][2]


  1. "May 3rd, 1999 from the NWS's Perspective". The Southern Plains Cyclone (National Weather Service) 2 (2). Spring 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-11-08. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  2. Mathis, Nancy (2007). "Inside the Bear's Cage". Storm Warning: The Story of a Killer Tornado. Touchstone. p. 129. ISBN 0-7432-8053-9 .