Estimated maximum wind speed, in mph
The twister that inspired this simulation struck on May 24, 2011. It began as a supercell thunderstorm, started rotating, and ultimately birthed an EF-5 tornado, the most powerful category. For nearly two hours, it carved a path 63 miles long and up to a mile wide. Along the way, it ripped the bark off trees, tossed cars, injured 181 people—and killed nine.