There are controversy over on how wide this tornado was but if I were to estimate I would say around a mile-wide. Grazulis has it as 1500 yards wide and others have it as a mile to a mile and a half wide.
Besides this tornado and the Camp Crook tornado there are two other tornadoes that I know of that granulated vehicles and farm equipment and those were Jarrell, Texas on May 27, 1997 and the Chapman/Solomon tornado on May 25, 2016. The Chapman/Solomon tornado ripped up CWR railroad tracks.Yeah, I've got the Storm Data photos and a few really poor quality newspaper scans. The ones Dean has are high-quality color photos. He posted a couple of them to his website years ago, but it seems they're inaccessible now even with the Wayback Machine. Storm Data does list the names of some of the people who supplied photos, so some day I may see if I can track some of them down.
I checked my archives and I actually do have two color photos:
Edit: Didn't see your second post - nice find! I was hopeful maybe the linked NWS page would have more photos but it's gone now and there don't seem to be any archived copies of it. Bummer. Might contact Goodland and see if they've still got anything, though.
Here is the survey from the Camp Crook tornado on June 28, 2018. If you also read further a large farm outbuilding was destroyed and it foundation was violently ripped from the ground. While that is not a really strong structure but the foundation being ripped out of the ground sounds quite impressive. Though it also could have been a weak foundation. https://www.weather.gov/unr/2018-06-28Yeah I don't doubt Chapman was EF5 strength at some point (and I think the surveyors said as much)
The idea that Tuscaloosa may have reached EF5 intensity at some point is hardly news, obviously, but I thought it was noteworthy that the area of probable EF5 intensity using this method more or less coincides with the prevailing opinion. This area includes, among other things, the steel train trestle over Hurricane Creek Canyon and the coalyard where coal cars were thrown up to ~400 feet. This approach of using treefall patterns as a proxy for intensity seems to be pretty sound, so it's worth consideration I think. The study also suggests that max intensity coincided with clear RFD internal surges, which has been documented in several other tornadoes and is backed up in this case by both treefall damage patterns and radar data.Nevertheless, the best-fit vortex is shown with Rmax = 200 m (estimated from aerial photography), Vtan = 36 m s−1, Vr = 76 m s−1, and peak winds near 99 m s−1. The results suggest that the tornado was of EF5 intensity during this stage of its life, despite the EF4 rating assigned by the NWS. The EF4 rating may be attributable to a lack of EF-scale damage indicators in this section of the track, as shown in Fig. 3c. Of interest is that the tornado destroyed a railroad bridge during this period, as noted in Fig. 3c, implying very high wind speeds, but this indicator could not be used in the NWS assessment (K. Laws, NWS Birmingham, 2012, personal communication). Again, strong radial near-surface winds were needed to produce the best-fit tree-fall pattern.
That is a nice way of putting it.Yeah, I think any and all credible data should be considered. The ultimate goal is to better understand climatology and get a more accurate picture of when and where tornadoes happen and how intense they are. As it currently is, the EF-scale probably tells us more about population density and construction practices than maximum tornado intensity. It'll always be a tough thing to navigate, but I don't know that there's much of a downside to using all possible tools at our disposal (provided they're quality-controlled and reflective of near-surface tornado intensity).
I put absolutely no stock in that report. I was in Joplin after the tornado and saw numerous damage indicators that were indicative of EF-5 damage. The area is HEAVILY forested and not a single tree was standing in the path. Every tree was debarked and torn to shreds. Foundations were missing or portions were torn up, concrete porches were torn out and thrown away, one hundred pound manhole covers were sucked out of the roads, a rubber hose was impaled in a tree. The nursing home was destroyed and partially swept away with 21 fatalities occurring, Concrete parking stops weighing over 300 pounds and anchored with rebar were torn loose and thrown over fifty yards, A semi-truck was thrown roughly a quarter of a mile, stripped to the steel frame and wrapped around a debarked tree. Grass was scoured and pavement was torn out from roads.Don't forget this and it was far past the tornado's peak.
As the tornado moved across a coal yard in this area, a 35.8-tonne (78,925 lb) coal car was thrown 391 ft (119 m) though the air.
To me, when watching the tornado track video, the 70 or so miles of timber completely flattened in a mile wide swath is more indicative of an EF5 than a tornado that briefly causes a thousand feet of "EF5" damage. Only the strongest of strong tornadoes can pack that kind of wallup for that many miles. The fact that the Hackle-Campbell did that for 132 miles is incomprehensible.
They gave the Joplin tornado an EF5 rating based on the amount of damage which it did a lot of but it didn't do 80 miles of destruction.
JOPLIN, Mo. — A new engineering study of the damage caused by the May 2011 tornado that struck Joplin found no evidence that it was an EF5, as the National Weather Service found, because the city's homes and businesses weren't built to withstand wind speeds that strong, making such a determination impossible.
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The study by the American Society of Civil Engineers found that more than 83 percent of the damage on May 22, 2011, was caused by winds of 135 mph or less, which is equal to the maximum wind speed of an EF2 tornado, and that about 13 percent of the damage was caused by winds of 138-167 mph, consistent with an EF3 tornado. Only 4 percent of the damage was indicative that it had been an EF4 tornado, which can have winds speeds ranging from 168 to 199 mph, the report said.
The ASCE team also found that while the tornado's maximum wind speed was around 200 mph, there was no evidence of building damage from winds at 200 mph or greater, the minimum threshold for an EF5. The ASCE investigators concluded it was impossible to find evidence of E-5 ratings in the damage because none of the buildings met the high construction quality threshold required for determining that level of wind speed, The Joplin Globe reported Saturday.
The findings of the ASCE damage-assessment team are based on five days of surveying damage in more than 150 buildings in a six-mile segment of the tornado's Joplin path. The total tornado path was 22 miles. More than 7,000 structures were destroyed or badly damaged by the tornado, and 161 people were killed.
The ASCE findings, however, do not change the National Weather Service's classification of the Joplin tornado as an EF5, with peak winds of 200-208 mph.
After causing five deaths at the Elks Lodge, the tornado continued to rapidly intensify as it devastated medical buildings just west of St. Johns Hospital. Large, steel-anchored parking stops weighing approximately 300lbs were ripped from the ground and hurled more than 50 yards. Partha Sarkar, a wind engineer from Iowa State University, concluded that winds of at least 205mph were required to uproot the parking stops (Sarkar, 2011). Winds of that intensity only inches above the ground are indicative of significantly stronger winds at roof-top level. (Image presented at 2012 AMS Conference)I was
I put absolutely no stock in that report. I was in Joplin after the tornado and saw numerous damage indicators that were indicative of EF-5 damage. The area is HEAVILY forested and not a single tree was standing in the path. Every tree was debarked and torn to shreds. Foundations were missing or portions were torn up, concrete porches were torn out and thrown away, one hundred pound manhole covers were sucked out of the roads, a rubber hose was impaled in a tree. The nursing home was destroyed and partially swept away with 21 fatalities occurring, Concrete parking stops weighing over 300 pounds and anchored with rebar were torn loose and thrown over fifty yards, A semi-truck was thrown roughly a quarter of a mile, stripped to the steel frame and wrapped around a debarked tree. Grass was scoured and pavement was torn out from roads.
A friend of mine was in the tornado and thrown several blocks and survived. She moved to Europe for several years due to the emotional trauma.