Overshadowed and Overlooked Tornadoes (1 Viewer)


Equus

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On most outbreak days, there will be one or two tornadoes which go down as the 'landmark' tornado(es) of the event. May 3 1999 has the Moore tornado; April 27 2011 has the Tuscaloosa Tornado; April 26 1991 has the Andover tornado, and so on. There are very good reasons why such tornadoes become the tornadoes one thinks of when referring to the outbreak, be it extreme death toll, striking a heavily populated region, being extremely photogenic, or so forth.

But for each landmark tornado, in the same event, there are usually one or more tornadoes quite impressive or historic in their own right that fall by the wayside, forever consigned to the background as people remember the more talked-about tornado(es) of the day. Perhaps they weren't as deadly or destructive as the landmark tornado, but had they happened on a day besides the one they did, they would be considered historic.

Just to mention a few, since 1970 or so...

Everyone remembers the F5's of the Super Outbreak, but what about the massive number of F4s? Perhaps some were overrated but the sheer number is amazing, and most caused fatalities or wiped out large portions of towns. The concentration in GA and TN is pretty much unprecedented.

Most weather fanatics are familiar with the Niles/Wheatland F5 of the incredible May 31, 1985 outbreak, but what about the Moshannon State Forest F4 that carved an at least 2.5 mile wide path through dense old growth forest with such force that it generated tremors on seismometers? Or the impressive number of violent tornadoes that occurred in Ontario the same day?

The Hesston/Goessel F5 family of March 1990 is very well known, but what about the violent and long-tracked Red Cloud F4 tornado/tornado family?

We all know the Andover tornado of April 26 1991, but what about the ultra violent Red Rock tornado up in Oklahoma? Or the F4 that caused immense damage to Oologah, OK? There were five F4+ tornadoes that day, but most only really remember the Andover and Red Rock tornadoes.

Most of us in the south remember the Palm Sunday 1994 F4 at Piedmont, AL, which killed 20 at a church service, but outside of the Georgia residents here, how many remember the extremely impressive tornado series that occurred in that state shortly thereafter? Such as the Henderson Mountain tornado S of Adairsville which killed nine, described as "a rotating fog bank filled with exploding trees" not much unlike the appearance of the Tri-State Tornado, and a terrifying "broad, boiling, green cloud" on the ground; or the F3 that struck Tallulah Falls, depositing debris from Piedmont 140 miles away?

The Jarrell tornado of May 27 1997 is very well known, but what about the terrifying video of the wispy debris filled F3 at Cedar Park or the F4 at Lake Travis?

I almost hesitate to put the Tennessee "Forgotten F5" of April 16 1998 here, because it's been discussed a good bit in the past on the forum, but it IS less well known to the general public than the significantly weaker but still destructive tornado series that affected Nashville that day.

Everyone knows of the Moore tornado of May 3 1999, for good reason, but what about the terrifyingly massive and complex Mulhall tornado, with a wind field measured at over five miles wide and an extremely intense multiple vortex structure that the DOW indicated containing winds of 260mph+ in some of the vortices? Or the F4 that devastated Haysville, KS?

The May 2003 outbreak sequence produced many notable tornadoes, some better known than others, but the intensity of the Girard, KS tornado seems to not receive much notice; though rated F4, some believe it was quite worthy of F5, with dramatic scouring and tossing of vehicles. I myself was surprised to see that, thanks to scouring and massive tree damage, its path was very distinct on subsequent Google Earth captures, something that is actually fairly difficult to accomplish in this part of KS/MO, where even many strong tornadoes can't produce enough scouring or tree damage to be easily visible as a distinct path without great effort.

Several tornadoes in the Super Tuesday outbreak of 2008 are fairly well known, but outside of those of us in AL, the overnight cluster of tornadoes in this state - including two EF4s - seems to be overshadowed by the deadly and destructive events to the NW earlier. The strongest tornadoes were, if I recall, only in the slight risk / 2-5% tor area for both the 5th and the 6th.

Many tornadoes from the April 27 2011 outbreak are now legendary, but what of the Bridgeport AL EF4? Or the 122 mile long EF4 that affected places such as Rose Hill and Enterprise, MS on its track to near Uniontown? Or the very deadly and high end TN portion of the Ringgold tornado track?

I hesitate to mention the Canton Lake tornado of May 24 2011, since it was discussed on the old site here, but it too seems to have been vastly underrated and somewhat forgotten, even as the two EF4s of the day gain notoriety for their extreme intensity in the shadow of the El Reno EF5. If all four of these jaw-dropping tornadoes had hit well built homes at their very peak intensity, is it in any way conceivable that May 24th could have been a four-EF5 day? And even the whole event seems to have been a little under-noticed, as the devastation wrought by the Joplin tornado two days earlier was still shocking the entire world, and thus still very much in the headlines.

The Shawnee EF4 of May 19 2013 is fairly well known in the weather nerd community, even if much overshadowed by the devastating Moore EF5 the following day, but what about the probably underrated Carney EF3? The vortex structure was fascinating to watch on livestream and I suspect it had the potential for more significant damage.

The Vilonia tornado of April 27 2014 is very well known (and very well-discussed on the old board) and the Louisville, MS tornado the following day is at least mentioned occasionally, but looking back at radar imagery, what of the outbreak in AL on the night of the 28th? Who would've thought such tiny and ragged looking storms would break into individual cells and drop so many significant tornadoes? The reflectivity signatures of some of the storms that produced were actually laughable. Even the 'weaker' ones produced some pretty impressive damage paths, and I'm reminded of the one that struck near Adamsville every time I go to Birmingham, as its tree damage is very comparable in level of damage AND width to the Tuscaloosa/B'ham EF4 from 4/27/11 which crossed in the same general area.

The June 17 2014 Coleridge tornado was an absolute monster, but who all still remembers the EF3 that struck SE Montana the same day? It was the strongest on record there, and threw cars 200 yards. Not the kind of thing you expect to see in Montana.
Sometimes entire outbreaks are overshadowed by more significant outbreaks shortly before or after; April 15 2011, Leap Day 2012, and May 19 2013 are three that come to mind immediately.

Which overshadowed tornadoes (or outbreaks) do YOU wish there was more discussion or research about?
 

Equus

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Saragossa, AL
Everyone thinks of Moore or Tanner/Harvest when discussing really bad tornado luck/return times, but Jackson TN can definitely hang with the elite in that category as well. I admit to have frequently forgotten that myself!
 

locomusic01

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Pennsylvania
I know you listed more modern events, but the one that always comes to mind for me is the 1925 Tri-State outbreak. Obviously the Tri-State itself draws all of the attention, and for good reason, but several other exceptionally violent tornadoes occurred that day as well. I've talked about them often in the past, but I firmly believe at least one other was deserving of an F5 rating - the tornado that began in Sumner County, TN and tracked into south-central KY - and possibly another WSW of Louisville. I've got some details and photos of the Tennessee tornado toward the end of my blog post on the event.

There were several extremely violent and virtually unknown tornadoes that occurred during the 1936 Tupelo - Gainesville outbreak as well. Unfortunately, my hard drive died a while ago and I lost all of the detailed maps I'd done for that event and now my research is scattered all over. I'm eventually going to try and gather it all up in one place and map everything out again so that I can finish the article I started a loooong time ago, but it's gonna take a lot of work. In the meantime, I'll come back and add more detail on those tornadoes when I have some free time.
 

Kim30

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Messages
15
Location
Athens, AL
8/16/1985 Hurricane Danny outbreak. An F-3 plowed right through western Limestone Co. AL and my community.

4/28/2014 Limestone Co. EF-3. I thank there could have been more fan one tornado that hit in the same place. NWS also thought that may have happened (per NWS storm survey).

2/6/2008 Lawrence and Jackson EF-4s.

Honestly 4/27/2011 outbreak will overshadow any outbreak until the next super outbreak just as 4/3/1974 did until 4/27/11.
 

warneagle

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I guess maybe the Palm Sunday '65 outbreak in general doesn't get talked about enough? For me, it should be in the same breath with the '74 and '11 Super Outbreaks...
 

Kim30

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Athens, AL
It appears to me that on 4/27/2011 the Tuscaloosa tornado overshadowed all others that day. It wasn't even the strongest or deadliest that day.
 

ARCC

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Coosa county
I think two tornadoes that are definitely overlooked on 4/27 are the Flat Rock tornado(Which probably was an EF5) and the Lake Martin tornado which was extremely violent.
 

warneagle

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I think Lake Martin definitely fits the bill here.

I'll also add the Chickasha tornado and the Goldsby tornado on 24 May 2011. All the attention goes to El Reno (and it definitely deserves attention) but both of the other tornadoes could have conceivably been rated EF5.
 
Messages
40
Location
Town Creek, Al
On most outbreak days, there will be one or two tornadoes which go down as the 'landmark' tornado(es) of the event. May 3 1999 has the Moore tornado; April 27 2011 has the Tuscaloosa Tornado; April 26 1991 has the Andover tornado, and so on. There are very good reasons why such tornadoes become the tornadoes one thinks of when referring to the outbreak, be it extreme death toll, striking a heavily populated region, being extremely photogenic, or so forth.

But for each landmark tornado, in the same event, there are usually one or more tornadoes quite impressive or historic in their own right that fall by the wayside, forever consigned to the background as people remember the more talked-about tornado(es) of the day. Perhaps they weren't as deadly or destructive as the landmark tornado, but had they happened on a day besides the one they did, they would be considered historic.

Just to mention a few, since 1970 or so...

Everyone remembers the F5's of the Super Outbreak, but what about the massive number of F4s? Perhaps some were overrated but the sheer number is amazing, and most caused fatalities or wiped out large portions of towns. The concentration in GA and TN is pretty much unprecedented.

Most weather fanatics are familiar with the Niles/Wheatland F5 of the incredible May 31, 1985 outbreak, but what about the Moshannon State Forest F4 that carved an at least 2.5 mile wide path through dense old growth forest with such force that it generated tremors on seismometers? Or the impressive number of violent tornadoes that occurred in Ontario the same day?

The Hesston/Goessel F5 family of March 1990 is very well known, but what about the violent and long-tracked Red Cloud F4 tornado/tornado family?

We all know the Andover tornado of April 26 1991, but what about the ultra violent Red Rock tornado up in Oklahoma? Or the F4 that caused immense damage to Oologah, OK? There were five F4+ tornadoes that day, but most only really remember the Andover and Red Rock tornadoes.

Most of us in the south remember the Palm Sunday 1994 F4 at Piedmont, AL, which killed 20 at a church service, but outside of the Georgia residents here, how many remember the extremely impressive tornado series that occurred in that state shortly thereafter? Such as the Henderson Mountain tornado S of Adairsville which killed nine, described as "a rotating fog bank filled with exploding trees" not much unlike the appearance of the Tri-State Tornado, and a terrifying "broad, boiling, green cloud" on the ground; or the F3 that struck Tallulah Falls, depositing debris from Piedmont 140 miles away?

The Jarrell tornado of May 27 1997 is very well known, but what about the terrifying video of the wispy debris filled F3 at Cedar Park or the F4 at Lake Travis?

I almost hesitate to put the Tennessee "Forgotten F5" of April 16 1998 here, because it's been discussed a good bit in the past on the forum, but it IS less well known to the general public than the significantly weaker but still destructive tornado series that affected Nashville that day.

Everyone knows of the Moore tornado of May 3 1999, for good reason, but what about the terrifyingly massive and complex Mulhall tornado, with a wind field measured at over five miles wide and an extremely intense multiple vortex structure that the DOW indicated containing winds of 260mph+ in some of the vortices? Or the F4 that devastated Haysville, KS?

The May 2003 outbreak sequence produced many notable tornadoes, some better known than others, but the intensity of the Girard, KS tornado seems to not receive much notice; though rated F4, some believe it was quite worthy of F5, with dramatic scouring and tossing of vehicles. I myself was surprised to see that, thanks to scouring and massive tree damage, its path was very distinct on subsequent Google Earth captures, something that is actually fairly difficult to accomplish in this part of KS/MO, where even many strong tornadoes can't produce enough scouring or tree damage to be easily visible as a distinct path without great effort.

Several tornadoes in the Super Tuesday outbreak of 2008 are fairly well known, but outside of those of us in AL, the overnight cluster of tornadoes in this state - including two EF4s - seems to be overshadowed by the deadly and destructive events to the NW earlier. The strongest tornadoes were, if I recall, only in the slight risk / 2-5% tor area for both the 5th and the 6th.

Many tornadoes from the April 27 2011 outbreak are now legendary, but what of the Bridgeport AL EF4? Or the 122 mile long EF4 that affected places such as Rose Hill and Enterprise, MS on its track to near Uniontown? Or the very deadly and high end TN portion of the Ringgold tornado track?

I hesitate to mention the Canton Lake tornado of May 24 2011, since it was discussed on the old site here, but it too seems to have been vastly underrated and somewhat forgotten, even as the two EF4s of the day gain notoriety for their extreme intensity in the shadow of the El Reno EF5. If all four of these jaw-dropping tornadoes had hit well built homes at their very peak intensity, is it in any way conceivable that May 24th could have been a four-EF5 day? And even the whole event seems to have been a little under-noticed, as the devastation wrought by the Joplin tornado two days earlier was still shocking the entire world, and thus still very much in the headlines.

The Shawnee EF4 of May 19 2013 is fairly well known in the weather nerd community, even if much overshadowed by the devastating Moore EF5 the following day, but what about the probably underrated Carney EF3? The vortex structure was fascinating to watch on livestream and I suspect it had the potential for more significant damage.

The Vilonia tornado of April 27 2014 is very well known (and very well-discussed on the old board) and the Louisville, MS tornado the following day is at least mentioned occasionally, but looking back at radar imagery, what of the outbreak in AL on the night of the 28th? Who would've thought such tiny and ragged looking storms would break into individual cells and drop so many significant tornadoes? The reflectivity signatures of some of the storms that produced were actually laughable. Even the 'weaker' ones produced some pretty impressive damage paths, and I'm reminded of the one that struck near Adamsville every time I go to Birmingham, as its tree damage is very comparable in level of damage AND width to the Tuscaloosa/B'ham EF4 from 4/27/11 which crossed in the same general area.

The June 17 2014 Coleridge tornado was an absolute monster, but who all still remembers the EF3 that struck SE Montana the same day? It was the strongest on record there, and threw cars 200 yards. Not the kind of thing you expect to see in Montana.
Sometimes entire outbreaks are overshadowed by more significant outbreaks shortly before or after; April 15 2011, Leap Day 2012, and May 19 2013 are three that come to mind immediately.

Which overshadowed tornadoes (or outbreaks) do YOU wish there was more discussion or research about?
The Rainsville tornado was lost in the shuffle and most people didn't seem to know about it until sometime the next day. I didn't find out about it for about a week when I finally got my electricity and internet back. I always thought it was strange it wasn't mentioned on the Discovery Channel show about the Dixie Alley Outbreak. The Eoline tornado made quite a mess as well.
 

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