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locomusic01

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Nice finds! It's a shame 3/21/32 isn't better documented because it's almost certainly deserving of the "super outbreak" title. I've got some stuff I need to sort through at some point, but there's not nearly as much out there as you'd think for such a high-end event. IIRC, the University of Alabama has a collection of photos, but most haven't been digitized and are only available in-person.

I think it's UofA, anyway. Been a while since I checked.
 
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Nice finds! It's a shame 3/21/32 isn't better documented because it's almost certainly deserving of the "super outbreak" title. I've got some stuff I need to sort through at some point, but there's not nearly as much out there as you'd think for such a high-end event. IIRC, the University of Alabama has a collection of photos, but most haven't been digitized and are only available in-person.

I think it's UofA, anyway. Been a while since I checked.
The 1932 Dixie outbreak is on par with the 1884 Enigma outbreak and the April 20, 1920 outbreak as one I wish there was much more documentation on, as they all were likely potential "super outbreaks" whose full potential will never be known and likely lost to time.
 

buckeye05

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The 6/22/15 Coal City, Illinois tornado definitely warranted a rating higher than EF3
iu

iu
Hmmm idk. These type of cookie-cutter homes pop up pretty much overnight in my area as the suburbs sprawl out. They built them cheap and fast. It doesn't really matter if there are bolts when the structure itself is frail and lightweight. The presence of collapsed walls left completely intact, and the cars left parked on the garage slabs say a lot imo. The DAT also shows trees behind some of these home that weren't even defoliated.

This one strongly reminds me of the Hugo, MN tornado of 2008. That one left power lines and trees standing in the back yards of leveled homes between residential streets. Those homes were bolted, but that clearly wasn't a violent tornado. Now this isn't exactly typical, but sometimes even when homes are anchored, the context issues win out.
 

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The damage of Chapman tornado's first peak north of Abliene often gets overlooked. This house near indy/2700 avenue didn't mentioned by NWS and obviously it was swept clean. The wind-rowing near bottom of the picture was violent.
View attachment 9510

Trucks were mangled into balls and threw large distance near this place.
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There were many heavy machines in Ken Wood's farm. One of 50000lbs Case IH400 was pushed across the field with the mangled 10000lbs 64 chevy truck nearby.
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some additional pieces from several trucks.
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View attachment 9518
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This was a Toyota highlander before the tornado.
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A blue pickup truck before the tornado
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a planter before the tornado
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Yeah that completely swept away house near Abilene was skipped by the NWS Topeka survey team, and wasn't even acknowledged by any meteorologists at all until several people, including myself, contacted Tim Marshall about it. It was rated EF4 due to a lack of wall stud connections, but I strongly feel that this house experienced EF5 winds. I find it strange and irritating that even after Tim Marshall made statements about it, it was still left out of the NWS Topeka survey information. Why in the world would they do that??
 
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Yeah that completely swept away house near Abilene was skipped by the NWS Topeka survey team, and wasn't even acknowledged by any meteorologists at all until several people, including myself, contacted Tim Marshall about it. It was rated EF4 due to a lack of wall stud connections, but I strongly feel that this house experienced EF5 winds. I find it strange and irritating that even after Tim Marshall made statements about it, it was still left out of the NWS Topeka survey information. Why in the world would they do that??
Sounds a lot what happened in Vilonia where the surveyors missed several houses; perhaps it had something to do with how the less EF5 tornadoes in the state of Kansas, the better.
 

TH2002

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Hmmm idk. These type of cookie-cutter homes pop up pretty much overnight in my area as the suburbs sprawl out. They built them cheap and fast. It doesn't really matter if there are bolts when the structure itself is frail and lightweight. The presence of collapsed walls left completely intact, and the cars left parked on the garage slabs say a lot imo. The DAT also shows trees behind some of these home that weren't even defoliated.

This one strongly reminds me of the Hugo, MN tornado of 2008. That one left power lines and trees standing in the back yards of leveled homes between residential streets. Those homes were bolted, but that clearly wasn't a violent tornado. Now this isn't exactly typical, but sometimes even when homes are anchored, the context issues win out.
They could have at least gone with a low-end EF4 rating. Even if the building materials used were substandard, the homes were still bolted and as you can see one was entirely swept away with the debris wind-rowed away from the foundation. You do have a point in that on two of the homes the walls were collapsed and left intact, but in the second picture the wind-rowing of chewed up debris is fairly impressive. Not saying the tornado was an EF5 or anything but the rating was definitely lowballed IMO.
 

buckeye05

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They could have at least gone with a low-end EF4 rating. Even if the building materials used were substandard, the homes were still bolted and as you can see one was entirely swept away with the debris wind-rowed away from the foundation. You do have a point in that on two of the homes the walls were collapsed and left intact, but in the second picture the wind-rowing of chewed up debris is fairly impressive. Not saying the tornado was an EF5 or anything but the rating was definitely lowballed IMO.
I just don’t agree at all. The cars and trees say it all, and it doesn’t matter if there’s chewed up debris in that second photo, because the are also intact walls and unmoved vehicles. You can’t just cherry pick what’s impressive and then ignore contextual discrepancies.

It’s a very commonly used rule of thumb in tornado damage surveying that if unmoved vehicles are present, that the surveyor has good reason to put the construction quality of affected structures, and the intensity of the tornado under intense scrutiny and skepticism.
 

TH2002

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I just don’t agree at all. The cars and trees say it all, and it doesn’t matter if there’s chewed up debris in that second photo, because the are also intact walls and unmoved vehicles. You can’t just cherry pick what’s impressive and then ignore contextual discrepancies.
I'm literally making the argument that one residence should have been rated low-end EF4 based on the fact that it was bolted and the foundation was swept clean with wind rowed granulated debris. Fail to see how that is cherrypicking as I'm not denying that there are contextual discrepancies. If I really was ignoring context then I would be championing an EF5 rating.

That being said, just my two cents and you don't have to agree with me.
 

buckeye05

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I'm literally making the argument that one residence should have been rated low-end EF4 based on the fact that it was bolted and the foundation was swept clean with wind rowed granulated debris. Fail to see how that is cherrypicking as I'm not denying that there are contextual discrepancies. If I really was ignoring context then I would be championing an EF5 rating.

That being said, just my two cents and you don't have to agree with me.
I mean I definitely hear you, but I just think this is one of those rare cases where 165 MPH EF3 makes perfect sense, given the context and type of home affected.
 

TH2002

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I mean I definitely hear you, but I just think this is one of those rare cases where 165 MPH EF3 makes perfect sense, given the context and type of home affected.
So this is one of those cases where you'd use the term "lower-bound" rather than "lowballed"?
 

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Jon Davies has an article on that tornado. Truly a high end event for the area.
 

buckeye05

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Woah Bridge Creek was an extremely violent tornado. That damage is comparable or maybe even exceeds that of the 2011 El Reno tornado.
Late to the party here, but this is incredibly well-done as usual. I find it interesting that the detail of manhole cover removal occurring in Moore in 1999 was lost to time. I always associate this phenomenon this with the most violent of tornadoes, because besides this, I only know of it occurring in Smithville, Joplin, and Moore 2013.

Also, crazy coincidence but I just now realized that I met James Clarke, the guy who shot the overpass aftermath video in your article, last Saturday while observing a supercell near Decatur, TX. I wish I had known at the time, as I would have loved to have talked to him about that experience!

edit: whoops meant to quote loco there.
 

locomusic01

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Yeah, I'd never heard about the manhole covers until I started interviewing people and a couple of them brought it up independently. Definitely not something you see very often. Also, I just realized I have a ton of photos that I totally forgot about. Probably will update the article to include them tomorrow, but I'll post some of them here for now.

Some of the very worst damage in Moore/OKC occurred here along SW 131st Terrace in Eastlake Estates:



Several apartments at Emerald Springs totally destroyed:



From Southern Hills in Bridge Creek - kinda speaks for itself, I think:



Same area. Among other things, you can see a utility pole snapped off at like two feet:



Just an absolute mangle of, well.. pretty much everything. This is very close to where Kara Wiese was killed:



Debarked tree in the same area:



Thought this one was pretty cool because it shows how rapidly the tornado reintensified. It crossed the Canadian River just beyond the upper left corner of the photo (the little grove of trees that's damaged is a few hundred yards north of the river), weakening as it went. By the time it got to S Drexel Ave (above center), it had already started producing significant scouring & vehicle damage again. That's a distance of just over half a mile.

 

locomusic01

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So, hypothetically, if I were to do one more article (primarily focused on a single tornado to keep the workload more manageable), what would y'all like to see? A few I've considered at various points: 1899 New Richmond, 1913 Omaha, 1980 Grand Island "Night of the Twisters," 1966 Topeka, 1990 Plainfield, 2013 Moore, 2008 Parkersburg, 1919 Fergus Falls, 2011 El Reno/Chickasha/Goldsby, 1955 Blackwell/Udall, 2018 Carr Fire/Redding Fire Tornado, etc.

I've also kicked around the idea of doing a different form of article, but I'm not sure what. Maybe some kind of very broad overview of the worst outbreaks (though that's less interesting IMO), a rundown of some of the "strongest ever" contenders, maybe something breaking down the most extraordinary specific instances/types of damage or whatever.

Not sure what, if anything, I'll do from here, but I have to admit getting back into it has reminded me why I love it. Anyway, been drinking a bit so hopefully I'm not rambling too much lol
 

MNTornadoGuy

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So, hypothetically, if I were to do one more article (primarily focused on a single tornado to keep the workload more manageable), what would y'all like to see? A few I've considered at various points: 1899 New Richmond, 1913 Omaha, 1980 Grand Island "Night of the Twisters," 1966 Topeka, 1990 Plainfield, 2013 Moore, 2008 Parkersburg, 1919 Fergus Falls, 2011 El Reno/Chickasha/Goldsby, 1955 Blackwell/Udall, 2018 Carr Fire/Redding Fire Tornado, etc.

I've also kicked around the idea of doing a different form of article, but I'm not sure what. Maybe some kind of very broad overview of the worst outbreaks (though that's less interesting IMO), a rundown of some of the "strongest ever" contenders, maybe something breaking down the most extraordinary specific instances/types of damage or whatever.

Not sure what, if anything, I'll do from here, but I have to admit getting back into it has reminded me why I love it. Anyway, been drinking a bit so hopefully I'm not rambling too much lol
2018 Carr Fire Tornado would be an interesting one, I have done a lot of research on it already so maybe I could help with it. It is also a pretty underrated tornado too and potentially violent.
 

locomusic01

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2018 Carr Fire Tornado would be an interesting one, I have done a lot of research on it already so maybe I could help with it
Yeah, that's one that really intrigues me. I've been slowly collecting photos and doing some research to stash away but I haven't yet sat down to see what kind of story is there, y'know? I think it could be really compelling though, even if it's not quite what I normally do.

Then again I thought the same thing about Cyclone Mahina and I'm not sure 10 people have read it lol. So, who knows.

I also think 1886 Sauk Rapids is pretty interesting just because of the rivalry of sorts between Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud, and the way the tornado really changed both of their destinations. Some other good stories there as well.
 

MNTornadoGuy

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Yeah, that's one that really intrigues me. I've been slowly collecting photos and doing some research to stash away but I haven't yet sat down to see what kind of story is there, y'know? I think it could be really compelling though, even if it's not quite what I normally do.

Then again I thought the same thing about Cyclone Mahina and I'm not sure 10 people have read it lol. So, who knows.

I also think 1886 Sauk Rapids is pretty interesting just because of the rivalry of sorts between Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud, and the way the tornado really changed both of their destinations. Some other good stories there as well.
There are a lot of people who might be interested in such an article, especially in northern California.
 

buckeye05

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All those ideas sound like they'd be great subject matter for your site, but for me personally, I think the idea of articles covering New Richmond and Fergus Falls excites me the most. I'd be incredibly interested in learning more about those, as they were likely some of the most violent ever recorded imo, and they happened so long ago, that I bet there are a lot of fascinating details that could be dug up that would otherwise be lost to time.

An article covering the F5s and most significant tornadoes of the 1974 Super Outbreak would be incredible too, as I feel that for whatever reason, was somewhat poorly documented for being relatively recent, or at least the information didn't "make it" through the transition to the internet age.
 

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