• Welcome to TalkWeather!
    We would love for you to become a part of our community.
    Take a moment to look around and join the discussion.
    CLICK HERE TO JOIN TALKWEATHER
1-800-PetMeds
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
Officially the last damage point was along the shoreline at the Brentwood Marina, but via eyewitness accounts I've been able to track it nearly to the opposite shore in the Shanty Bay/Oro Lea Beach area. Seems like it dissipated basically at the mouth of Kempenfelt Bay.

There are scattered reports of waterspouts on Lake Erie during the outbreak, but I think that's about the best we can do.
Man, imagine a giant multivortex wedge going across one of the Great Lakes; once in a lifetime moment, right there. Also, imagine if there were a group of stormchasers that pursued it on boat, wonder how long until something like that actually happens.

Also, I found this photograph of damage from Barrie from the industrial park area:

Screenshot 2021-07-28 at 16-46-34 cf2e2f8f905658fb3fa391de45dd95c8 jpeg (WEBP Image, 960 × 564...png


This reminds me of the damage Hackleburg did to the Wrangler plant, I'm surprised this area wasn't rated F5, it's definitely some of the most violent damage to a major building outside of the US that I've seen.

Source:

 

locomusic01

Member
Messages
485
Reaction score
1,290
Location
Pennsylvania
Yeah, the damage to the Albarrie plant was extreme. Across the road (just beyond the bottom edge of that photo), a tire retreading plant was virtually obliterated and a young man was killed when he was thrown into the wreckage at Albarrie. At another building in that area, a large metal lathe that had been bolted to a concrete pad was ripped from its anchoring and thrown across the highway.

It looks like sort of a multivortex pattern because there are some buildings that are only moderately damaged while others are absolutely destroyed.
 
Messages
894
Reaction score
642
Location
Madison, WI
Interesting, I thought its path ended at Lake Simcoe, seems like that one tornado from the 1953 Waco outbreak that spent most of its life over Lake Michigan so there's way to know for sure how long it lasted. I mentioned further back in this thread that it wouldn't surprise me if several tornadoes touched down on Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario and weren't recorded because, really, how could track a path entirely over water?

Reminds me of the February 7, 2017 New Orleans area tornado outbreak, a very intense couplet continued over Lake Borgne and then crossed over the unpopulated swampland of the Biloxi State Wildlife Management Area. The couplet and hook were of an appearance typically associated with EF3+ tornadoes, but there's no way to survey anything out there and the tornado warning was even dropped due to lack of human population (I believe a Special Marine Warning was issued instead).
 

Attachments

  • LIX_1900.png
    LIX_1900.png
    744.5 KB · Views: 0
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
Yeah, the damage to the Albarrie plant was extreme. Across the road (just beyond the bottom edge of that photo), a tire retreading plant was virtually obliterated and a young man was killed when he was thrown into the wreckage at Albarrie. At another building in that area, a large metal lathe that had been bolted to a concrete pad was ripped from its anchoring and thrown across the highway.

It looks like sort of a multivortex pattern because there are some buildings that are only moderately damaged while others are absolutely destroyed.
Multivortex and a real skinny core too, I would imagine.
 

locomusic01

Member
Messages
485
Reaction score
1,290
Location
Pennsylvania
The overall damage path mostly varied between a tenth and a quarter of a mile (weirdly contracting to ~100 yds at one point), but yeah, the core was generally pretty narrow.

I keep forgetting to look for a higher-res version of this:

85c87d334147bfd4db130ce199b1-Gallery.jpg
 
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
The overall damage path mostly varied between a tenth and a quarter of a mile (weirdly contracting to ~100 yds at one point), but yeah, the core was generally pretty narrow.

I keep forgetting to look for a higher-res version of this:

85c87d334147bfd4db130ce199b1-Gallery.jpg
Kinda reminds me of Plainfield's core (although obviously WAY more violent). After Niles-Wheatland, would you say that Barrie was 2nd-most violent tornado of the outbreak, or do you still need to do more research to fully ascertain that kind of stuff?
 

locomusic01

Member
Messages
485
Reaction score
1,290
Location
Pennsylvania
Probably in terms of actual damage, yeah. Beyond the industrial buildings, it also produced pretty significant vegetation and vehicle damage in a few areas. Some of Tionesta's contextual damage leads me to believe it was likely more intense, but it passed through a far less populated area. It actually didn't strike almost any structures directly despite totally leveling several homes.

Some of the brief aerial videos I've found from around Atlantic are awfully impressive as well, but obviously you can't tell much about construction quality and such. Later in the path near Cooperstown it stripped a section of asphalt from a road and apparently hurled an RV a pretty significant distance.
 
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
I'm not sure I can think of a more anomalous event in the historical record. The 1944 Apps outbreak might be the closest comparison, but obviously the scale was much smaller. Also can't help wondering what we might've missed due to Lake Erie (and Ontario to a lesser extent).

And also Lake Simcoe, now that I think about it. From what I can tell, the Barrie F4 actually traveled about as far over the lake (a shade over 6 miles) as it did over land.
The 1944 Appalachians outbreak is something I bring up whenever someone tells me that tornadoes can only occur in areas with flat land and that mountains, hills, valleys, plateaus, etc. will protect them.
 
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
The overall damage path mostly varied between a tenth and a quarter of a mile (weirdly contracting to ~100 yds at one point), but yeah, the core was generally pretty narrow.

I keep forgetting to look for a higher-res version of this:

85c87d334147bfd4db130ce199b1-Gallery.jpg
I seem to recall a couple other tornadoes from this day that you showed contracted to real narrow diameters at one point before widening back up again....really quite a volatile environment.
 

locomusic01

Member
Messages
485
Reaction score
1,290
Location
Pennsylvania
Also, I found this photograph of damage from Barrie from the industrial park area:
Another thing I forgot to add earlier: this was very nearly a massive disaster. The Grand Valley tornado damaged the power grid and knocked out power to large sections of Barrie, including this industrial park. Most of the workers were sent home for the day shortly thereafter. If that hadn't happened, there would've been somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-400 people inside the various plants and warehouses when the tornado struck.

..Which, needless to say, would not have been a good situation.

albarrie-textile-plant-4.jpg
 
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
Another thing I forgot to add earlier: this was very nearly a massive disaster. The Grand Valley tornado damaged the power grid and knocked out power to large sections of Barrie, including this industrial park. Most of the workers were sent home for the day shortly thereafter. If that hadn't happened, there would've been somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-400 people inside the various plants and warehouses when the tornado struck.

..Which, needless to say, would not have been a good situation.

albarrie-textile-plant-4.jpg
It's amazing how many major tragedies are narrowly avoided in events like this; had Edmonton 1987 formed a couple miles further east it would have gone straight through downtown, if either of the Moore tornadoes had tracked into downtown OKC, etc. we'd be looking at way worse death tolls. I do wonder if anyone has written papers on worst case-scenarios with EF5 tornadoes hitting downtown areas of major metropolises during rush hour and how many fatalities we'd be looking at in those scenarios.
 
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
Nothing egregious, really. I think Beaver Falls certainly could've warranted an F4 rating, and potentially in a few different areas. Actually surprised it didn't. Tionesta produced some really impressive contextual damage, but nothing I've found that'd clearly suggest F5. Same for Atlantic-Cherrytree. Neither hit very many structures when they were at their most intense, and even fewer structures were directly in the core of the path. I wouldn't be shocked if one or both reached that intensity at some point, though.

Moshannon's even trickier because there was literally almost nothing substantial in most of its path. Lots of trees obviously, but even then it's hard to get really high-end tree damage in a forest that thick. Some summer/hunting cabins were destroyed but they weren't exactly well-built, and the PermaGrain facility wasn't really struck directly. The vast majority of the significant structural damage was near the beginning of the path, south of Penfield, which is before it really exploded.

The Johnstown, OH F3 is another underrated candidate, and one that I don't think most people know much about. Possibly Saegertown-Centerville as well, but I'm still working on researching that so I'm only basing that on like two properties so far.

Oh! And while I don't necessarily think either was an F5 candidate, both the Barrie and Grand Valley F4s appear to have been more impressive than I'd always assumed before starting my research. Barrie was very likely the stronger of the two, but Grand Valley seems to be largely overshadowed. The thing was on the ground for 72 miles, yet the info/photos most people encounter come almost exclusively from the immediate GV area. It produced some pretty intense damage just based on what I've been able to dig up so far, particularly further east along the path.

For example, this home just south of Tottenham was reportedly "blown away" (except for the toilet) and scattered far downstream.

near-tottenham-david-mcdonald-only-toilet-left.jpg


Obviously can't tell much about the construction here, and the tree in the background being only lightly damaged raises some questions, but the tornado was also quite narrow through this area. Probably not a case of a really well-anchored home being swept away, but even doing this to a home of more modest construction is fairly significant. Not far from this area, the tornado also tossed a combine roughly half a mile and apparently tore it up pretty good. Trying to find out what kind to get an idea of the weight, but figure several tons.

You can also see a home in the background with F1-level damage to its roof but nothing more; I'm thinking this was the project of a suction vortex.
Yeah, Getty Images had quite a few photographs of homes completely swept away by Grand Valley, of course the construction quality is hard to ascertain.
 

locomusic01

Member
Messages
485
Reaction score
1,290
Location
Pennsylvania
It's amazing how many major tragedies are narrowly avoided in events like this; had Edmonton 1987 formed a couple miles further east it would have gone straight through downtown, if either of the Moore tornadoes had tracked into downtown OKC, etc. we'd be looking at way worse death tolls. I do wonder if anyone has written papers on worst case-scenarios with EF5 tornadoes hitting downtown areas of major metropolises during rush hour and how many fatalities we'd be looking at in those scenarios.
The Top o' the Strip rink in Niles was a very close call as well. About 45 minutes later and there would've been several hundred kids there for a skating party to celebrate the end of the school year. Considering how utterly demolished it was, it's scary to think about. And also the trailer park in Hubbard I mentioned a while back, among several other near-misses.

And yeah, there've been a few such studies. One transposed the Bridge Creek F5 onto a few different metros to estimate the impact:


Another paper from Canada actually used the Barrie tornado as a starting point to project various scenarios; I don't have the link handy but it shouldn't be hard to find.

You can also see a home in the background with F1-level damage to its roof but nothing more; I'm thinking this was the project of a suction vortex.
Yeah, Getty Images had quite a few photographs of homes completely swept away by Grand Valley, of course the construction quality is hard to ascertain.
You can also see how selective the destruction was at the Mono Plaza north of Orangeville:

mono-plaza-1.jpg


The core was only on the order of 50 yards wide through this area. There were apparently cycloidal marks in a field just east of here - still waiting on pictures of that though.
 
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
The Top o' the Strip rink in Niles was a very close call as well. About 45 minutes later and there would've been several hundred kids there for a skating party to celebrate the end of the school year. Considering how utterly demolished it was, it's scary to think about. And also the trailer park in Hubbard I mentioned a while back, among several other near-misses.

And yeah, there've been a few such studies. One transposed the Bridge Creek F5 onto a few different metros to estimate the impact:


Another paper from Canada actually used the Barrie tornado as a starting point to project various scenarios; I don't have the link handy but it shouldn't be hard to find.


You can also see how selective the destruction was at the Mono Plaza north of Orangeville:

mono-plaza-1.jpg


The core was only on the order of 50 yards wide through this area. There were apparently cycloidal marks in a field just east of here - still waiting on pictures of that though.
So the core of this thing was pretty narrow, too? It seems like quite a few tornadoes from this day had really small cores in relation to their overall circulation.
Also, the damage to this building looks like a suction vortex disintegrated right when it began hitting it, which is why the damaged side shows progressively weaker damage the further to the left of the picture you go. Or the core just narrowly clipped the building instead.
Side question; are suction vortices usually real brief? Is it basically a constantly disintegrating group of them, one after the other, that constantly appear and disappear as they revolve around the core of the tornado? Or is it a bit more complicated than that? Tornado wind speeds seem to be even more complicated the more I read up on wind speed and damage patterns and how wildly uneven they can be.
 

locomusic01

Member
Messages
485
Reaction score
1,290
Location
Pennsylvania
So the core of this thing was pretty narrow, too? It seems like quite a few tornadoes from this day had really small cores in relation to their overall circulation.
Also, the damage to this building looks like a suction vortex disintegrated right when it began hitting it, which is why the damaged side shows progressively weaker damage the further to the left of the picture you go. Or the core just narrowly clipped the building instead.
Side question; are suction vortices usually real brief? Is it basically a constantly disintegrating group of them, one after the other, that constantly appear and disappear as they revolve around the core of the tornado? Or is it a bit more complicated than that? Tornado wind speeds seem to be even more complicated the more I read up on wind speed and damage patterns and how wildly uneven they can be.
Yeah, I'd say that's pretty much the norm re: narrow, intense cores. Bridge Creek-Moore was similar as well - over a mile wide, but the most intense damage through Moore/OKC was often < 250 yards, and in some cases as little as 50-100 yards. The occasional tornadoes that produce unusually wide swaths of high-end damage are pretty exceptional.

As far as the Mono Plaza, the tornado was traveling from a little above bottom right to roughly top left. Its center probably struck around the right edge of the small section that's still standing. That area had a bunch of small rooms all built with anchored, steel-reinforced concrete, which is why it (mostly) survived. A lot more support than the rest of the plaza, which consisted of mostly longer spans with fewer interior walls. Incredibly, a bunch of people survived in the plaza and I've only found two people so far who were seriously injured.

This picture was taken a bit later after some cleanup, making it easier to see what was destroyed and what was left standing:

mono-plaza-3.jpg


And yeah, tornado structure is fascinatingly complex and variable. I've seen a few studies that divide subvortices into short-lived and long-lived varieties (less than and more than 5 secs, respectively). Most are short-lived, often not even making a full revolution around the core. Some can last a lot longer, though. Assuming I've got the right link, this paper goes into a bit of depth on some of the factors influencing subvortices:

 
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
Yeah, I'd say that's pretty much the norm re: narrow, intense cores. Bridge Creek-Moore was similar as well - over a mile wide, but the most intense damage through Moore/OKC was often < 250 yards, and in some cases as little as 50-100 yards. The occasional tornadoes that produce unusually wide swaths of high-end damage are pretty exceptional.

As far as the Mono Plaza, the tornado was traveling from a little above bottom right to roughly top left. Its center probably struck around the right edge of the small section that's still standing. That area had a bunch of small rooms all built with anchored, steel-reinforced concrete, which is why it (mostly) survived. A lot more support than the rest of the plaza, which consisted of mostly longer spans with fewer interior walls. Incredibly, a bunch of people survived in the plaza and I've only found two people so far who were seriously injured.

This picture was taken a bit later after some cleanup, making it easier to see what was destroyed and what was left standing:

mono-plaza-3.jpg


And yeah, tornado structure is fascinatingly complex and variable. I've seen a few studies that divide subvortices into short-lived and long-lived varieties (less than and more than 5 secs, respectively). Most are short-lived, often not even making a full revolution around the core. Some can last a lot longer, though. Assuming I've got the right link, this paper goes into a bit of depth on some of the factors influencing subvortices:

I'll check that paper out. I'm curious, is there a reason most subvortices are short lived, or is it just because?
 

Austin Dawg

Member
2021 Supporter
Messages
291
Reaction score
263
Location
Leander, Texas
It's amazing how many major tragedies are narrowly avoided in events like this; had Edmonton 1987 formed a couple miles further east it would have gone straight through downtown, if either of the Moore tornadoes had tracked into downtown OKC, etc. we'd be looking at way worse death tolls. I do wonder if anyone has written papers on worst case-scenarios with EF5 tornadoes hitting downtown areas of major metropolises during rush hour and how many fatalities we'd be looking at in those scenarios.
If the Smithville F5 happens at around 6 pm then a couple of hundred people are home or milling around town instead of being out of town at work in mid afternoon. I talked with someone there about this who was with the city officials and they said if that had happened there would have probably been between 25 to 40 more fatalities or maybe more. If the path shifts to the east and school had been in session it would have been unbelievably tragic.
 
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,411
Location
Missouri
If the Smithville F5 happens at around 6 pm then a couple of hundred people are home or milling around town instead of being out of town at work in mid afternoon. I talked with someone there about this who was with the city officials and they said if that had happened there would have probably been between 25 to 40 more fatalities or maybe more. If the path shifts to the east and school had been in session it would have been unbelievably tragic.
An even worse scenario would be if Smithville or Hackleburg went through downtown Tuscaloosa or Birmingham during rush hour or peak work hours, the death tolls in those scenarios would likely number in the thousands.
 

pohnpei

Member
Messages
462
Reaction score
750
Location
shanghai
It's noteworthy that tornadotalk's detailed article about Tuscaloosa had a path of 96.33miles rather than 80miles according to NWS, which made It only slightly shorter than Hackleburg's actual path of 103miles.
Tornadotalk listed two to three dozens of EF5 points scattered along tornado's path, but not included the often argued Chastain Manor apartment area.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

  • MNTornadoGuy
  • Z
Top