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Yeah, a lot of them were quite narrow, but then there's also Moshannon (up to 2.5 miles), Elimsport (1.5 miles), Tionesta (1.25 miles), Atlantic/Kane/Corry (all ~1 mile), etc. Pretty fascinating range. Albion was up to about half a mile at maximum, more like three-tenths of a mile in the area I mentioned and only 200-300 yards through Albion itself (with the worst damage being more like 50-75 yards).
Yeah the Moshannon supercell spawned several massive wedges in quick succession; Moshannon is something I'd love to find more forest photographs from but I guess I will in your article (whenever that's finished). I was reading TornadoTalk's article on the Yellowstone-Teton Mountains tornado and apparently Fujita thought it was the worst instance of forest damage he'd ever seen; I guess he never saw Moshannon's aftermath.
 

locomusic01

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Yeah the Moshannon supercell spawned several massive wedges in quick succession; Moshannon is something I'd love to find more forest photographs from but I guess I will in your article (whenever that's finished). I was reading TornadoTalk's article on the Yellowstone-Teton Mountains tornado and apparently Fujita thought it was the worst instance of forest damage he'd ever seen; I guess he never saw Moshannon's aftermath.
I'm actually not sure if Fujita ever surveyed it tbh. He obviously was still working at that point, but the official surveys were conducted by Greg Forbes, Duane Stiegler and Jim Campbell. Anyway, I'm a little skeptical re: the Teton tornado, although it was clearly an impressive and extremely unique event.

The forest damage in some parts of the Tionesta path may have been even more intense than Moshannon. There were some areas where nearly all of the trees were snapped off just a couple feet above the ground. The mind-boggling size (and the fact that it remained so huge through most of its path) is what really impresses me about Moshannon.

On a different note, I came across yet another report of debris being carried great distances, in this case by the Beaver Falls tornado. The article here says 200 miles, but it's actually a shade under 170. Still a heck of a ride though:

ryTcM1z.jpg
 

locomusic01

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The Alma, ON F3 is another 5/31/85 tornado that allegedly caused substantial ground scouring. I'd never been able to find any photos to confirm it (finding photos in general hasn't been easy), but apparently that's what's depicted in the foreground here. Really no way to tell since it's in black and white, unfortunately:

GfUVUVw.jpg


This is pretty close to where some of the worst structural damage occurred, so if there was any scouring, it'd probably be here. A few hundred yards from this spot, the tornado leveled a large building that served as an office for a lakeside resort:

jpaJEu9.jpg


I do have some color photos, but none from this specific area. The closest one to this spot (a mile or so away) only shows a closeup of some small trees snapped off low to the ground:

KLLGRaO.jpg
 
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I'm actually not sure if Fujita ever surveyed it tbh. He obviously was still working at that point, but the official surveys were conducted by Greg Forbes, Duane Stiegler and Jim Campbell. Anyway, I'm a little skeptical re: the Teton tornado, although it was clearly an impressive and extremely unique event.

The forest damage in some parts of the Tionesta path may have been even more intense than Moshannon. There were some areas where nearly all of the trees were snapped off just a couple feet above the ground. The mind-boggling size (and the fact that it remained so huge through most of its path) is what really impresses me about Moshannon.

On a different note, I came across yet another report of debris being carried great distances, in this case by the Beaver Falls tornado. The article here says 200 miles, but it's actually a shade under 170. Still a heck of a ride though:

ryTcM1z.jpg

Yeah Grand Teton-Yellowstone may have been a microburst/tornado combo; Fujita said the microbursts that accompanied the tornado widened the damage path up to 2.5 miles; perhaps this also happened with Moshannon? Perhaps the "inflow vortices" Forbes documented were actually microbursts? Not sure what else to say.
A bit different topic, but I'd love to find damage photographs of Willliam B. Bankhead National Forest after Guin went through it in 1974; it apparently spent much of its life in the forest wilderness and appears to have widened and possibly peaked in intensity from the little information I can gather about it. It'd also be interesting to compare the treefall patterns and forest damage from these various events and see which stacks up more in intensity (durability of tree species, etc.).
 

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Oh, one final thing while I'm thinking about Moshannon. I did find someone who said her grandparents had taken pictures of the tornado itself, which (if true) is the first I've heard of any such photos. She apparently has them but she hasn't sent them yet. I'm not getting all that excited unless/until I see them, but it's at least an intriguing possibility.
 
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Oh, one final thing while I'm thinking about Moshannon. I did find someone who said her grandparents had taken pictures of the tornado itself, which (if true) is the first I've heard of any such photos. She apparently has them but she hasn't sent them yet. I'm not getting all that excited unless/until I see them, but it's at least an intriguing possibility.
Amazing how many photographs of tornadoes/tornado damage are out there but yet to see the light of day because they're in someone's personal collection and they haven't been scanned in digitally yet.
 

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Amazing how many photographs of tornadoes/tornado damage are out there but yet to see the light of day because they're in someone's personal collection and they haven't been scanned in digitally yet.
The really frustrating thing is how many are in university/library/historical society collections that are either only accessible in person or have ridiculous reproduction fees. I know of at least four or five collections for 5/31/85 alone, each probably containing thousands of photos, but many of them are like $25 or $50 per photo and there's no way to select which photos you want unless you visit in person. And Texas Tech has essentially Ted Fujita's entire collection - every photo, map, interview, study, etc. from every survey he performed. But that, too, is only accessible in person and has all sorts of fees and restrictions and whatnot on reproducing + using photos. Makes me furious to think how much invaluable historical data is locked away out of greed.
 

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Yeah Grand Teton-Yellowstone may have been a microburst/tornado combo; Fujita said the microbursts that accompanied the tornado widened the damage path up to 2.5 miles; perhaps this also happened with Moshannon? Perhaps the "inflow vortices" Forbes documented were actually microbursts? Not sure what else to say.
A bit different topic, but I'd love to find damage photographs of Willliam B. Bankhead National Forest after Guin went through it in 1974; it apparently spent much of its life in the forest wilderness and appears to have widened and possibly peaked in intensity from the little information I can gather about it. It'd also be interesting to compare the treefall patterns and forest damage from these various events and see which stacks up more in intensity (durability of tree species, etc.).
Speaking of the Super Outbreak, another impressive case of forest damage occurred in the Daniel Boone National Forest in southern Kentucky. It demolished several homes before entering the forest, where it maxed out at just over two miles wide. It was likely the largest tornado of the outbreak. I haven't done a lot of digging for photos, so all I have at the moment is a screengrab from the PBS documentary on Fujita:

NfgV6eC.png
 

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The tornado outbreak sequence of May 21-26, 2011 was violent, but that goes without saying. What is less widely known about that outbreak is that three tornadoes - one rated EF2 - touched down in northern California on May 25. The first two tornadoes were rated EF1 and collectively destroyed thousands of trees, and a few homes were damaged and an outbuilding was destroyed by the second EF1. The third and final tornado was rated EF2. It destroyed a well-built garage warranting a 115MPH EF2 rating.

The two EF1 tornadoes occurred near Durham. What is interesting about this one is that it appears to be a multiple vortex tornado:


The second, larger EF1:


Videos and damage pics from the Oroville EF2:

20110601__califtornado2.jpg

20110601__califtornado1.jpg
 

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I know Joplin has been discussed many times in this thread but I have always been intrigued by the rumor that the tornado ripped anchor bolts out of poured concrete slabs. Turns out it did happen, but not at the warehouses E of Rangeline Road as I initially thought. This photo is from the Home Depot:
Joplin-EF5-damage-anchor-bolts.JPG

And while I'm at it, a photo of a business swept from its foundation near St. John's Regional Medical Center:
Joplin-EF5-damage-basement-vehicles.JPG
 

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I believe NIST and ASCE rated the Jarrell 1997 tornado a high-end F3. I am totally speechless as to where they came up with that.
I guess it might be possible winds in the F3 range could wear a typical frame home down to the foundation over several minutes (I believe Grazulis wrote the same thing in one of his books) but there is simply NO WAY to attribute the ground scouring, asphalt scouring, vehicles completely mangled to pieces or missing entirely, and lack of debris left behind to winds in the F3 range.
 

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It makes more sense when you remember that generally those sorts of surveys are simply focused on figuring out the minimum wind speeds necessary to cause whatever structural damage occurred, which isn't the same thing as figuring out a tornado's actual intensity. From that very narrow perspective, Jarrell (as an example) wouldn't be especially impressive. It swept away homes of course, but none of them were exceedingly well-constructed. It's the overwhelming contextual evidence that supports Jarrell being one of the most violent tornadoes ever recorded.

Basically the same deal with the IRC engineering study of the Barrie and Grand Valley tornadoes that estimated maximum wind speeds of 200 km/h (~125 mph). There was a ton of contextual evidence to suggest the intensity in both cases was much higher (especially in Barrie's case), but that wasn't really the purview of the study.

(Although it would be fair to ask why that was the case.)
 
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It makes more sense when you remember that generally those sorts of surveys are simply focused on figuring out the minimum wind speeds necessary to cause whatever structural damage occurred, which isn't the same thing as figuring out a tornado's actual intensity. From that very narrow perspective, Jarrell (as an example) wouldn't be especially impressive. It swept away homes of course, but none of them were exceedingly well-constructed. It's the overwhelming contextual evidence that supports Jarrell being one of the most violent tornadoes ever recorded.

Basically the same deal with the IRC engineering study of the Barrie and Grand Valley tornadoes that estimated maximum wind speeds of 200 km/h (~125 mph). There was a ton of contextual evidence to suggest the intensity in both cases was much higher (especially in Barrie's case), but that wasn't really the purview of the study.

(Although it would be fair to ask why that was the case.)
Barrie should've been rated F5, the homes it swept away may not have been well-anchored but the vehicles thrown far distances, stripped to their chassis and the ground scouring and vegetation and tree debarking/denuding although I understand Canadian meteorological boards are much more conservative with tornado ratings than those in the states (at least typically). Tornado rankings are really weird things, it seems, especially with high end (4 and 5) events.
 

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Barrie should've been rated F5, the homes it swept away may not have been well-anchored but the vehicles thrown far distances, stripped to their chassis and the ground scouring and vegetation and tree debarking/denuding although I understand Canadian meteorological boards are much more conservative with tornado ratings than those in the states (at least typically). Tornado rankings are really weird things, it seems, especially with high end (4 and 5) events.
It probably would still get an EF4/F4 rating here in the USA
 

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