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Which reminds me, no one seems to have had any idea that any photos existed of the Saegertown-Centerville tornado (another example of an F3 that absolutely should've been an F4 BTW) until recently, but it turns out someone did manage to take a few. And not only that, they were taken right around the time it was at peak intensity. Wish they were a bit clearer, but still pretty excited about it:

W4xm70M.jpg


BlEbOZV.jpg


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Be really cool if you uncover photographs or video of the Moshannon State Forest tornado; I know it's not likely to happen but who knows?
Also, maybe you'll be able to find yet a new video of Niles-Wheatland; I wonder if its touchdown was documented by military cameras and is locked up in archives at Ravenna Arsenal currently?
 

locomusic01

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Be really cool if you uncover photographs or video of the Moshannon State Forest tornado; I know it's not likely to happen but who knows?
Also, maybe you'll be able to find yet a new video of Niles-Wheatland; I wonder if its touchdown was documented by military cameras and is locked up in archives at Ravenna Arsenal currently?
I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are more videos of Niles out there somewhere. I know a bunch of people around Ravenna Arsenal saw it touch down and I talked to a few of them, but no one knew if there was any video. Several people also watched the tornado from the roof of the high school; I dunno if any of them had a video camera but it would've been a great vantage point.
 

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Which reminds me, no one seems to have had any idea that any photos existed of the Saegertown-Centerville tornado (another example of an F3 that absolutely should've been an F4 BTW) until recently, but it turns out someone did manage to take a few. And not only that, they were taken right around the time it was at peak intensity. Wish they were a bit clearer, but still pretty excited about it:

W4xm70M.jpg

esRKTOJ.jpg
I know you probably don’t want to spoil the article but what makes you think it deserves an F4 rating?
 

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I know you probably don’t want to spoil the article but what makes you think it deserves an F4 rating?
The damage it did to a string of farms just north of Blooming Valley. One farm I think I've mentioned here before, but every building was blown away except for one silo. The three-story farmhouse, garage and barns were scattered for hundreds of yards, although I don't think the house was super well-anchored.

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The family's new pickup truck was hurled into a distant field (a news report said 300 yards but the woman said 500; measuring from its approximate starting and ending locations on Google Earth I got ~550 yards, give or take):

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A large cast iron wood stove was later found five miles away. Not sure how much it weighed, but cast iron is not a light material. Some of the family's papers were found in various places up near the Finger Lakes, roughly 170 miles away.

Another farm just to the east was apparently hit even harder, but I haven't been able to dredge up any photos yet. The home was fairly new and pretty well-built according to the people who lived there, and it was completely blown away and "splintered into toothpicks." A tractor was thrown a couple hundred yards, crashing into a combine and basically "fusing with it," in their words. They had a big bulk tank (used for cooling + storing milk) that weighed well over a ton and was anchored to a cement pad with U-bolts; it was ripped up and hurled into a ravine.

The same tornado later killed two people (possibly three but haven't 100% confirmed yet) just south of Centerville. The damage was also quite intense in a few places there, but not as violent as Blooming Valley.
 

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I would be pretty skeptical of the claims that the cast iron stove was thrown 5 miles unless if there is concrete evidence.
I spoke to a woman whose parents were the ones that found it on their property, which is probably the closest I can get to concrete evidence after 36 years. She didn't know exactly where it was found, but measuring on Google Maps their property stretched from roughly 3.9 to 4.8 miles from where it originated at the Hunters' home.

That doesn't necessarily mean it was carried in the air the entire way (pretty likely it wasn't), but I don't find it that implausible that a violent tornado could transport an object weighing maybe 500-800 lbs or so (I'm guessing?) a distance like that.
 
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I spoke to a woman whose parents were the ones that found it on their property, which is probably the closest I can get to concrete evidence after 36 years. She didn't know exactly where it was found, but measuring on Google Maps their property stretched from roughly 3.9 to 4.8 miles from where it originated at the Hunters' home.

That doesn't necessarily mean it was carried in the air the entire way (pretty likely it wasn't), but I don't find it that implausible that a violent tornado could transport an object weighing maybe 500-800 lbs or so (I'm guessing?) a distance like that.
Especially if the area is nothing but flat farmland; not many objects to stop something flying through the air.
 
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Some bizarre telephone pole damages I collected from violent tornados
the first one was from East side of Pakersburg where tornado reached its peak intensity as an high end EF5 tornado leveled houses easily yet not bent any of pole in this picture.
d418353202f96b789ba6c33eff30e6981cdd18e6_raw.jpg

2011 Smithville tornado was undoubtedly one of the strongest tornado in the history. When It was at peak intensity in the town which showed in the picture below. Two poles around this swept clean well built house were not snaped down.(another one not shown)
Img_2021-12-03-12-24-00.jpg
This one from Czech tornado this year. Tornado tossed two dozens of cars around this place and telephone pole was in the centerline of the tornado yet It refused to be bent as well.
1638506238748.jpg
Actually cases like these were far more than three. Winds around these poles were definitely higher than EF2/3, some were into EF5 level. That just told us how bizarre tornados can be.
 
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Some bizarre telephone pole damages I collected from violent tornados
the first one was from East side of Pakersburg where tornado reached its peak intensity as an high end EF5 tornado leveled houses easily yet not bent any of pole in this picture.
View attachment 10778

2011 Smithville tornado was undoubtedly one of the strongest tornado in the history. When It was at peak intensity in the town which showed in the picture below. Two poles around this swept clean well built house were not snaped down.(another one not shown)
View attachment 10779
This one from Czech tornado this year. Tornado tossed two dozens of cars around this place and telephone pole was in the centerline of the tornado yet It refused to be bent as well.
View attachment 10780
Actually cases like these were far more than three. Winds around these poles were definitely higher than EF2/3, some were into EF5 level. That just told us how bizarre tornados can be.
Selectivity of extreme winds, plus take into account subvortices. I do think with Smithville there were many telephone poles that were snapped off and/or carried away and those poles in that photo may have been the few left standing. With Parkersburg perhaps the house was struck by a narrow suction vortex and the duration of its winds ended right around the house; something similar happened with Rainsville (which and extremely selective damage; well-anchored homes were swept away but low lying shrubs and trees nearby were left almost intact. Distribution of tornadic winds (especially extreme ones) is incredibly sporadic, and of course tornadoes can fluctuate in intensity, which might explain why some things remain intact while everything else is swept away or leveled.
 

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Selectivity of extreme winds, plus take into account subvortices. I do think with Smithville there were many telephone poles that were snapped off and/or carried away and those poles in that photo may have been the few left standing. With Parkersburg perhaps the house was struck by a narrow suction vortex and the duration of its winds ended right around the house; something similar happened with Rainsville (which and extremely selective damage; well-anchored homes were swept away but low lying shrubs and trees nearby were left almost intact. Distribution of tornadic winds (especially extreme ones) is incredibly sporadic, and of course tornadoes can fluctuate in intensity, which might explain why some things remain intact while everything else is swept away or leveled.
I don't think we can attribute all these things to subvortex. Even there was subvortex, the winds around these place have to be at the very least at violent level inside the main vortex. Actually in many these cases, no evidence of subvortex was shown. Some were just coincidence IMHO.
For Rainsville, some tree/vehicle incongruity damage was due to the unusual ratio of horizontal/vertical winds component just like early stage of Jonesboro. Some houses/trees damage incongruity was likely due to the house was actually not that well built based on pics now available.
 
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buckeye05

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Some bizarre telephone pole damages I collected from violent tornados
the first one was from East side of Pakersburg where tornado reached its peak intensity as an high end EF5 tornado leveled houses easily yet not bent any of pole in this picture.
View attachment 10778

2011 Smithville tornado was undoubtedly one of the strongest tornado in the history. When It was at peak intensity in the town which showed in the picture below. Two poles around this swept clean well built house were not snaped down.(another one not shown)
View attachment 10779
This one from Czech tornado this year. Tornado tossed two dozens of cars around this place and telephone pole was in the centerline of the tornado yet It refused to be bent as well.
View attachment 10780
Actually cases like these were far more than three. Winds around these poles were definitely higher than EF2/3, some were into EF5 level. That just told us how bizarre tornados can be.
The most fascinating thing about the Parkersburg photo is the sharp contour between the unscoured and scoured grass behind the tiny pine tree in the front yard. That to me, actually does suggest a very concentrated subvortex. It honestly appears that one part of the yard experienced much higher winds than sections of the yard just feet, if not inches away. While not as distinct or dramatic as the very narrow scouring path left by that subvortex within the 2011 Canton, OK tornado, I believe we are looking at the same type of phenomenon here.

Also check out the background. Extreme, above-and-beyond the EF5 criteria type damage to homes occurred in that area.

Also: I see some structural flaws in that photo too. Check out the back basement wall. You can see where the mortar/grout failed between the CMU blocks. This house was bolted down, but that doesn’t matter if the foundation comes apart underneath the bolts. That’s why CMU foundation homes get rated significantly below the expected damage.
 
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pohnpei

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Before and after view of classic EF5 damage of Smithville(the first residence It encountered in the town)
gaitubao_@M4EDBCESAW[EOTRSHGNT_I_jpg.jpg
View from south to north
SJ5A$ZT%RUEPGC9{OUULFJV.png A5W5U$V1IARLMF@XCI([G[X.png
Notice these shrubs in front of the houses before and after. Damage to shrubs like this was Incredible and among the strongest that I have seen. Damage to brick veneer can be noticed as well.
milk truck tossed ib front of the house
8}ZD[662O5]_KCN4JF0%O~I.png
aerial view of this house view from north to south
4886189e06d94c543b75034500f1bfabfdb616f7_raw.png
 
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I don't think we can attribute all these things to subvortex. Even there was subvortex, the winds around these place have to be at the very least at violent level inside the main vortex. Actually in many these cases, no evidence of subvortex was shown. Some were just coincidence IMHO.
For Rainsville, some tree/vehicle incongruity damage was due to the unusual ratio of horizontal/vertical winds component just like early stage of Jonesboro. Some houses/trees damage incongruity was likely due to the house was actually not that well built based on pics now available.
Lots of times in the remains of leveled neighborhood or cities poles are often the only things still standing; perhaps because they don't have a whole lot of surface area to work with (tall and narrow) they are harder to dislodge?
 
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The most fascinating thing about the Parkersburg photo is the sharp contour between the unscoured and scoured grass behind the tiny pine tree in the front yard. That to me, actually does suggest a very concentrated subvortex. It honestly appears that one part of the yard experienced much higher winds than sections of the yard just feet, if not inches away. While not as distinct or dramatic as the very narrow scouring path left by that subvortex within the 2011 Canton, OK tornado, I believe we are looking at the same type of phenomenon here.

Also check out the background. Extreme, above-and-beyond the EF5 criteria type damage to homes occurred in that area.

Also: I see some structural flaws in that photo too. Check out the back basement wall. You can see where the mortar/grout failed between the CMU blocks. This house was bolted down, but that doesn’t matter if the foundation comes apart underneath the bolts. That’s why CMU foundation homes get rated significantly below the expected damage.
Is it possible for subvortices to be only a couple feet (or perhaps mere inches) in diameter? Not sure if there's any limit to how narrow or wide they can get or if much studies have been done on that.
 

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I have a device that's basically a USB video capture card. I'd have to find my VCR, though, and hope it still works after years in storage.


I used editing software for Mac and have one old DVR deck left in mothballs with a 2012 MacPro and several large drives from my old studio. I even have old copies of Avid and FCP 7 suite software for Mac OS if it will help. I captured all my video through firewire or the old Avid interface box but I never did try to capture VHS. What is the format of this tape?

I can also send you copies of my software if needed it's just gathering dust. Before I was shut down due to health issues that led to disability most of my raw footage was sent on large drives and then I delivered final shows in digital H264 or QT Movs but let me know if I can help.
 

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Lots of times in the remains of leveled neighborhood or cities poles are often the only things still standing; perhaps because they don't have a whole lot of surface area to work with (tall and narrow) they are harder to dislodge?
Sometimes it's just a matter of line crews getting in there super quickly and what you're seeing are actually new poles, but existing poles do survive some pretty violent conditions with surprising regularity. I assume that's probably why, especially with poles that don't have transformers.

I was actually just thinking about this the other day because I noticed there were still poles standing in the hardest-hit areas of Barrie and Atlantic. Like, Barrie was (IMO) probably at or very near F5 intensity here, and yet:

luXyMnw.jpg


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The first photo is especially wild because that pole is basically dead center of the core, and the damage to even low-lying vegetation there is almost El Reno-esque. And in Atlantic, there were a few poles still standing around Kennedy's Trailer Court, just a few yards from where a fairly well-built frame home was obliterated:

MdIdRC2.jpg


And same deal further east of town, where a frame home was totally leveled but utility poles were still standing a few yards away:

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And yet there are plenty of other examples from this outbreak - and even these specific tornadoes - where poles were either snapped or yanked out of the ground. In a few cases poles were even snapped like a foot or two above the ground. Maybe cases where they were struck by large missiles, I dunno. It's a really interesting phenomenon though.
 

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Is it possible for subvortices to be only a couple feet (or perhaps mere inches) in diameter? Not sure if there's any limit to how narrow or wide they can get or if much studies have been done on that.
Don't have it handy, but I believe one of the papers on the 2013 El Reno tentacle monster tracked subvortices down to like 10 meters in diameter, although that might just be the limit of the mobile radar's resolution. I'd imagine the wind flow would also be pretty asymmetric considering how fast some subvorts rotate around the parent circulation, which could narrow the most intense winds even further.

Edit: This is so cool. I was curious so I went looking for the study again and I found this chart tracing the paths of various subvortices (relative to the main circulation) as they developed and dissipated within the 2013 El Reno tornado:

E2vwVLlXwAodqdl
 
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ARCC

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Lots of times in the remains of leveled neighborhood or cities poles are often the only things still standing; perhaps because they don't have a whole lot of surface area to work with (tall and narrow) they are harder to dislodge?

That would be my guess. Being round the wind mostly flows around them. Probably if they can survive the lines being torn off without snapping the pole they remain standing. The same idea is probably true with this trees just before Hackleburg. Completely denuded and delimbed some of them still appeared to be 15-20ft tall.
 
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Don't have it handy, but I believe one of the papers on the 2013 El Reno tentacle monster tracked subvortices down to like 10 meters in diameter, although that might just be the limit of the mobile radar's resolution. I'd imagine the wind flow would also be pretty asymmetric considering how fast some subvorts rotate around the parent circulation, which could narrow the most intense winds even further.

Edit: This is so cool. I was curious so I went looking for the study again and I found this chart tracing the paths of various subvortices (relative to the main circulation) as they developed and dissipated within the 2013 El Reno tornado:

E2vwVLlXwAodqdl
Is there a reason that subvortices usually are very brief, or do some last for long time periods (perhaps as long as the main tornado does)? Can subvortices also increase/decrease in width and fluctuate in intensity like the main funnel as well?
 

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