Significant Tornado Events (6 Viewers)


warneagle

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15-16 April was (rightly) regarded as a major outbreak in its immediate aftermath, but it kind of got overshadowed because there were multiple even larger outbreaks after it.
 
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473
Location
Madison, WI
15-16 April was (rightly) regarded as a major outbreak in its immediate aftermath, but it kind of got overshadowed because there were multiple even larger outbreaks after it.
I have no doubt that Colerain tornado and probably 1-2 others that day had violent potential. Possibly 1 or 2 of the MS/AL ones on the 15th, too. Then 4/27 came along and made it look like a landspout outbreak.
 
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19
Location
Raleigh, NC
The most violent Carolina tornado outbreaks are from 1884 and 1984, respectively, but this Bertie, County deal seems to give them a run for their money.
1984 fascinates me because of the likeness it bears to a certain day back in 1925. A single supercell rides the triple point of a rapidly deepening surface low, 974mb in the case of 1984, and goes absolutely bananas all the way to the coast. The two tornadoes in the SC border area were Bassfield-esque monsters, at least in terms of width. The second one in McColl SC might've been Bassfield's equal in width, at least according to NWS ILM(Wilmington.) It's pretty apparent that both those tornadoes were well over a mile plus for a good deal of time though.

May 5 1989 was the most violent in Western NC, leveling anchored frame homes and tossing vehicles 100-200 yards in Toluca. The 1988 Raleigh tornado was rated F4, mostly because it destroyed a K-Mart and a nearby apartment comlex. We now know that those box stores aren't particularly tornado resistant and the apartment complex, at least to my eye, appeared to be pretty shoddily constructed. Nothing indicates that 1988 was as strong as the three tornadoes I've mentioned. The Rockingham tornado in 1884 was probably the strongest of them all if the first hand accounts of the damage are to be believed.

I have no doubt that Colerain tornado and probably 1-2 others that day had violent potential. Possibly 1 or 2 of the MS/AL ones on the 15th, too. Then 4/27 came along and made it look like a landspout outbreak.
It did get lost in the vortex of 2011. It's always stood out to me because I've never again been in a high risk(or anywhere near one) and I've never seen even one supercell in the state, except maybe Washington 2014, that can compete with any of the four or five that day.
april16radar.jpg
It was like a long range HRRR run come to life. Typically our big days involve a qlcs or a lone supercell so a string of pearls from one end of the state to the other was shocking. I've been here a long time and maybe experienced severe thunderstorm conditions two or three times. Sorry for the long wind everybody.
 
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217
Location
Missouri
1984 fascinates me because of the likeness it bears to a certain day back in 1925. A single supercell rides the triple point of a rapidly deepening surface low, 974mb in the case of 1984, and goes absolutely bananas all the way to the coast. The two tornadoes in the SC border area were Bassfield-esque monsters, at least in terms of width. The second one in McColl SC might've been Bassfield's equal in width, at least according to NWS ILM(Wilmington.) It's pretty apparent that both those tornadoes were well over a mile plus for a good deal of time though.

May 5 1989 was the most violent in Western NC, leveling anchored frame homes and tossing vehicles 100-200 yards in Toluca. The 1988 Raleigh tornado was rated F4, mostly because it destroyed a K-Mart and a nearby apartment comlex. We now know that those box stores aren't particularly tornado resistant and the apartment complex, at least to my eye, appeared to be pretty shoddily constructed. Nothing indicates that 1988 was as strong as the three tornadoes I've mentioned. The Rockingham tornado in 1884 was probably the strongest of them all if the first hand accounts of the damage are to be believed.



It did get lost in the vortex of 2011. It's always stood out to me because I've never again been in a high risk(or anywhere near one) and I've never seen even one supercell in the state, except maybe Washington 2014, that can compete with any of the four or five that day.
View attachment 3833
It was like a long range HRRR run come to life. Typically our big days involve a qlcs or a lone supercell so a string of pearls from one end of the state to the other was shocking. I've been here a long time and maybe experienced severe thunderstorm conditions two or three times. Sorry for the long wind everybody.
What exactly is the tornado history of the Carolinas like? Is it basically an extension of Dixie Alley, or is it part of its own "Carolina Alley"?
 
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439
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario
I would not say that the Lubbock tornado was overrated at all unless we only consider damage to houses. There was a 28,660-lb fertilizer tank tossed nearly a full mile, with several fences including one along the edge of a highway showing no sign of any impact marks. Extreme Planet also had a photo which appeared to show intense grass scouring and wind-rowing of debris near where the tank originated, all of which are clear indicators of a very violent tornado. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of F5-rated tornadoes in the 70s which should not have been rated as such. Lubbock, on the other hand, was a clear F5 at least in my opinion.

I've done a lot of research on the '65 Palm Sunday outbreak. I definitely agree that the Midway, IN and Toledo and Pittsfield, OH tornadoes were underrated and should have been rated F5, but I'm not so convinced about the Sunnyside (Dunlap) and Lebanon tornadoes. The Sunnyside tornado was very borderline, but didn't seem to be quite as violent as the Midway tornado (especially in terms of tree damage).
 
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439
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario
I'm honestly surprised how little information is available on the 6/8/95 Texas Panhandle outbreak. There are definitely some wild (and frankly, far-fetched) rumors around some of the tornadoes. And at the same time, I don't think I've ever seen any surveys from the outbreak and a grand total of two damage photos (one from Pampa and the other from Hoover). It really is odd especially considering how well-documented some of the tornadoes were.
 
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217
Location
Missouri
I'm honestly surprised how little information is available on the 6/8/95 Texas Panhandle outbreak. There are definitely some wild (and frankly, far-fetched) rumors around some of the tornadoes. And at the same time, I don't think I've ever seen any surveys from the outbreak and a grand total of two damage photos (one from Pampa and the other from Hoover). It really is odd especially considering how well-documented some of the tornadoes were.
I think I read somewhere that many of the damage surveys of that outbreak were accidentally discarded in the Texas State Archives, which is why there isn't much info available on them.

This documentary from TLC has the only known damage footage aftermath of Pampa. Of note is the 35,000 pound lathe picked up and thrown by the twister.
 
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19
Location
Raleigh, NC
What exactly is the tornado history of the Carolinas like? Is it basically an extension of Dixie Alley, or is it part of its own "Carolina Alley"?
There's a distinct Carolina Alley that I consider separate from Dixie. I consider Dixie to end in NE-E GA and the events that are big in Dixie aren't typically big for us. The big dixie days usually congeal into complete messiness before anything of note gets here and the best dynamics rarely reach us intact. The apps also play a role too as we're frequently stuck in stable air thanks to the CAD. The big days tend to have a shortwave trough that sneaks in under the Apps, typically attaining neutral/negative tilt as it does so. The attendant surface low deepens as it moves along on the lee side of the mountains(or further east) so that there's nothing to interfere with moisture return as the LLJ gets cranking. A lot of times these kind of troughs are at too low a latitude for Dixie to really cash in, though not always. Also if the trough times well for us, it doesn't typically for Alabama/Mississippi. There are some notable exceptions though like November of 92 and the Easter outbreak this year. Both were powerhouse troughs where the off timing was negated by the quality of wind shear and ample moisture return. 1992 was really a crazy outbreak that produced tornadoes like it was going out of style and featured the longest track tornado in NC history at 160mi(likely a family of two or three tornadoes but hasn't been corrected.)A lot of words to say yeah, I consider Carolina alley distinct from Dixie because of the different meteorology involved with the biggest days here.

I'd say the track of the 1984 supercell is a good representation of Carolina Alley. Basically North Central SC/Adjacent area of NC up NE through the sandhills and then into the northern coastal plain. This map captures it pretty well:
carolinaalley.png

Two F4s went through the eastern, "primary" part of the alley in 1957, killing 4 people and leveling 20 homes. I haven't looked into the meteorology behind the day but it sounds like it might've been similar to 1984 where one supercell goes crazy in the triple point of rapidly deepening low. The path of the supercell in 1957 virtually paralleled 1984's path. McColl, SC area was hit hard on both days. Raleigh 1988, which at best was marginally violent, skirted the northern edge of the traditional eastern part of the alley. May 1989 there were three F4's in and around the Charlotte metro, pretty well represented by the secondary maximum further west. Chesnee, SC area appears to have been the worst affected. There were reports of debarked trees, disappeared mobile homes, and vehicles lofted 200 yards or more. May 7 1998, there was another F4 that struck in this area, this time near the WInston-Salem area. Not a lot of information from that day but it appears the F4 rating was given on the basis of the complete destruction of a 1.5 million dollar brick home in the Clemmons NC area. No photos to be found, but the F4 rating sounds legit if the newspaper accounts are to be believed. Aside from that, the only other F4 in the official(post 1950) record struck the far southeastern portions of the state(Cherokee County) during the Super Outbreak, crossing into NC from GA. 4 were killed in and around Murphy, NC. Strong tornadoes are frequent occurrences here but the truly high-end days are normally once in a generation type deals.
 
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217
Location
Missouri
These are awesome, for a long time only grainy B&W pics of this damage were available. It looks like possible ground scouring occurred, but the B&W makes it hard to tell. Before Joplin this was Missouri's deadliest tornado and it's amazing how little-known it is.
 

SGFmoTwister

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Springfield, Missouri, USA
These are awesome, for a long time only grainy B&W pics of this damage were available. It looks like possible ground scouring occurred, but the B&W makes it hard to tell. Before Joplin this was Missouri's deadliest tornado and it's amazing how little-known it is.
I'd love to be able to place all the pics along the damage path in Marshfield. Some of the photos show only EF1-2 damge, while others clear EF4-5 damage.
 
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217
Location
Missouri
That sounds right.

I wish sellerphoto hadn’t taken down their interactive map with the photos. Many photos are still up on the site, but many are missing. There was also an excellent high res aerial video on YouTube from Hackleburg to Athens, but it is gone as well. The damage in Moulton isn’t talked about as much, but from the air it was just as severe as Hackleburg. The ground was just blasted white.
So, I was reading up and discovered that Smithville threw a pick up so far it was never recovered as well, at least at the time of survey. Perhaps it was also found? Be interesting to find any articles on that as well?
 

pohnpei

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shanghai
So, I was reading up and discovered that Smithville threw a pick up so far it was never recovered as well, at least at the time of survey. Perhaps it was also found? Be interesting to find any articles on that as well?
I just read a very detailed and informative article about Smithville tornado which may can answer you question.
There were several vehicle threw between 0.8 to 1.15 miles according to this acticle.
 
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Messages
19
Location
Raleigh, NC
I just read a very detailed and informative article about Smithville tornado which may can answer you question.
Holy Moly. The damage as it was exiting Smithville, at the end of that subdivision near the funeral home, is just astonishing, ridiculous stuff. At 70+mph!!! And, somehow, it was probably strengthening as it exited town to the east. That kind of complete obliteration of absolutely everything is usually reserved for slow movers in KS/OK/TX. I had thought it was amongst the strongest tornadoes ever recorded before(based on limited aerial/ground photography) and this article more than confirms my suspicion. It gets my vote as strongest ever.

Edit: I seem to recall that one of the running theories was that the missing pickup was thrown into a nearby body of water, probably pictured in the article. Tornado Talk may be right though, I have no idea.
 
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buckeye05

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Riverside, Ohio
I just read a very detailed and informative article about Smithville tornado which may can answer you question.
There were several vehicle threw between 0.8 to 1.15 miles according to this acticle.
That is an incredibly good summary of the Smithville tornado, and just when I thought I couldn’t be any more impressed by that tornado, I am. That thing was incomprehensibly violent. So many pics and pieces of info I had no idea about previously too.

I think it’s kinda ridiculous how MEG has a pictureless, vague, and brief write-up for this tornado. It was easily one of the most remarkable tornado events in US history, and it’s just sort of presented like a forgettable event.
 
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Lenexa, KS
That is an incredibly good summary of the Smithville tornado, and just when I thought I couldn’t be any more impressed by that tornado, I am. That thing was incomprehensibly violent. So many pics and pieces of info I had no idea about previously too.

I think it’s kinda ridiculous how MEG has a pictureless, vague, and brief write-up for this tornado. It was easily one of the most remarkable tornado events in US history, and it’s just sort of presented like a forgettable event.
It left me speechless. The insane movement and intensity of the damage.
 
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217
Location
Missouri
It left me speechless. The insane movement and intensity of the damage.
Some of the pics were Jarrell-esque in places, especially the debris that looked like mud, the concrete driveway almost chipped away by debris impacts and the insane tree damage, what's so amazing is the forward speed of this thing was 70 mph as opposed to being nearly stationary like Jarrell, so apparently Smithville did that damage in an EXTREMELY short amount of time. In many ways this thing is now the most impressive tornado of 4/27/11 for me, but I'm still torn between it and Hackleburg as to who deserves top reign.
 
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326
Location
Lenexa, KS

This photo is courtesy of Andy B from americanwx. This tornado was probably as intense as Joplin. Like Buckeye said no EF5 ever. Also this house was never seen by experts and from what I have heard from other people that other houses were slabbed but were not in the survey.
 
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buckeye05

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543
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Riverside, Ohio

This photo is courtesy of Andy B from americanwx. This tornado was probably as intense as Joplin. Like Buckeye said no EF5 ever. Also this house was never seen by experts and from what I have heard from other people that other houses were stabbed but were not in the survey.
This house at E Wicker Street was well anchored, and it alone should have warranted an EF5 rating. The insane thing is, this house was completely ignored in Tim Marshall’s survey of this tornado. Not even mentioned once. Marshall instead addressed the EF5 controversy by stating obvious fact that that none of the homes in the Sherwood Meadows subdivision (where entire rows of homes were slabbed) were not anchor bolted. This was not the area in question, and the areas of actual EF5 damage were simply not addressed. Ridiculous.

According to locals, additional anchor bolted homes swept away along Coker Road that were apparently not included in the DAT survey for some reason, and not talked about in Robinson’s OR Marshall’s survey. I mean come on...

Curiously, Marshall does mention in his survey that the rating assigned in Vilonia was “lower-bound” and notes that construction quality doesn’t rule out the possibility that EF5 winds occurred in town. I know this sounds crazy but between those statements, and the unexplained omission of the actual likely areas of EF5 damage in his survey, it seems like Marshall may not agree with the EF4 rating himself. However, it almost seems that he went along with Robinson’s call, and did not challenge it in order to not rock the boat and maintain a good working relationship with Robinson. Speculative, I know, but I honestly think there is a good chance it’s true.
 
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326
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Lenexa, KS
This house at E Wicker Street was well anchored, and it alone should have warranted an EF5 rating. The insane thing is, this house was completely ignored in Tim Marshall’s survey of this tornado. Not even mentioned once. Marshall instead addressed the EF5 controversy by stating obvious fact that that none of the homes in the Sherwood Meadows subdivision (where entire rows of homes were slabbed) were not anchor bolted. This was not the area in question, and the areas of actual EF5 damage were simply not addressed. Ridiculous.

According to locals, additional anchor bolted homes swept away along Coker Road that were apparently not included in the DAT survey for some reason, and not talked about in Robinson’s OR Marshall’s survey. I mean come on...

Curiously, Marshall does mention in his survey that the rating assigned in Vilonia was “lower-bound” and notes that construction quality doesn’t rule out the possibility that EF5 winds occurred in town. I know this sounds crazy but between those statements, and the unexplained omission of the actual likely areas of EF5 damage in his survey, it seems like Marshall may not agree with the EF4 rating himself. However, it almost seems that he went along with Robinson’s call, and did not challenge it in order to not rock the boat and maintain a good working relationship with Robinson. Speculative, I know, but I honestly think there is a good chance it’s true.
I am friends with Tim Marshall on Facebook and he told me he never saw that house I posted above. I asked him specifically about that house. He never really gave me an opinion so you could be correct.

To be honest I think there probably was more EF5 damage as you said before entire areas were missed in the survey. It is likely possible Tim Marshall was deceived.
 
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