TH2002

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this is such a strange occurrence i checked it on the DAT and remembered it had anchor bolts and there's shattered concrete. i've seen weird tornado patterns but i've never seen something like this before....parts of the roof were deposited on one side of the homes foundation while the rest of it seemed to have been blown into a pile rather than scattered long distances. how did this happen??? its so weird.....
That one part of the roof was from an attached garage IIRC, which, like the nearby vegetation, didn't experience the tornado's strongest winds.

I will agree that it definitely is bizarre just HOW selective tornadoes can be, even with knowledge of subvortices and the like.
 

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I mentioned a while back that I was kicking around the idea of trying to make some videos, so I finally broke down and got everything I should need for it. I didn't wanna jump right into the deep end (for once), and I also didn't wanna take away from working on my New Richmond article, so I think I came up with a good compromise. I just finished my first draft of the section on the Homer-Salix F4 from the day before New Richmond and that seems like the easiest place to start. It's a pretty small-scale event and it shouldn't take too long to turn my article into a short script, so that'll give me a chance to screw around a little and see if video is something I'm even capable of/interested in doing. The downside is that I only have a couple low-quality photos, but hopefully I can work around that.

Anywho, here's the final track map for the tornado. All things considered, Salix got pretty damn lucky:

l2u55Gx.jpg


Guess I might as well post the story too (had to split it into two parts to get under the character limit lol):

Heading into the second weekend of June, summer was finally in the air. A high-pressure circulation dominated the eastern half of the country, ushering in fair weather and temperatures well above average. Far to the west, a sprawling, disorganized area of low pressure spun up in the shadow of the Rockies on Saturday, June 10, drifting through the Northern Plains and reaching South Dakota the following afternoon.

Between these opposing large-scale circulations, a sharp pressure gradient drove a strong and persistent band of warm southerly flow. A firehose of deep tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico surged through the Mississippi and Missouri River Valleys, lifting a warm front northward across Nebraska and western Iowa. Temperatures pushed well into the 80s while dew points reached the mid-70s.

By 5:00 pm, booming thunderstorms began filling the skies all along the front. An intense supercell “popped up like a mushroom” in the northeastern corner of Nebraska, about a dozen miles southwest of Sioux City. Tapping into enhanced wind shear near the approaching surface low, the storm quickly sprouted a funnel cloud, touching down about three miles due west of Homer.

Residents looked on with rapt attention as the approaching tornado moved slowly to the east-southeast. Described as “bright, funnel-shaped and rotating very swiftly,” it produced what one onlooker recalled as a “deep, mournful wail.” The undulating cloud wrecked a granary and several other outbuildings on a large farmstead a mile west of town, killing a number of cows and horses.

The twister largely avoided permanent structures as it passed less than a quarter-mile south of Homer, instead striking a Methodist tent revival. Most of the attendees escaped to safety, but one woman was struck by a flying tent pole and gravely injured. Newspapers reported in the following days that the woman was “expected to die,” though her death was never confirmed.

Continuing just south of due east, the whirlwind crossed the tracks of the Burlington railroad and cut a 250-yard swath into the adjacent ridgeline, twisting and uprooting hundreds of trees. Two and a half miles southeast of Homer, it completely leveled a pair of “fine brick residences” belonging to the Thomas Ashford and Cornelius O’Connor families. Small orchards on both properties were shredded and mowed down.

—————————

Just across the Iowa border, in the fertile bottomlands of the Missouri River, an eerie stillness settled over the little town of Salix. Save for the freight train clattering into town from the north, the streets were all but deserted. As conductor J.N. Pollock coaxed his train to an abrupt stop at the station, it wasn’t hard to see why.

The disorienting flatness of the landscape afforded a clear view of the heavy black thunderheads menacing the horizon. For miles around, townspeople could see the unmistakable silhouette of a large, ragged cone hanging beneath it, meandering aimlessly through the river bottom “hardly as fast as a man can run.” The wide-open terrain and leisurely pace of the advancing vortex had given the people of Salix ample time to head off to their shelters — even after stopping to take a quick peek or two.

Half a mile from the train station, near the town’s southeastern boundary, John and Kate Malloy had just finished having supper with their five children. As the rest of the family gathered on the front porch to enjoy a warm, quiet evening, the couple’s oldest son — 27-year-old Dick — sat at the kitchen table sipping a cup of tea. He gazed idly out the window, lost in thought until his reverie was interrupted by a strange, dark shape dancing far off in the distance. Leaping to his feet, he dashed outside and gestured toward the western sky: “It’s a cyclone! Get in the cellar!”

Though not especially concerned himself, John Malloy could see the fear in the widening eyes of his wife and family. He led them down into the cellar while Dick sprinted down the road to alert Mrs. Cora Hassell, a widowed neighbor with several children. He arrived as the first heavy squalls blew in, practically dragging the woman and her brood to a small basement at the rear of the house. No longer able to see the funnel, he opted not to risk returning to his own family and joined the Hassells instead.

—————————

Still moving eastward at perhaps 15 mph, the tornado staggered drunkenly across the Missouri River shortly after 5:30 pm. It skirted along the southern edge of Browns Lake, seemingly destined for the small downtown area of Salix. The broad, shaggy willows that studded the landscape — and whose genus, Salix, gave the settlement its name — began whipping wildly in the wind.

The few souls brave or foolhardy enough to remain above ground could see the “whirling, seething column” drawing ever nearer, sucking up and wrenching apart whole buildings as it smashed through farms barely a mile away. Nearly every structure on the Albert DeVin property was blown away, killing all but a few of the family’s 75 hogs and carrying them up to 200 yards away.

As the tornado closed to within three-quarters of a mile of Salix, taking aim on the small cluster of shops and houses around the Chicago & North Western rail line, a mass of cool air formed within the main body of the storm. Dense and saturated with moisture, the heavy column of air started sinking, gathering speed as it plunged toward the earth. The resulting microburst rushed out radially in all directions, pushing the vortex sharply to the south.

The tiny town had been spared, but the last-minute reprieve would come at a terrible cost.
 

locomusic01

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The rain came in torrents, driven sideways by howling gusts of wind. Huddled in his neighbor’s basement, Dick Malloy could feel the widow’s youngest child flinch at the sharp, crackling report of every lightning strike. Hailstones the size of hen eggs fell in noisy bursts, thumping and clattering above their heads. The wait seemed interminable.

When the basement finally grew quiet again, Cora Hassell let out a small sigh of relief. Her children began to move toward the stairs, but Dick — cautious and conservative by nature — urged them to wait. Sure enough, the ground soon began to rumble, vibrating as if a train were steaming straight through the Hassell home.

Though well-built for the time, the farmhouse creaked and shook as the wind once again ramped up. The windows shattered one by one. Suddenly, the entire house popped free of its foundation and took flight, sailing high into the sky before disintegrating. The wind exploded through the exposed basement and filled it with churning debris. Ralph, the youngest of the Hassell children, was nearly sucked out into the storm. Dick reacted swiftly, snagging him by the legs and pulling him to the floor.

aC17F3e.jpg


The Hassell home -^

—————————

It had been less than 15 minutes since he’d first piled into the cellar with his family, but to John Malloy, the wait may as well have been hours. He’d heard the drenching rainfall and the irregular pounding of hailstones against the door, but he remained convinced that it was nothing more than an “ordinary cloudburst.” At age 62, he’d seen more than his share of strong springtime thunderstorms and rarely saw fit to hide from them.

The moment the rain and wind began to slacken, John insisted it was time to leave the shelter. Even if there had been a cyclone, he reasoned, it would surely have already passed by or spun itself out. The Malloy children, thoroughly unconvinced but hesitant to stay in the cellar on their own, dutifully followed their parents up the stairs.

Before they’d even made it to the porch, an ominous rumble rose up to fill their ears. As the last one inside the house, 24-year-old Jack reached for the door just as a gust of wind nearly blew it off its hinges. He grabbed the handle and managed to wrestle it closed momentarily, but it made little difference. The Malloys’ home, completed only months earlier, was widely regarded as one of the finest in the area. It was obliterated in a matter of moments.

pHmgGIn.jpg


The former site of the Malloy home -^

The quarter-mile-wide tornado, accelerating as it began to recurve back to the northeast, had struck at peak intensity. It hurled a portion of the structure into a distant treeline, grinding the rest into “fine particles.” John and Kate were thrown 40 yards to the east and hit by flying timbers, killing them both instantly. Sixteen-year-old Harry was blown even further and quickly succumbed to massive internal injuries. The rest of the Malloy siblings sailed or tumbled hundreds of feet, landing in scattered heaps in the field.

Qhry5sk.jpg


The portion of the Malloy home blown into the treeline -^

yaRoIae.jpg


pjHFtpd.jpg


Turning further northeast and shrinking as it began to occlude, the twister sliced through several other farms on the outskirts of Salix. The Philip Berger and Joseph Bernard homes were completely demolished, but the families rode out the storm safely in their underground cellars. So, too, did Patrick O’Neill and his family, whose house suffered only moderate damage on the fringe of the damage path.

After 16 wobbly, erratic miles of destruction, the tornado lifted just beyond the eastern limits of Salix. The parent supercell continued to drift east-southeastward along the warm front, producing a scattered trail of damage — likely caused by a mix of tornadic spin-ups and straight-line winds — stretching from north of Sloan to near Mapleton.

—————————

As soon as the tornado had passed, Dick Malloy ran as hard as he could, hurdling and stumbling over a field of wreckage strewn between the Hassells’ former homesite and his own. Though he’d lived there all his life, everything suddenly seemed unfamiliar. The house was gone. The barns and outbuildings were gone. The beautiful shade trees, under whose canopies he’d spent many a summer day, were snapped and shredded.

He ran to the cellar and peered inside; it was empty. Following a soft moaning in the distance, he found his only sister tangled up in rubble in the yard. Bessie, 19, was barely conscious and could only mumble incoherently. A heavy wind-blown object had struck her in the head and neck, fracturing her skull and leaving deep lacerations.

Around the same time, conductor J.N. Pollock rolled his train to a stop along the tracks just west of the Malloy farm. From the station in Salix, he’d watched in disbelief as “the cyclone did its frightful work.” As soon as it was safe, he rounded up a few volunteers and set off to provide assistance.

Joining Dick’s search for the rest of his family, the men first came upon the lifeless bodies of John and Kate. Their youngest child, 13-year-old Patrick, was groaning and writhing a few yards away with a broken back and shattered collarbone. Fred, age 26, was also sprawled nearby with a serious back injury. Despite their intense pain, however, neither brother had suffered life-threatening injuries. Nor had Jack, 24, who was briefly knocked unconscious but bore only cuts and bruises.

Eighteen-year-old Thomas was the last sibling found, having been partially buried under a pile of wreckage. His lower body had been crushed, mangling his leg and causing serious internal injuries. Nonetheless, Dick was delighted to find him awake and relatively alert.

With the help of the other men, Dick loaded his injured siblings onto the waiting train and conductor Pollock rushed to Sioux City. Bessie Malloy lost consciousness and passed away the following morning, but doctors noted a clear improvement in Thomas’ condition throughout the day. Sadly, it was not to last and the young man soon fell gravely ill. Two days after the tornado, he became the fifth victim in a family of eight.
 
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So far from almost hours of digging through the very depths of the internet I haven’t found any photos or videos from the 2008 Trousdale wedge, it occurred at night and was probably rainwrapped and huge like the Clark State Lake megawedge from the same family. Buttermilk would’ve been almost impossible to chase or photograph because it literally occurred in the middle of no where lol. While on the topic of the Buttermilk EF3, I’ve got to say I was really impressed by the damage it left behind, there was pretty clear ground scouring visible on aerial imagery even a month after the tornado. The tree and vehicle damage descriptions are on par with Quinter as well. I’d say Quinter, Clark State Lake, and Buttermilk were probably the top 3 most intense on May 23.
what other tornadoes are you think about mapping?
 

Western_KS_Wx

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what other tornadoes are you think about mapping?
Not quite sure yet, more focused on the current 3 of Greensburg, Tuscaloosa, and Mayfield but at some point I’ll probably see if I can do Vilonia or Washington. I decided to redo some of the Greensburg contour map and I’ve gotta say when you really look into the aerial imagery and ground/air photos it shows just how extremely intense the tornado really was, some of which I was very impressed with. I’m hoping to have that map finished by at the very latest tomorrow morning.
 
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Not quite sure yet, more focused on the current 3 of Greensburg, Tuscaloosa, and Mayfield but at some point I’ll probably see if I can do Vilonia or Washington. I decided to redo some of the Greensburg contour map and I’ve gotta say when you really look into the aerial imagery and ground/air photos it shows just how extremely intense the tornado really was, some of which I was very impressed with. I’m hoping to have that map finished by at the very latest tomorrow morning.
yesh!
 

Western_KS_Wx

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unfortunate but alright. can only really map whats shown....
Yeah I don’t think there was really much to see out beyond Highway 183 to begin with, very rural areas. I do think the tornado was at EF5 intensity around the Highway but the corridor of EF5 winds didn’t hit any structures directly. There was one farm close to the center of the tornado that was completely destroyed and trees nearby were debarked and denuded that likely would’ve warranted an EF4 rating. Other than that there wasn’t too much out there.
 

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Well it’s finally done, here is the May 4, 2007 Greensburg tornado track map and the ‘Big 4’ track map as well. Greensburg also has a contour map which was created by meticulously (and I mean VERY meticulously) examining dozens upon dozens of aerial and ground photos/videos coupled with the aerial imagery, Tim Marshall’s survey, and eyewitness reports. Since this is the first EF5 I’ve mapped, I decided to do something a bit different. There are now two contours for the EF5 areas, one is light pink and is where ‘plausible EF5’ damage occurred or where EF5 winds may have occurred, then the dark purple, where the ‘offically rated EF5’ areas are, OR, where EF5 winds almost certainly occurred and where extreme damage occurred that’s synonymous with an EF5 tornado. I’ve got to say I was surprised how many intense areas of damage there was in Greensburg, especially in northern parts of the city where some of the most impressive damage I’ve seen occurred. A large Mennonite Church and multiple homes were swept completely away, trees were 100% debarked, wind-rowing occurred, and ground scouring was also evident. Anyways, here’s the map for you guys to check out (it’s a little messier than I expected). You can also click on the purple contour areas in the northern side of the city for a damage description.

 
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Well it’s finally done, here is the May 4, 2007 Greensburg tornado track map and the ‘Big 4’ track map as well. Greensburg also has a contour map which was created by meticulously (and I mean VERY meticulously) examining dozens upon dozens of aerial and ground photos/videos coupled with the aerial imagery, Tim Marshall’s survey, and eyewitness reports. Since this is the first EF5 I’ve mapped, I decided to do something a bit different. There are now two contours for the EF5 areas, one is light pink and is where ‘plausible EF5’ damage occurred or where EF5 winds may have occurred, then the dark purple, where the ‘offically rated EF5’ areas are, OR, where EF5 winds almost certainly occurred and where extreme damage occurred that’s synonymous with an EF5 tornado. I’ve got to say I was surprised how many intense areas of damage there was in Greensburg, especially in northern parts of the city where some of the most impressive damage I’ve seen occurred. A large Mennonite Church and multiple homes were swept completely away, trees were 100% debarked, wind-rowing occurred, and ground scouring was also evident. Anyways, here’s the map for you guys to check out (it’s a little messier than I expected). You can also click on the purple contour areas in the northern side of the city for a damage description.

interesting....
 
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Well it’s finally done, here is the May 4, 2007 Greensburg tornado track map and the ‘Big 4’ track map as well. Greensburg also has a contour map which was created by meticulously (and I mean VERY meticulously) examining dozens upon dozens of aerial and ground photos/videos coupled with the aerial imagery, Tim Marshall’s survey, and eyewitness reports. Since this is the first EF5 I’ve mapped, I decided to do something a bit different. There are now two contours for the EF5 areas, one is light pink and is where ‘plausible EF5’ damage occurred or where EF5 winds may have occurred, then the dark purple, where the ‘offically rated EF5’ areas are, OR, where EF5 winds almost certainly occurred and where extreme damage occurred that’s synonymous with an EF5 tornado. I’ve got to say I was surprised how many intense areas of damage there was in Greensburg, especially in northern parts of the city where some of the most impressive damage I’ve seen occurred. A large Mennonite Church and multiple homes were swept completely away, trees were 100% debarked, wind-rowing occurred, and ground scouring was also evident. Anyways, here’s the map for you guys to check out (it’s a little messier than I expected). You can also click on the purple contour areas in the northern side of the city for a damage description.

any more success on the process to begin mapping mayfield?
 
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Western_KS_Wx

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any more success on the process to begin mapping mayfield?
Currently I’m out of town and away from my computer until Thursday, but still trying to get the files to overlay properly but it should start up soon.
interesting....
Very. I think it’s the strongest tornado I’ve mapped so far, I was able to find multiple instances of EF5 and probable EF5 damage throughout the city, structurally and contextually. Any thoughts or opinions?
 
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Currently I’m out of town and away from my computer until Thursday, but still trying to get the files to overlay properly but it should start up soon.

Very. I think it’s the strongest tornado I’ve mapped so far, I was able to find multiple instances of EF5 and probable EF5 damage throughout the city, structurally and contextually. Any thoughts or opinions?
ehhhh........imo it was a jarrell situation with Greensburg. the tornado was over Greensburg for over 3 minutes. there was undoubtably very strong EF5 winds but i think the Mayfield and Tuscaloosa tornadoes were stronger. the damage they caused while moving very fast and not being very wide makes me think they were more powerful than Greensburg. though Greensburg might have the most violent and complete destruction of any tornado you've mapped. it's always possible the others you have were stronger. especially Mayfield with the trenching and extreme "extraordinary phenomenon" that occurred.

but besides all that its a great map...just wish that the google earth imagery was higher resolution...
 

Western_KS_Wx

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ehhhh........imo it was a jarrell situation with Greensburg. the tornado was over Greensburg for over 3 minutes. there was undoubtably very strong EF5 winds but i think the Mayfield and Tuscaloosa tornadoes were stronger. the damage they caused while moving very fast and not being very wide makes me think they were more powerful than Greensburg. though Greensburg might have the most violent and complete destruction of any tornado you've mapped. it's always possible the others you have were stronger. especially Mayfield with the trenching and extreme "extraordinary phenomenon" that occurred.

but besides all that its a great map...just wish that the google earth imagery was higher resolution...
Greensburg was pretty similar to Joplin, large relatively slow moving wedges moving through populated areas and they both moved 20-25mph. However one thing noted in Joplin and has video evidence is that the most extreme damage occurred in just seconds by extremely intense subvortices, and survivor accounts from Greensburg tell the same story. While both tornadoes likely remained over a certain spot for 2-3 minutes the most extreme damage was done in seconds. Survivors in Greensburg describe the same thing as Joplin, the most intense part of the tornado lasted just a few moments. That being said Mayfield was undoubtedly an EF5 along with Tuscaloosa, but I just don’t see the damage or intensity matching quite up there with Greensburg.
Anywho, I also wish the quality was a lot better but that’s mainly why I used numerous aerial and ground photos to make sure it was as accurate as possible.
 

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