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Significant Tornado Events (2 Viewers)


Messages
294
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.
Is this the link you mention? Some pretty impressive pics on here: https://www.sellersphoto.com/p370159506
 
Messages
482
Location
Madison, WI
Today' s the 15th anniversary of the Stoughton WI F3 occurred on 8/18/2005.Another potential violent tornado, narrow but andover-like violent motion was evident as it went into downtown Stoughton.Numerous FR12 got completely destroyed or leveled though a close inspection shows the missing of some anchors in some houses.Ground scouring can be clearly seen outside town.Would like to go a 165—170mph rating
Thanks for posting this. This tornado just missed the house where I was living at the time (my parents still do). I couldn't see the actual tornado due to the trees that surround the house, but did get a few seconds of footage of debris suspended in the sky beneath violently rotating clouds over our house. Then the wind (inflow jet or RFD) blowing outside the basement windows, then the back side of the storm complex and damage.

 
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MNTornadoGuy

Member
Messages
11
Location
Apple Valley, MN
One event that isn't talked about much in the weather community is the May 6, 1965 Twin Cities tornado outbreak. Though generally known for the Fridley tornadoes there were other violent tornadoes in rural areas. What was probably the most intense of these tornadoes was the Norwood-Young America F4 which devastated the countryside just outside the town of Norwood-Young America. Trees were shredded and debarked, a half a dozen farms were leveled (some had the farmhouse swept away), one new $60,000 brick country-home was completely leveled or swept away, cars were thrown long distances and some possible ground scouring occurred.

Screenshot_2020-08-24 1965May6-50thAnniversary pdf(6).pngScreenshot_2020-08-24 1965May6-50thAnniversary pdf(13).pngScreenshot_2020-08-24 1965May6-50thAnniversary pdf(7).pngScreenshot_2020-08-24 1965May6-50thAnniversary pdf(8).pngDmRIJOBXgAEeGqW.jpg
 
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Messages
294
Location
Missouri
One event that isn't talked about much in the weather community is the May 6, 1965 Twin Cities tornado outbreak. Though generally known for the Fridley tornadoes there were other violent tornadoes in rural areas. What was probably the most intense of these tornadoes was the Norwood-Young America F4 which devastated the countryside just outside the town of Norwood-Young America. Trees were shredded and debarked, a half a dozen farms were leveled (some had the farmhouse swept away), one new $60,000 brick country-home was completely leveled or swept away, cars were thrown long distances and some possible ground scouring occurred.

View attachment 4488View attachment 4489View attachment 4490View attachment 4491View attachment 4492
This outbreak undoubtedly gets overshadowed by Palm Sunday that occurred only weeks earlier, and it was part of a sequence lasting from May 5-8, that produced violent tornadoes throughout the Upper Midwest. On May 8, Gregory, South Dakota was struck by an F5, the only such tornado in South Dakota's history, interestingly enough. This thing had a path length of 30 miles, quite long for tornadoes that far north which normally have path lengths in the single digits. The only informative article on that thing with damage pics I could find:

 

buckeye05

Member
Messages
570
Location
Riverside, Ohio
Given the foundation type, that doesn’t look like genuine F5 damage to me. It’s odd they’d give this single tornado an F5 rating, yet all from the 1965 Palm Sunday Outbreak just weeks prior were eventually rated F4, despite producing damage that was much more impressive than Colome/Gregory.

People talk about rating inconsistencies like it’s a new problem, but it’s always been there. Even with the old scale.
 

MNTornadoGuy

Member
Messages
11
Location
Apple Valley, MN
This outbreak undoubtedly gets overshadowed by Palm Sunday that occurred only weeks earlier, and it was part of a sequence lasting from May 5-8, that produced violent tornadoes throughout the Upper Midwest. On May 8, Gregory, South Dakota was struck by an F5, the only such tornado in South Dakota's history, interestingly enough. This thing had a path length of 30 miles, quite long for tornadoes that far north which normally have path lengths in the single digits. The only informative article on that thing with damage pics I could find:

That tornado was one of 2+ long-tracked violent tornadoes (or tornado families) in the NE-SD region that day. One of the other notable violent tornadoes from this outbreak was the Primrose NE tornado which basically destroyed the town of Primrose. Homes were swept away in Primrose, a truck body was carried/rolled for 2 miles, cars were carried for 400 yards, trees were debarked and denuded and ground scouring occurred.
A night of death: Tornado changed Primrose forever

This was probably the most violent tornado outbreak in the Northern Plains region on record as Grazulis lists over 6 violent tornadoes (4 of the violent tornadoes were apart of 2 long-tracked tornado families. This is only a rough estimate as the true number of violent tornadoes in these two tornado families will likely never be known.) Some of the F3s were probably violent especially the Johnstown NE tornado.
 
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MNTornadoGuy

Member
Messages
11
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Given the foundation type, that doesn’t look like genuine F5 damage to me. It’s odd they’d give this single tornado an F5 rating, yet all from the 1965 Palm Sunday Outbreak just weeks prior were eventually rated F4, despite producing damage that was much more impressive than Colome/Gregory.

People talk about rating inconsistencies like it’s a new problem, but it’s always been there. Even with the old scale.
There are many inconsistencies and false information in the official NWS tornado database for May 6, 1965. Somehow the Norwood-Young America tornado got an F2 rating despite the very obvious F4 damage, injuries and fatalities are missing for some of the tornadoes, the starting and ending points are wrong for some of the tornadoes and over 8 tornadoes are not even in the database.
 
Messages
294
Location
Missouri
'Ruskin Heights tornado' car damage in Martin City, MO

View attachment 3529
Ruskin Heights gets overlooked quite a bit, which is surprising considering how well-documented it was for the time. As a Kansas City, it's a bit of a legend up here. It also had a path of nearly 70 miles, quite impressive for a typical plains tornado. Some notable pics from it:

These first 2 are of it's touchdown near an airport near Ottawa, KS. The multi-vortex structure is clearly visible in the first one, quite an impressive shot for the time period:

Ruskin 1.pngRuskin 2.png
This next show is the tornado in full force from a church near Spring Hill, KS.
Ruskin 3.JPG
These remaining pics are from when the tornado crossed over into the Missouri side of Kansas City. The first is of the severely damaged high school (note the gym beans bent down, only other time I've seen this is Udall, KS) and the remaining two are of suburban areas with entire rows of homes literally swept clean from their foundations. Granted, many of these were cheaply constructed postwar homes so it wouldn't exactly take much to blow them away, but the sheer amount of homes destroyed in this manner is incredible.
Ruskin 4.jpgRuskin 5.jpgRuskin 6.jpg
 
Messages
482
Location
Madison, WI
Goodness, those Ruskin Heights photos are some of the most ominous tornado photographs I've ever seen (especially being in black and white). The dramatically sculpted, low-LCL updraft base with classic RFD notch above and stout tornado below (presumably fast-moving and tilted in the direction of motion) is very similar to the appearance of many of the tornadoes and their parent storms on 4/27/11.
 
Messages
294
Location
Missouri
There are many inconsistencies and false information in the official NWS tornado database for May 6, 1965. Somehow the Norwood-Young America tornado got an F2 rating despite the very obvious F4 damage, injuries and fatalities are missing for some of the tornadoes, the starting and ending points are wrong for some of the tornadoes and over 8 tornadoes are not even in the database.
As this occurred in 1965 it would've been before the establishment of the F-scale, correct? So it would have been retroactively rated based on damage pictures, right? Yeah, Fujita really was lenient with many of the "F5s" he rated in his career, and yet somehow Palm Sunday 1965 has 17 F4s and not a single F5 among them; Fujita really was weird with his ratings.
 
Messages
294
Location
Missouri
Goodness, those Ruskin Heights photos are some of the most ominous tornado photographs I've ever seen (especially being in black and white). The dramatically sculpted, low-LCL updraft base with classic RFD notch above and stout tornado below (presumably fast-moving and tilted in the direction of motion) is very similar to the appearance of many of the tornadoes and their parent storms on 4/27/11.
It was quite an impressive outbreak: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1957_Central_Plains_tornado_outbreak_sequence
1957 was an extremely impressive year in terms of tornado activity, there was also an outbreak near Christmas of 1957 that involved an F4 tornado that took an extremely similar path to the Tri-State Tornado through southern Illinois, striking Murphysboro once again:

Screenshot_2020-09-05 List of North American tornadoes and tornado outbreaks - Wikipedia.png

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North_American_tornadoes_and_tornado_outbreaks#1950s
 

MNTornadoGuy

Member
Messages
11
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Another outbreak that is somewhat forgotten is the 3/23/1913 Northern Plains tornado outbreak. It is mostly known for the 1913 Omaha tornado but what is not talked about often are the 5 other F4s that struck Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana on that date. What was probably the most intense of these tornadoes was the Berlin tornado which might have even reached F5 intensity. It completely devastated the town of Berlin, many business homes were completely swept away, and two-story brick structures were leveled to the ground and partially swept away. In rural areas, entire farms (including "new and modern" ones) were leveled and swept away while nearby large trees were completely debarked.Berlin0003-16.jpgcyclone2.jpg5udW3r8bgWjeOZVbj3ZZbVHOFwG3fXsZ5buq9muW0j8fjFPj66rFoUroEJv1dg0vhsgDj9Bl-AYKRvOTgr1G6SXXJ1FnG-...jpga1c4d13f-fffc-597f-8aa3-73166ab9bf59.image.jpgcyclone6.jpgberlin-10.jpg
 

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Messages
294
Location
Missouri
Sorry to go back to old topics but New Richmond and Fergus Falls were extremely violent tornadoes, and were likely the most intense ever documented in each of the respective states they occurred in.

New Richmond almost entirely swept away a large residential area of town (a previous poster already showed pictures of this), carried a safe weighing over 1 ton a full block, and leveled/partially swept away a large multi-story hotel.

Fergus Falls may have been even more violent. It completely debarked trees, swept away a train station, and even ripped railroad tracks from the ground at one location. That is VERY impressive. In addition, large and well-built homes were swept completely away in residential areas of town, with the the ground being pretty much swept clean of debris. Such a clean sweep in such a densely populated area is pretty remarkable. This is visible in the background of the panorama below, though you have to enlarge it to see. It's easy to miss because of the lack of debris, but check out the large the completely wiped clean foundations where large homes once were.


Oh and Flint was pretty monstrous too. Maybe not quite as impressive as the other two mentioned above due to all the photos showing poor foundation construction, but again, very impressive given the population/building density.
Railroad tracks being ripped from the ground is something I've read happening with many older tornadoes, such as Sherman, Pomeroy, and the Tri-State tornado but I've yet to find pictures of it anywhere. I know that rails today are made of a totally material then older ones were, so I wonder how modern rails would be affected by tornadic winds.
 

buckeye05

Member
Messages
570
Location
Riverside, Ohio
Ruskin Heights gets overlooked quite a bit, which is surprising considering how well-documented it was for the time. As a Kansas City, it's a bit of a legend up here. It also had a path of nearly 70 miles, quite impressive for a typical plains tornado. Some notable pics from it:

These first 2 are of it's touchdown near an airport near Ottawa, KS. The multi-vortex structure is clearly visible in the first one, quite an impressive shot for the time period:

View attachment 4499View attachment 4500
This next show is the tornado in full force from a church near Spring Hill, KS.
View attachment 4501
These remaining pics are from when the tornado crossed over into the Missouri side of Kansas City. The first is of the severely damaged high school (note the gym beans bent down, only other time I've seen this is Udall, KS) and the remaining two are of suburban areas with entire rows of homes literally swept clean from their foundations. Granted, many of these were cheaply constructed postwar homes so it wouldn't exactly take much to blow them away, but the sheer amount of homes destroyed in this manner is incredible.
View attachment 4502View attachment 4503View attachment 4504
From what I understand, this hasn’t happened with more modern railroads, and this phenomenon is unique to older events. The Chapman, KS tornado in 2016 did warp and deform railroad tracks, though it didn’t rip them from the ground. That’s the only modern day example I can find of anything similar.
 

Fred Gossage

Member
PerryW Project Supporter
Messages
125
Location
Florence, AL
From what I understand, this hasn’t happened with more modern railroads, and this phenomenon is unique to older events. The Chapman, KS tornado in 2016 did warp and deform railroad tracks, though it didn’t rip them from the ground. That’s the only modern day example I can find of anything similar.
I do know that many of the Class I railroads use longer, larger stretches of pre-fabricated track now where the rails and ties are already attached. These are usually concrete ties. I would think that has gone a decent way in stabilizing the integrity of the track. If we see serious damage to a mainline railroad that is made from that type of construction, it's probably going to be a big red flag in damage surveys.
 
Messages
294
Location
Missouri
I do know that many of the Class I railroads use longer, larger stretches of pre-fabricated track now where the rails and ties are already attached. These are usually concrete ties. I would think that has gone a decent way in stabilizing the integrity of the track. If we see serious damage to a mainline railroad that is made from that type of construction, it's probably going to be a big red flag in damage surveys.
Is it virtually impossible for a tornado to destroy modern rail, then? Sorry if that sounds like a silly question.
 
Messages
294
Location
Missouri
Another outbreak that is somewhat forgotten is the 3/23/1913 Northern Plains tornado outbreak. It is mostly known for the 1913 Omaha tornado but what is not talked about often are the 5 other F4s that struck Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana on that date. What was probably the most intense of these tornadoes was the Berlin tornado which might have even reached F5 intensity. It completely devastated the town of Berlin, many business homes were completely swept away, and two-story brick structures were leveled to the ground and partially swept away. In rural areas, entire farms (including "new and modern" ones) were leveled and swept away while nearby large trees were completely debarked.View attachment 4506View attachment 4507View attachment 4508View attachment 4509View attachment 4510View attachment 4512
Holy crap that Berlin thing is crazy. The 1910s had quite a bit of crazy tornado events, particularly June 1916 and May-June 1917, which was absolutely ridiculous. Trying to find more info on both of these outbreaks.
 

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