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TH2002

Member
Messages
9
Location
California, United States
One little known significant tornado event I can think of is the May 1, 1895 Halstead, Kansas tornado. This tornado was rated F5 by Grazulis and from what I've read about the event, rightfully so. The tornado initially touched down in Sedgwick County, though the most extreme damage occurred in Harvey County where farms "entirely vanished", and articles of clothing and pieces of structual debris were reportedly carried up to 25 miles away from the obliterated residences where they originated. The mile-wide tornado resulted in 8-19 deaths (some died of their injuries after the storm) and at least 25 injuries.

More information and damage pics can be found here: https://harveycountyvoices.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-trail-of-sorrow.html
 

MNTornadoGuy

Member
Messages
157
Location
Apple Valley, MN
I consider the 2/19/1884 Enigma tornado outbreak to be a “Super Outbreak” as the scale and intensity of the outbreak is really unmatched with the exception of the 1932, 1974 and 2011 Super Outbreaks. It’s likely that the Rockingham NC, Leeds AL, Cave Spring GA and the Cagle GA tornadoes reached F5 intensity as they all completely swept away multiple large homes, produced intense ground scouring and produced intense debarking along with other extreme contextual damage. I really do wish there were damage photographs and more information about the event though as it was rather poorly-documented.
 
Messages
483
Location
Missouri
Yeah San Justo is probably the most intense tornado damage I've seen outside of the United States, this thing was a definite F5.

Some information on it that I may have previously posted but oh well:

1. The best collection of damage photos of the San Justo tornado I've been able to find. Yeah, this thing was definitely an F5, and this is probably the most violent tornado damage I've seen outside of the United States.


2.
This article is interesting when read in English translation, as apparently this was the only F5 tornado not just in South America but the entire southern hemisphere. Not sure of the accuracy of that, but interesting nonetheless:

Interesting thing on Spanish Wikipedia. The first is Spanish translation of their article on "tornado corridors". Apparently South America has its own tornado alley. The second is an English translation of their article on the 1973 San Justo tornado:

1. https://translate.google.com/transl....org/wiki/Pasillo_de_los_Tornados&prev=search

2. https://translate.google.com/transl...wiki/Tornado_de_San_Justo_en_1973&prev=search

3. 2 videos on it:

Video 1:

Video 2:

A paper on some pretty intense looking tornado tracks found via satellite in South America: https://www.asprs.org/wp-content/uploads/pers/1988journal/oct/1988_oct_1429-1435.pdf

Other stuff on South American tornadoes:

This is a translation from English, but it does appear that South America as it's own 'Tornado Alley': https://translate.google.com/transl...i/Pasillo_de_los_Tornados&prev=search&pto=aue

Information on the Encarnación, Paraguay tornado of 1926 that supposedly killed 300 people. This a Spanish forum with some pics of damage: http://foro.gustfront.com.ar/viewtopic.php?t=1556

Video of aftermath:

 

Marshal79344

Member
Messages
62
Location
Chicago, IL
Yeah San Justo is probably the most intense tornado damage I've seen outside of the United States, this thing was a definite F5.

Some information on it that I may have previously posted but oh well:

1. The best collection of damage photos of the San Justo tornado I've been able to find. Yeah, this thing was definitely an F5, and this is probably the most violent tornado damage I've seen outside of the United States.


2.
This article is interesting when read in English translation, as apparently this was the only F5 tornado not just in South America but the entire southern hemisphere. Not sure of the accuracy of that, but interesting nonetheless:

Interesting thing on Spanish Wikipedia. The first is Spanish translation of their article on "tornado corridors". Apparently South America has its own tornado alley. The second is an English translation of their article on the 1973 San Justo tornado:

1. https://translate.google.com/transl....org/wiki/Pasillo_de_los_Tornados&prev=search

2. https://translate.google.com/transl...wiki/Tornado_de_San_Justo_en_1973&prev=search

3. 2 videos on it:

Video 1:

Video 2:

A paper on some pretty intense looking tornado tracks found via satellite in South America: https://www.asprs.org/wp-content/uploads/pers/1988journal/oct/1988_oct_1429-1435.pdf

Other stuff on South American tornadoes:

This is a translation from English, but it does appear that South America as it's own 'Tornado Alley': https://translate.google.com/transl...i/Pasillo_de_los_Tornados&prev=search&pto=aue

Information on the Encarnación, Paraguay tornado of 1926 that supposedly killed 300 people. This a Spanish forum with some pics of damage: http://foro.gustfront.com.ar/viewtopic.php?t=1556

Video of aftermath:

Speaking of South American Tornado Alley, LANDSAT imagery in 1973 showed hundreds of tornado scars through completely forested areas. Some of these scars lasted for over 40 miles and were a mile wide. FullMap.PNG FullMap2.PNG FullMap3.PNG
 

Marshal79344

Member
Messages
62
Location
Chicago, IL
The worst tornado in European History hit the town of Encarnación, Paraguay on September 20th, 1926. It's basically the Tri-State-Tornado of South America, although nowhere near as long-tracked, but in terms of death toll, it's completely standing by itself, with no other tornado coming close to it.

The morning of September 20th, 1926 was actually raining in Encarnación, Paraguay. The rain had cleared by the afternoon, and hot, blistering heat took it's place. The heat was so hot that it was "hard to breathe," indicating lots of instability in the atmosphere. As the sun set that evening, a orange and red colored sunset was observed by the residents. To it's north, was an "unfathomable darkness," likely the parent supercell approaching the city. As the supercell approached, the skies darkened. Torrential rain began to fall, and very heavy winds began to occur. A roar filled the sky, so loud it it was as if "every noise in existence had combined into one." Heavy lightning, large hail, and heavy winds were present with this supercell thunderstorm, suggesting this storm was of the High-Precipitation kind, typical of supercells in this region.

The tornado is assumed to have formed over the river near Encarnación, and rapidly intensified into a violent tornado. The first sign of the impending disasters was when the citizens noted power flashes on the dock, as the tornado approached the town. The dock was completely annihilated, resulting in many fatalities. Those who survived the initial impact were electrocuted to death by destroyed wires. One man, however, sacrificed his life to disconnect the power, saving many more lives. The tornado then began to plow into the heart of town, leveling and sweeping away entire homes. Many fatalities occurred when homes were either leveled, or picked up and thrown long distances. Brick businesses were razed to the ground. Trees were debarked. The tornado took 300 lives in this area before moving out of Encarnación, and into the thick forests, where it continued for an unknown period of time before dissipating.

Based on eyewitness accounts, the tornado appears to have been completely rainwrapped, again typical for supercells in this particular region. Those in surrounding neighborhoods actually had no idea that a tornado had occurred until an alarm sounded after the tornado's passage, although they also experienced very high winds, lightning, and heavy hail. Heavy rain continued to fall, and lightning continued to occur as cries for help began to become audible. The massive scale of the disaster only became apparent the next morning, and a telegram was sent to Asunción, the capital of Paraguay the next morning. It read:"Yesterday at 6:45 PM a strong cyclone swept most of Encarnación, a lower city. There are numerous victims. Immediately, a relief train, just like the ones cities in the USA used to dispatch after violent tornadoes (The 1925 Tri State Tornado for example) descended on Encarnación. Looting was a major problem, as a lot of sightseers came to see the damage, but there were also people with good intentions. Filmmakers filmed the aftermath, and sold the film to raise money for the relief fund. Anonymous volunteers helped with the cleanup, and helped with the rebuilding process. Today, most of the physical scars have faded, but the tornado will be forever etched into the history of Encarnación.

Some of the worst damage I could find
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andyhb

Member
Messages
223
Location
Norman, OK

Colleague of mine at OU upscaled some of the KGWX reflectivity data, using a DLSS machine learning algorithm (the opposite of smoothing, in which you bring finer scale details out of coarse imagery as opposed to removing them), of the Hackleburg storm from 4/27/11 and yielded some pretty great results.
 
Messages
483
Location
Missouri
The worst tornado in European History hit the town of Encarnación, Paraguay on September 20th, 1926. It's basically the Tri-State-Tornado of South America, although nowhere near as long-tracked, but in terms of death toll, it's completely standing by itself, with no other tornado coming close to it.

The morning of September 20th, 1926 was actually raining in Encarnación, Paraguay. The rain had cleared by the afternoon, and hot, blistering heat took it's place. The heat was so hot that it was "hard to breathe," indicating lots of instability in the atmosphere. As the sun set that evening, a orange and red colored sunset was observed by the residents. To it's north, was an "unfathomable darkness," likely the parent supercell approaching the city. As the supercell approached, the skies darkened. Torrential rain began to fall, and very heavy winds began to occur. A roar filled the sky, so loud it it was as if "every noise in existence had combined into one." Heavy lightning, large hail, and heavy winds were present with this supercell thunderstorm, suggesting this storm was of the High-Precipitation kind, typical of supercells in this region.

The tornado is assumed to have formed over the river near Encarnación, and rapidly intensified into a violent tornado. The first sign of the impending disasters was when the citizens noted power flashes on the dock, as the tornado approached the town. The dock was completely annihilated, resulting in many fatalities. Those who survived the initial impact were electrocuted to death by destroyed wires. One man, however, sacrificed his life to disconnect the power, saving many more lives. The tornado then began to plow into the heart of town, leveling and sweeping away entire homes. Many fatalities occurred when homes were either leveled, or picked up and thrown long distances. Brick businesses were razed to the ground. Trees were debarked. The tornado took 300 lives in this area before moving out of Encarnación, and into the thick forests, where it continued for an unknown period of time before dissipating.

Based on eyewitness accounts, the tornado appears to have been completely rainwrapped, again typical for supercells in this particular region. Those in surrounding neighborhoods actually had no idea that a tornado had occurred until an alarm sounded after the tornado's passage, although they also experienced very high winds, lightning, and heavy hail. Heavy rain continued to fall, and lightning continued to occur as cries for help began to become audible. The massive scale of the disaster only became apparent the next morning, and a telegram was sent to Asunción, the capital of Paraguay the next morning. It read:"Yesterday at 6:45 PM a strong cyclone swept most of Encarnación, a lower city. There are numerous victims. Immediately, a relief train, just like the ones cities in the USA used to dispatch after violent tornadoes (The 1925 Tri State Tornado for example) descended on Encarnación. Looting was a major problem, as a lot of sightseers came to see the damage, but there were also people with good intentions. Filmmakers filmed the aftermath, and sold the film to raise money for the relief fund. Anonymous volunteers helped with the cleanup, and helped with the rebuilding process. Today, most of the physical scars have faded, but the tornado will be forever etched into the history of Encarnación.

Some of the worst damage I could find
View attachment 5627
View attachment 5624
View attachment 5633
View attachment 5628
View attachment 5634
The damage photographs here remind me of the damage done by the 1989 Daulatpur–Saturia tornado in Bangladesh (wish I could find that video of the aftermath of it) the deadliest tornado in world history, in the sense that the damage looks severe but not what I'd call "incredible". The high death toll from this thing can likely be attributed to lack of warning and the crowded and cramped conditions that many people in Paraguay endured back then.
Also, Paraguay is part of South America, not Europe, just a nitpick.
 
Messages
483
Location
Missouri
Two videos of Smithville when it was in the Shottsville, AL area after crossing the state line. As can be seen, it narrowed quite a bit but was still fairly strong:

1.


2.



Another video of Smithville when it was in the Hamilton, Al area (heads up for annoying music):

3.

 
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Messages
483
Location
Missouri
So this is pretty incredible. This video is of the birth of the Hackleburg tornado (or just it's early stages). I was a bit skeptical of this video as being genuinely of Hackleburg at first, but the video can be found on NWS Birmingham's table of the tornadoes of 2011 as "Hamilton Tornado" under the Phil Campbell-Hackleburg Event.

Source: https://www.weather.gov/bmx/tornadodb_2011 although you'll have to scroll a bit or do Ctrl+F "Hamilton tornado" to find it



 

Marshal79344

Member
Messages
62
Location
Chicago, IL
So this is pretty incredible. This video is of the birth of the Hackleburg tornado (or just it's early stages). I was a bit skeptical of this video as being genuinely of Hackleburg at first, but the video can be found on NWS Birmingham's table of the tornadoes of 2011 as "Hamilton Tornado" under the Phil Campbell-Hackleburg Event.

Source: https://www.weather.gov/bmx/tornadodb_2011 although you'll have to scroll a bit or do Ctrl+F "Hamilton tornado" to find it



That supercell had initiatied only 30 minutes before producing the tornado, a testament to how amazing that environment was. The supercell immediately began moving right within minutes of forming, took complete advantage of streamwise vorticity and the high shear and got organized so quickly. The intensity of the damage also appeared to be at it's greatest when the supercell's hook echo was not surrounded by any convection
 
Messages
483
Location
Missouri
That supercell had initiatied only 30 minutes before producing the tornado, a testament to how amazing that environment was. The supercell immediately began moving right within minutes of forming, took complete advantage of streamwise vorticity and the high shear and got organized so quickly. The intensity of the damage also appeared to be at it's greatest when the supercell's hook echo was not surrounded by any convection
Many of the EF4s and EF5s that day intensified extremely rapidly, Smithville and Hackleburg it seems went multivortex very quickly and likely had the potential to level entire buildings within seconds of touching down.
 

Marshal79344

Member
Messages
62
Location
Chicago, IL
Many of the EF4s and EF5s that day intensified extremely rapidly, Smithville and Hackleburg it seems went multivortex very quickly and likely had the potential to level entire buildings within seconds of touching down.
I personally beg to differ. The shear parameters that day were so incredible that several tornadoes, such as Cordova and Tuscaloosa formed as their parent supercells were still developing, causing the tornado intensity to increase along with the parent cell. Cullman also did the same thing, Bridgeport too. Hackleburg also didn't intensify immediately. When tornadoes that day cycled from already mature supercells, such as Rainsville, Ringgold, Shoal Creek-Ohatchee, Barnesville GA, and Flat Rock, they almost immediately became violent.
 

MNTornadoGuy

Member
Messages
157
Location
Apple Valley, MN
On May 7, 1927 one of the most extreme tornadic events in Kansas history would begin SW of Aetna KS. This family of at least two extremely large and violent tornadoes ranging from a half-mile to two miles in width devastated the countryside in Comanche, Barber, Kingman, Reno and McPherson counties. The damage this tornado produced was exceptional; trees of all sizes were completely debarked (many were reduced to just debarked stumps), entire farms were completely swept away (basically vanished) with debris being scattered for miles, automobiles and farm machinery was torn apart or mangled beyond recognition, low-lying shrubbery was stripped and uprooted, 300 pound cement slabs were blown 50 ft, a 5-ton Holt caterpillar tractor was rolled 100+ ft, a large steel bridge was carried 100 yards and destroyed, a large concrete silo was broken up into large pieces and leveled, crops were scoured and a schoolhouse disappeared without leaving a trace of it’s existence on the site. One of the most interesting examples of extreme damage produced by these tornado was listed by the local newspaper and confirmed by the Weather Bureau: "In the Thompson pasture heavily sodded with buffalo grass and native grasses, great holes were literally torn in the ground, the two largest being a foot in depth and some thirty feet long and twenty feet wide. The sod gives some idea of the tremendous pressure exerted by the wind."

Amazingly despite the extreme violence of the tornado the death total was rather low with 10 fatalities. The funnel was highly visible which allowed people to take shelter in time. The people who were killed by this monster tornado were horribly mutilated and completely plastered with mud.
89DDD99E-AC4C-44A9-823F-1633B1D40844.jpeg
Storm cellar surrounded by downed trees.

A4C2E0EB-1E52-433C-B9E2-58F06664B818.png Car mangled beyond recognition
 
Messages
523
Location
Madison, WI
On May 7, 1927 one of the most extreme tornadic events in Kansas history would begin SW of Aetna KS. This family of at least two extremely large and violent tornadoes ranging from a half-mile to two miles in width devastated the countryside in Comanche, Barber, Kingman, Reno and McPherson counties. The damage this tornado produced was exceptional; trees of all sizes were completely debarked (many were reduced to just debarked stumps), entire farms were completely swept away (basically vanished) with debris being scattered for miles, automobiles and farm machinery was torn apart or mangled beyond recognition, low-lying shrubbery was stripped and uprooted, 300 pound cement slabs were blown 50 ft, a 5-ton Holt caterpillar tractor was rolled 100+ ft, a large steel bridge was carried 100 yards and destroyed, a large concrete silo was broken up into large pieces and leveled, crops were scoured and a schoolhouse disappeared without leaving a trace of it’s existence on the site. One of the most interesting examples of extreme damage produced by these tornado was listed by the local newspaper and confirmed by the Weather Bureau: "In the Thompson pasture heavily sodded with buffalo grass and native grasses, great holes were literally torn in the ground, the two largest being a foot in depth and some thirty feet long and twenty feet wide. The sod gives some idea of the tremendous pressure exerted by the wind."

Amazingly despite the extreme violence of the tornado the death total was rather low with 10 fatalities. The funnel was highly visible which allowed people to take shelter in time. The people who were killed by this monster tornado were horribly mutilated and completely plastered with mud.
View attachment 5635
Storm cellar surrounded by downed trees.

View attachment 5636 Car mangled beyond recognition

Sounds like a predecessor analog to the Greensburg event. Although they were cloaked in darkness, the radar signatures and the few observations available suggest that tornado at other points in its path as well as the others in the family were even stronger than the already EF5-rated damage in Greensburg indicated.
 
Messages
523
Location
Madison, WI
So this is pretty incredible. This video is of the birth of the Hackleburg tornado (or just it's early stages). I was a bit skeptical of this video as being genuinely of Hackleburg at first, but the video can be found on NWS Birmingham's table of the tornadoes of 2011 as "Hamilton Tornado" under the Phil Campbell-Hackleburg Event.

Source: https://www.weather.gov/bmx/tornadodb_2011 although you'll have to scroll a bit or do Ctrl+F "Hamilton tornado" to find it




Wow, that is pretty much the holy grail of 4/27 footage. I always thought the formation of this tornado was one of those momentous events that went unseen and undocumented, as 33/40's Hamilton skycams were inoperable due to an Internet outage.
 
Messages
483
Location
Missouri
Wow, that is pretty much the holy grail of 4/27 footage. I always thought the formation of this tornado was one of those momentous events that went unseen and undocumented, as 33/40's Hamilton skycams were inoperable due to an Internet outage.
Check this video out, at 1:45 the formation of it is shown. It's a synced view of the Hackleburg tornado.

 
Messages
483
Location
Missouri
Wow, that is pretty much the holy grail of 4/27 footage. I always thought the formation of this tornado was one of those momentous events that went unseen and undocumented, as 33/40's Hamilton skycams were inoperable due to an Internet outage.
In fact, all 4 of the EF5s that day had their formations documented, mostly on mobile phones, I might add. Remarkable:

1. Philadelphia, MS:


2. Smithville, MS:


3. Hackleburg, AL:


4. Rainsville, AL:

 
Messages
483
Location
Missouri
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