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Messages
580
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
580
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.

 
Last edited:
Messages
580
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
84
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
580
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
84
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
238
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
553
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
553
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
580
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
580
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
580
Location
Missouri
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
1927 was quite a year for violent tornadoes. The same outbreak that spawned this tornado also spawned an F4 that devastated the community of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. On September 29 of 1927 St. Louis was struck by a tornado estimated to have been F3-F4. And in April Rocksprings, TX was utterly demolished by what was likely an F5 tornado (trying to find damage pics of that).
 

Marshal79344

Member
Messages
84
Location
Chicago, IL
1927 was quite a year for violent tornadoes. The same outbreak that spawned this tornado also spawned an F4 that devastated the community of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. On September 29 of 1927 St. Louis was struck by a tornado estimated to have been F3-F4. And in April Rocksprings, TX was utterly demolished by what was likely an F5 tornado (trying to find damage pics of that).
Personally I gotta disagree with the F5 rating for Rocksprings
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Marshal79344

Member
Messages
84
Location
Chicago, IL
I'm thinking this pic of Smithville was taken around the same time and area of this video:

View attachment 5638
That photo of the tornado was taken when it was over town as it's phenomenal intensity. I find it very interesting how the supercell was able to cycle so fast, radar clearly shows the occlusion of the Okolona, MS EF3 (which was likely an EF5 anyways) and a new mesocyclone formation. 1610800911909.png
 

andyhb

Member
Messages
263
Location
Norman, OK

andyhb

Member
Messages
263
Location
Norman, OK
I think that some attention should be given to the EF3 that preceded Smithville. Satellite imagery revealed extensive swaths of ground scouring, and a photo of it shows a decent sized wedge, like Smithville was.

The Entire Track
View attachment 5642

Zoomed in parts of the track
View attachment 5643
View attachment 5644
View attachment 5645

The last part of the track revealed very intense scouring swaths
View attachment 5646

The tornado itself
View attachment 5647
Where did that pic of the tornado itself come from? Never seen that before.
 

buckeye05

Member
Messages
688
Location
Riverside, Ohio
Personally I gotta disagree with the F5 rating for Rocksprings
View attachment 5639
View attachment 5640
Hmmm idk about that conclusion. The reports of the damage in Rocksprinfs that I’ve read suggest an extremely violent tornado, with the worst damage occurring in residential areas of town. Apparently, some areas of neighborhoods were completely obliterated and swept away, with little debris recovered. The thing is, when the destruction is this complete, photographers may actually skip photographing these areas in favor of areas where there are still recognizable portions of buildings.
 

MNTornadoGuy

Member
Messages
238
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Hmmm idk about that conclusion. The reports of the damage in Rocksprinfs that I’ve read suggest an extremely violent tornado, with the worst damage occurring in residential areas of town. Apparently, some areas of neighborhoods were completely obliterated and swept away, with little debris recovered. The thing is, when the destruction is this complete, photographers may actually skip photographing these areas in favor of areas where there are still recognizable portions of buildings.

79683972_1015763755470226_1120852405441789952_o.jpg

You can see intense damage in the background of this photograph.
 

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