• Welcome to TalkWeather!
    We see you lurking around TalkWeather! Take the extra step and join us today to view attachments, see less ads and maybe even join the discussion.
    CLICK TO JOIN TALKWEATHER
Logo 468x120

Weather History

Austin Dawg

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
840
Reaction score
1,261
Location
Leander, Texas
In case you were wondering JPWX, these posts are always interesting and sometimes poignant.

On this day in 1948, a strong F4 tornado hit Bunker Hill, Ilinois destroying 80% of the town. It led to 19 fatalities. All 5 churches were destroyed so two ministers organized an Easter Sunday Service the following weekend. They used a bulldozer as a pulpit and 500 attended.
 

JPWX

Member
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
3,253
Location
Smithville MS
March 20th Weather History:

On this day in 1948, a strong F3 tornado hit Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma causing $10 million in damages. A day later, Major Ernest W. Fawbush and Captain Robert C. Miller were ordered to see if operationally forecasting tornadoes was possible. Forecasters at Tinker believed conditions were again favorable for tornadoes, and issued the first recorded tornado forecast. Five days later, on the 25th at 6pm, a forecasted tornado occurred. This forecast paved the way for additional tornado forecasts to be issued by the U.S. Weather Bureau.
On this day in 1986, Great Britain recorded their highest wind gust ever at the Summit of Scotland's Cairngorm Mountains, at 4,085 feet, had a gust to 172mph.
On this day in 1998, a tornado hit Gainesville, Georgia during the early morning hours. This tornado led to 14 fatalities. Another tornado hit late that same day in Stoneville, North Carolina leading to 2 fatalities.
On this day in 2003, multiple tornadoes affected Southwest Georgia during the early morning hours leading to 6 fatalities.
On this day in 2006, Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry had winds of 130mph, gusts to 150mph, with a pressure of 940mbar. It affected Queensland, Australia leading to 1 fatality and $1.1 billion in damages.
 

Attachments

  • 1024px-Cyclone_Larry_19_mar_2006_0025Z.jpg
    1024px-Cyclone_Larry_19_mar_2006_0025Z.jpg
    339.2 KB · Views: 0
  • Larry_2006_track.png
    Larry_2006_track.png
    1.6 MB · Views: 0

JPWX

Member
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
3,253
Location
Smithville MS
March 21st Weather History:

On this day in 1932, a deadly tornado outbreak affected the Midwest and the Southern U.S. leading to greater than 330 fatalities and over $4.34 million in damages. In Alabama alone, there were 268 fatalities. This outbreak led to greater than 30 tornadoes including 10 violent of which 8 occurred in Alabama. There were 10 F3 tornadoes and 10 F4 tornadoes.
On this day in 1951, Port Martin, Antarctica had averaged winds around 108mph.
On this day in 1952, a deadly tornado outbreak affected the Southeast region particularly Mississippi. It caused 31 tornadoes 11 of which were rated F3 with another 11 rated F4. It caused 209 fatalities of which 50 of those were from one tornado in Arkansas. It led to $302 million in damages.
On this day in 1968, it rained for 36 hours straight in Memphis, Tennessee, before it changed to all snow and accumulated to 16.1 inches before ending 20 hours later.
On this day in 2013, 2 tornadoes (possibly as many as 7) moved through the Australian state of Victoria. One tornado that hit near Murray River Township was rated F3 with winds estimated between 150 to 180mph. There were no fatalities reported.
On this day in 2013, Severe Tropical Cyclone Nathan had winds of 115mph, gusts to 135mph, with a pressure of 969mbars. It hit Queensland, Australia causing up to $57 million in damages.
 

Attachments

  • 1920px-Nathan_2015_track.png
    1920px-Nathan_2015_track.png
    1.8 MB · Views: 0

JPWX

Member
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
3,253
Location
Smithville MS
March 22nd Weather History:

On this day in 1872, Oconee County, South Carolina saw 10 inches of snow.
On this day in 1872, Muscatine, Iowa recorded their 161st consecutive day below freezing.
On this day in 1893, the first tornado was recorded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
On this day in 1897, an F2 tornado struck Arlington, Georgia leading to 8 fatalities.
On this day in 1920, the Northern Lights were seen as far south as Bradenton, Florida.
On this day in 1955, an F3 tornado hit West Chester, Pennsylvania leading to 1 fatality and up to several buildings being destroyed.
On this day in 1984, Severe Tropical Cyclone Kathy had winds of 155mph, gusts to 175mph, with a pressure of 916mbar. It affected Northern Queensland, Australia causing 1 fatality and up to $11.4 million in damages.
On this day in 1999, Severe Tropical Cyclone Vance had winds of 145mph, gusts to 165mph, with a pressure of 910mbar. It affected Western Australia causing no fatalities, but up to $100 million in damages.
 

Attachments

  • Vance_1999_track.png
    Vance_1999_track.png
    2.2 MB · Views: 0
  • 1280px-Vance_1999-03-21_0425Z.png
    1280px-Vance_1999-03-21_0425Z.png
    2.4 MB · Views: 0
  • Kathy_1984_track.png
    Kathy_1984_track.png
    637.8 KB · Views: 0
  • Kathy_mar_22_1984_0638Z.jpg
    Kathy_mar_22_1984_0638Z.jpg
    395.8 KB · Views: 0

Sawmaster

Member
Messages
516
Reaction score
657
Location
Pickens SC
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
GSP_WxHistory.jpg
 

JPWX

Member
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
3,253
Location
Smithville MS
March 23rd Weather History:

On this day in 1765, a major snowstorm struck the eastern seaboard from Massachusetts inland to Pennsylvania. Up to 2.5 feet of snow was reported in some areas.
On this day in 1899, an amazing 141 inches of snow fell in Ruby, Colorado from the 23rd through the 30th. It is the state record for greatest snowfall from a single storm.
On this day in 1912, Olathe, Kansas picked up 37 inches of snow through the 24th to establish the state record for greatest snowfall in a single storm.
On this day in 1913, a strong F4 tornado (possibly F5) hit Omaha, Nebraska leading to 103 fatalities (of which 94 were in Omaha itself). Damage from this tornado was $8 million. Overall, this outbreak produced greater than 18 tornadoes, 2 of which were rated F3 and 7 of which were rated F4, greater than 241 fatalities, and greater than $9.68 million in damages. It remains the deadliest tornado to hit Nebraska on record and the 13th deadliest ever to affect the United States.
On this day in 1917, 9 strong tornadoes affected the states of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee. One tornado hit New Albany, Indiana causing 45 fatalities and up to $1.5 million in damages.
On this day in 2007, a tornado hits Clovis, New Mexico. There were no fatalities. It is only one of 13 tornadoes to affect along the New Mexico-Texas border.
On this day in 2013, a tornado hits Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh leading to 20 fatalities.
On this day in 2014, Severe Tropical Cyclone Gillian had winds of 160mph, gusts to 180mph, with a pressure of 927mbar. It caused minimal damage and only affected Queensland, Australia in it's early stages of development.
 

Attachments

  • 1913_Omaha_Tornado.jpg
    1913_Omaha_Tornado.jpg
    36.9 KB · Views: 0
  • 1920px-Gillian_2014_track.png
    1920px-Gillian_2014_track.png
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
  • 1024px-Gillian_Mar_23_2014_0645Z.jpg
    1024px-Gillian_Mar_23_2014_0645Z.jpg
    387.3 KB · Views: 0

JPWX

Member
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
3,253
Location
Smithville MS
Been a while since I posted some wx history so here you go.

April 1st, 1884: The first F5 tornado on record for the state of Indiana occurred. It is only one of 4 in the history of the state. It destroyed 90% of the town of Oakville, but just led to 8 fatalities.

April 5th-6th, 1936: A major tornado outbreak produced at least 12 tornadoes across the Southeast U.S. It caused greater than 454 fatalities and greater than $15.9 million in damages. It led to 7 F3's, 2 F4's, and 1 F5 tornado. The F5 tornado hit Tupelo, MS leading to greater than 216 fatalities and up to $3 million in damages. Among the survivors were 1 year old Elvis Presley and his parents. A F4 tornado hit Gainesville, Georgia leading to greater than 200 fatalities and up to $12 1/2 million in damages. The 1936 Tupelo tornado is the 4th deadliest in U.S. history with the 1936 Gainesville tornado as the 5th deadliest in U.S. history. This outbreak is the only one on record in the United States to produce multiple tornadoes that each claimed more than 200 lives on consecutive days.

April 2nd, 1956: A major tornado outbreak occurred from the Great Plains up into Michigan and down into parts of the South. Beginning on April 2nd and lasting through April 3rd, this outbreak produced 47 confirmed tornadoes including 9 F3's, 5 F4's, and 1 F5. This outbreak led to 38 fatalities and $58 million in damages. A F4 tornado hit Newkirk, Oklahoma then Grenola-Toronto, Kansas. It led to 2 fatalities. A F3 tornado hit Nortonville, Kansas causing no fatalities. It did lead to $250,000 in damages. A F4 tornado hit Miami, Oklahoma, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and then Webb City, Missouri. It led to no fatalities, but up to $625,000 in damages. A F5 tornado hit Standale, Michigan and tracked up to 59 miles. It led to 17 fatalities. This is the last known F5 to hit Michigan on record.

April 2nd, 1957: The tornado outbreak sequence of 1957 occurred. Beginning on April 2nd and lasting through April 5th, this outbreak produced 73 confirmed tornadoes including 6 F3's and 2 F4's. One of the most documented tornadoes at this time was an F3 tornado that hit Dallas, Texas. It led to 10 fatalities and up to $2.5 million in damages. It is estimated to have had wind of at least 175mph. On April 4th, an F3 tornado hit Simpson, Smith, and Jasper Counties in MS while a F2 tornado hit Winston, Noxubee, and Lowndes Counties in MS.

April 3rd, 1964: A F5 tornado hit Wichita Falls, Texas leading to 7 fatalities.

April 1st, 1972: A tornado hit Mymensingh, Bangladesh leading to at least 200 fatalities.

April 5th, 1972: A F3 tornado hit Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. It led to 6 fatalities and up to $25.25 million in damages. It remains the deadliest tornado in history for the Pacific Northwest. It was also the first F3 to hit Oregon since 1894. This small outbreak produced 4 confirmed tornadoes.

April 3rd-4th, 1974: The 1974 Super Outbreak. This outbreak produced 148 confirmed tornadoes including 34 F3's, 23 F4's, and 7 F5's within 24 hours. It affected up to 13 states causing up to 319 fatalities and $4.58 billion in damages. It damaged approximately 900 square miles along a total combined path length of 2,600 miles. It was the first outbreak on record to produce over 100 tornadoes in less than 24 hours. At one point, there were 15 tornadoes occurring at the same time. During the outbreak, the entire state of Indiana was put under a tornado warning due to forecasters not able to keep up with the sheer amount of ongoing tornadoes. This is the first and only time this has happened. A F5 tornado hit Daisy Hill, Indiana leading to 6 fatalities and tracked up to 65 miles. A F5 tornado hit Xenia, Ohio leading to 36 fatalities and led up to $250 million in damages. Dr. Ted Fujita originally gave this tornado a rating of F6. This and the Lubbock, Texas tornado of 1970 are the only two given F6 ratings at first before being downgraded to F5 after Fujita himself deemed an F6 rating inconceivable. A F4 tornado hit Madison, Indiana leading to 11 fatalities. A F5 tornado hit Brandenburg, Kentucky causing 31 fatalities and $2.5 million in damages. This is the only F5 on record in the state of Kentucky. A F5 tornado hit Cincinnati and Sayler Park, Ohio causing 3 fatalities. A F4 tornado hit Louisville, Kentucky causing 3 fatalities. A F4 tornado hit Monticello, Indiana causing 18 fatalities and up to $250 million in damages. A F5 tornado hit Tanner, Alabama causing 28 fatalities. Tanner would be hit again by yet another F5 just 30 minutes later. A F4 tornado hit Jasper and Cullman, Alabama causing 3 fatalities. A F5 tornado (#2) hit Tanner, Alabama causing another 16 fatalities. A F5 tornado hit Guin, Alabama causing 28 fatalities. The late J.B. Elliot, who worked for NWS Birmingham at the time, surveyed the Guin damage. The Guin, Alabama tornado started in the southern portion of Monroe County, MS. A F3 tornado hit Huntsville, Alabama leading to 2 fatalities.

April 1st, 1977: A tornado hit Dhaka Division, Bangladesh leading to at least 328 fatalities with some reports of 500+ fatalities occurring.

April 4th-5th, 1977: A tornado outbreak affects the Southeast leading to 21 confirmed tornadoes including 4 F3's and 1 F5. It led to 24 fatalities. A F5 tornado hit the northern suburbs of Birmingham including Smithfield, Alabama. It led to 22 fatalities and $25 million in damages.

April 2nd, 1982: A major tornado outbreak occurred from April 2nd-3rd, 1982 resulting in 63 confirmed tornadoes including 11 F3's, 3 F4's, and 1 F5. Overall, this outbreak led to 30 fatalities and up to $390.5 million in damages. This outbreak led to the first ever PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) Tornado Watch issuance. The F5 tornado hit Broken Bow, Oklahoma leading to $8 million in damages. Fortunately, no known fatalities were reported. A F4 tornado hit Paris, Texas causing 10 fatalities and a F3 tornado hit Ashdown, Arkansas leading to 1 fatality.

April 7th, 2006: A major tornado outbreak occurred from April 6th-8th, 2006 resulting in 73 confirmed tornadoes including 2 F3's. Overall, this outbreak led to 10 fatalities and up to $650 million in damages. A F3 tornado hit Greenbrier, Tennessee causing no fatalities thankfully. A F3 tornado hit Hendersonville, Tennessee causing 7 fatalities. This outbreak is notable because it is the first and only outbreak in recent time where SPC (Storm Prediction Center) went with a 60% tornado probability.

April 4th, 2011: A major severe weather outbreak occurred from April 4th-5th, 2011 resulting in 46 confirmed tornadoes. It led to 1 fatality and $2.8 billion in damages. This outbreak produced one of the most prolific damaging wind events on record with a total of 1,318 damaging wind reports.
 

JPWX

Member
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
3,253
Location
Smithville MS
April 27th, 2011:

"The lord gives. The lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the lord." Everything led up to this day being the worse. As much as I love weather and studied it since I was 4 years old, nothing could have prepared me for what lied ahead on this day 12 years ago. Leading up to this, I knew that this was to be a major tornado outbreak plus I had a thought prior to this day of what if all these outbreaks we've seen in April 2011 were leading up to one BIG outbreak. Well, this was it. The one thing that could have kept this from being as big as it was didn't and it actually ended up helping the afternoon/evening round. I was 16 years old at the time (would turn 17 the next day). My birthday is April 28th. If you ask me to this day what I remember from April 27th, 2011, I will tell you I remember everything. This post will have a lot of pictures and will be long.

A big squall line of storms moved through the early morning hours on the 27th prompting a tornado warning for Monroe County at around roughly 1:30am. This line of storms was unexpected, but one thing I remembered is that early morning storms could limit the instability causing additional storms not to form or be as intense. So I thought this might be the case. I was sadly mistaken. Our forecasted high that day was near 90 degrees with a 90% chance of strong storms along with a 90% humidity value. We also had a 9 out of 10 on the TOR:CON meaning a 90% chance of seeing a tornado within 50 miles of a location. All this was signaling the expectation for a major tornado outbreak. The outbreak of April 27th led to 219 tornadoes within a 24-hour period. Breaking the old record of 148 set back during the 1974 Super Outbreak. Of the 348 fatalities that occurred in total during this outbreak, a total of 316 occurred on April 27th alone. It led to $10.2 billion in damages. A total of 360 tornadoes occurred during the entirety of this multi-day outbreak of which 22 were EF3's, 11 EF4's, and 4 EF5's. I don't have time to do a summary of each tornado that occurred, but I will go through the bigger ones.

Philadelphia, MS (EF5): This tornado had estimated winds of 205mph and lasted 30 minutes. It led to 3 fatalities and up to $1.1 million in damages. The tornado caused extreme ground scouring up to 2 feet deep in places. This was the first EF5 tornado in the state of MS since 1966.

Cullman/Arab, AL (EF4): This tornado had estimated winds of 175mph. It led to 6 fatalities and caused substantial damage.

Hackleburg/Phil Campbell, AL (EF5): This tornado had estimated winds of 210mph and lasted 2hrs, 35 minutes. It led to 72 fatalities making it the deadliest tornado in the history of Alabama and caused $1.29 billion in damages. Ranking 7th costliest tornado in U.S. history. It was the first EF5 in Alabama since 1998.

Reform/Oakman/Cordova/Blountsville, AL (EF4): This tornado had estimated winds of 170mph. It led to 13 fatalities and greater than $170.3 million in damages. It lasted for 2 hrs and 16 minutes.

Smithville, MS/Scottsville, AL (EF5): This tornado had estimated winds of 205mph and lasted for 43 minutes. It led to 23 fatalities including 16 in Smithville and led to $14.4 million in damages. Me, my dad, and sister were inside our bathroom when it hit. 10 seconds or less is all it took to decimate Smithville. The tornado was moving at 70mph. We survived by the grace of God without a single scratch. I heard a low rumble off in the distance when we were all outside on our backporch. My dad had called me outside because he thought he saw rotation over the house. I couldn't tell, but off in the distance, I could hear a low rumble. We had a big Oak Tree in our backyard so you couldn't see it. I didn't need to see it to know what it was and I felt helpless because I knew there was nothing I could do. After it was over, I walked outside to a scene of utter devastation. I just couldn't believe it. It was silent. No birds or nothing. You could hear a pin drop. Just dead silence. I'm thankful to still be alive along with my family. With the Smithville tornado being rated EF5, it marked the first time on record that 2 EF5 tornadoes occurred in the state of MS during the same day.

Pisgah/Flat Rock/Higdon, AL/Trenton, GA (EF4): This tornado had estimated winds of 190mph. It led to 14 fatalities and greater than $25 million in damages.

Tuscaloosa/Birmingham, AL (EF4): This tornado had estimated winds of 190mph and lasted for 1 hr, 31 minutes. It led to 64 fatalities and $2.4 billion in damages.

Fackler/Stevenson/Bridgeport, AL/Haletown, TN (EF4): This tornado had estimated winds of 180mph and caused 1 fatality. It led to greater than $30,000 in damages.

Sawyerville/Eoline, AL (EF3): This tornado had estimated winds of 145mph. It led to 7 fatalities and $36 million in damages.

Raleigh/Rose Hill/Enterprise, MS/Yantley/Uniontown, AL (EF4): This tornado had estimated winds of 175mph. It led to 7 fatalities and $26.91 million in damages. This tornado was on the ground for nearly 3 hours.

Fyffe/Rainsville/Sylvania/Ider, AL/Rising Fawn, Georgia (EF5): This tornado had estimated winds greater than 200mph. It led to 25 fatalities and greater than $150,000 in damages.

Shoal Creek Valley/Ohatchee/Piedmont, AL/Cave Spring, GA (EF4): This tornado had estimated winds of 180mph. It led to 22 fatalities and $366.75 million in damages.

Ringgold, GA/Southeast TN (EF4): This tornado had estimated winds of 190mph. It led to 20 fatalities and $68.25 million in damages.

Interesting Tidbits:

From 7am April 27th through 7am April 28th, 72 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued for MS, 54 for Alabama, and 78 for Tennessee.

From 7am April 27th through 7am April 28th, 61 Tornado Warnings were issued for MS, 136 for Alabama, and 122 for Tennessee. Of those tornado warnings, 16 of those were TORNADO EMERGENCY type warnings. To date, this remains the most tornado emergencies ever issued on record and the most on record for a single day.

In National Weather Service Huntsville County Warning Area, a total of 92 Tornado Warnings were issued along with 31 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

There were 62 tornadoes confirmed in Alabama and 48 tornadoes confirmed in Mississippi on April 27th. Ranking up to 1202.47 mile swath of tornado milage. There were 32 tornadoes in National Weather Service Jackson, MS County Warning Area, 16 tornadoes in National Weather Service Memphis, TN County Warning Area, 29 tornadoes in National Weather Service Birmingham, AL County Warning Area, and 39 tornadoes in National Weather Service Huntsville, AL County Warning Area.

56 severe weather watches were issued from April 25th through April 28th. Of those watches, 41 were Tornado Watches with 10 of those being PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) Tornado Watches as well as 15 Severe Thunderstorm Watches.

April 2011 produced a historic and record number of 758 tornadoes. 21 days out of the month had severe weather/tornadoes. This is the highest total tornado count of ANY month on record going back to 1950. The average tornado count for the month of April is 178.

 

JPWX

Member
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
3,253
Location
Smithville MS
On this day in 1999, a destructive and very strong F5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma leading to 41 fatalities and $1 billion in damages. It had estimated winds of 302mph. This tornado led NWS office Norman, Oklahoma to issue the first ever "TORNADO EMERGENCY" type warning. These warnings are issued less than 10 times a year and are only used for when a destructive tornado is headed for a highly populated area.
 

Attachments

  • Bridge_Creek,_OK_tornado_1999-05-03.png
    Bridge_Creek,_OK_tornado_1999-05-03.png
    743.5 KB · Views: 0
  • tornadoemergency.png
    tornadoemergency.png
    542.1 KB · Views: 0
  • ktlx_19990503_2356_BR.png
    ktlx_19990503_2356_BR.png
    6.2 MB · Views: 0
  • ktlx_19990503_2356_BR_0.5.png
    ktlx_19990503_2356_BR_0.5.png
    5.1 MB · Views: 0
  • Moore OK May 3rd 1999.png
    Moore OK May 3rd 1999.png
    6.5 MB · Views: 0

Sawmaster

Member
Messages
516
Reaction score
657
Location
Pickens SC
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
Yep, this is what's posted and it's Jun 2. Maybe someone forgot to flip the page on the calender :D

1685743097069.png
 

JPWX

Member
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
3,253
Location
Smithville MS
On this day in 1944, the fate of the world hung in balance as the most important forecasting decision was made. The forecast was for what would become known as D-DAY, the allied invasion of Normandy in WW2. After being delayed due to weather conditions, the invasion was given a go on June 6th. Operation Overlord, as it was known as, included 8 different navies, 6,939 vessels, 1,213 warships, 4,126 landing craft of various types, 736 ancillary craft, and 864 merchant vessels. There were 39 Allied divisions committed to the Battle of Normandy totalling over one million troops. It remains the largest seaborne invasion in history.
 

Attachments

  • Into_the_Jaws_of_Death_23-0455M_edit.jpg
    Into_the_Jaws_of_Death_23-0455M_edit.jpg
    579.8 KB · Views: 0
  • Ddayweather.jpg
    Ddayweather.jpg
    138 KB · Views: 0

TH2002

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
3,058
Reaction score
4,568
Location
California, United States
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
While this isn't an OTD post (about a month late for that) I felt this was worth sharing:

From May 9-11, 1953, severe weather contributed to a widespread major tornado outbreak and the sinking of a Great Lakes freighter.

May 9
The first round of tornadoes took place mainly across Kansas and Nebraska. One F3 tornado killed five people in downtown Hebron, Nebraska. The Sacred Heart Church in Hebron was completely leveled except for its front entrance and the arched part of its atrium; the figure of Christ in the middle of the atrium was left untouched. Damage to other brick buildings in downtown ranged from roofs torn off to partial collapse, and 50 homes were a total loss. Two farms outside of town were reportedly completely leveled, and F4 damage may have occurred at those locations according to Grazulis. Another F3 tornado in Kansas heavily damaged ten farms, destroying a farmhouse at one of them before crossing the Nebraska state line and causing limited damage there. Other weak tornadoes also touched down in South Dakota and Nebraska.

May 10
Tornado activity continued in the southern and central Plains. A tornado touched down in extreme northern Grant County, OK and quickly crossed into KS, where 13 farms were hit and some sustained F2 damage. At least two other tornadoes in Kansas include a long tracked F1 that hit areas near or in Wichita and an F3 that passed near Cottonwood Falls, Council Grove and other locations, reportedly on the ground for over 50 miles. However, Grazulis says nothing about either of these tornadoes and information is practically nonexistent, leaving the true nature of these two twisters shrouded in mystery. However, it is possible these events may have simply been weak tornado families lumped together into one track, or greatly overestimated path lengths.

In the Upper Midwest (particularly Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota), warm and muggy conditions were about to come to an abrupt end as a cold front began to sweep into the region, but it would come at a devastating cost:

IA, MN and Tornado Family #1 (WI)
The first violent tornado of this outbreak touched down in southern Iowa south of Chariton, leveling one farmhouse. Afterwards, the first of two major tornado families would begin its trek across Wisconsin. Damage from River Falls to Amery was likely continuous, though it is not known how many times the storm may have cycled during the remainder of the path. The storm claimed its first life near New Richmond. Although this tornado family is officially listed as one F2 tornado, Grazulis mentions that F4 damage occurred near Amery where homes were leveled and another person was killed. Further north the continuity of the damage path becomes unclear, but other damage and two more fatalities occurred near Indian Creek and Hertel. In addition to the four fatalities, 24 people were injured - 11 of them in Amery. Another F3 tornado, probably a satellite to one of the tornadoes from this tornado family (though lumped with the F2 path in the official database) destroyed homes near Minong. Meanwhile, Iowa's second violent tornado of the outbreak would touch down and hit about 30 homes, three of which were completely destroyed. An elderly couple were critically injured at one of the destroyed homes, and about 200 outbuildings were destroyed across multiple farms. The day's deadliest single tornado would kill six people at a single shack near Albert Lea, MN; this tornado was rated F2.

The IA(?)-MN-WI Supercell (Tornado Family #2)
Information begins to greatly conflict beyond this point, but I'll try to sum it up the best I can. A second long-tracked tornado family would begin in Iowa or Minnesota. Grazulis lists two separate F3 tornadoes, one of which damaged eleven farms in Iowa before crossing into MN and claiming one life near Wykoff. The other tornado is listed as touching down in Minnesota, also heavily damaging many farms and killing one person when a car was thrown 100 feet. This second tornado is listed as being possibly continuous with at least some of the damage from the first segment of path in Wisconsin, though the UTC time listed in SigTor has this tornado forming 15 minutes before the tornado that initially touched down in Iowa. Further adding to the confusion, in the official database these two tornadoes considered separate by Grazulis are lumped together along with all of the path in Wisconsin. Perhaps a Pilger type situation with simultaneous tornadoes and/or a Hesston-Goessel type merger may have occurred here? We'll probably never know for sure, but we can at least conclude that these first two tornadoes likely came from the same cyclic supercell.

After crossing the state line into Wisconsin, the path length stretching from northwest of Fountain City to near Colburn (a distance of about 70 miles) is listed as a possible tornado family of F3 intensity. About 100 farms were hit, with dead livestock at some of the farms reportedly littered everywhere and near-F4 damage occurred to two homes. This tornado or tornado family lifted near Colburn, though tornadic activity would continue about 20 miles up near Hannibal, where damage and one injury occurred. This second major section of the Wisconsin path stretching from Hannibal to near Catawba is rated at F4 intensity by Grazulis, though it is listed as "probably two or three separate tornadoes". The last 12 miles of this path passing near Phillips and Catawba is reported to be "very intense" and may have even attained F5 intensity. One farmhouse was reportedly swept completely away, with debris strewn for seven miles or more before the last major tornado from this long tracked-supercell finally dissipated. Overall, this tornado family resulted in two fatalities and 24 injuries.

Will have to split this into two separate posts due to the character limit...
 

TH2002

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
3,058
Reaction score
4,568
Location
California, United States
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
May 11
In Texas, a muggy day took shape with temperatures ranging from the mid 70s to lower 80s with dewpoints in the lower 70s while a dryline extended from the eastern Panhandle down to the Del Rio area. Storms fired along this dryline, with one interacting with an outflow boundary producing disastrous results. An F4 tornado touched down in San Angelo, killing 13 and injuring 159 others. Over 500 homes were damaged or destroyed, with the Lake View subdivision being particularly hard hit. Many homes leveled or swept away in the subdivision, and the tornado likely approached F5 intensity in that area. Fifteen blocks were leveled overall. Heavy rains soaked the area after the tornado's passage, hindering rescue efforts and reducing the area to a desolate, muddy wasteland littered with stumped trees and splintered homes.

After the San Angelo storm dissipated, a high precipitation supercell bore down on McLennan County and headed directly into the heart of Waco. Eyewitnesses and survivors reported that the mesocyclone of this storm blackened the skies and turned day into night, an occurrence commonly associated with very intense supercells. The first successful tornado warning had been issued less than a decade prior to this event, so for many of those in the path the first warning of the storm was the arrival of the tornado itself. An ominous roar was heard from the southwest approaching downtown Waco, and suddenly the rain wrapped storm slammed into the center of the city. The R. T. Dennis Company building swayed back and forth a few times before collapsing under its own weight, with 30 fatalities occurring there alone. The neighboring Tom Padgitt Building was also leveled to the ground, and many other buildings including businesses in the Waco City Square and along 3rd Street, East Waco Elementary, and a Dr. Pepper bottling plant were heavily damaged or destroyed. Upper stories and facades collapsed at these structures, and streets were left buried in debris. At least five bodies were removed from vehicles in the downtown area. The tornado may have intensified even further as it bore down on residential sections of Waco, with many homes destroyed (some reportedly swept away) and vehicles being thrown long distances. By the time the tornado dissipated, it had left 114 fatalities and nearly 600 injuries in its wake. Damage totaled $41 million.

The Waco tornado displayed characteristics of a selective multiple vortex storm. Directly across the street from the crushed R. T. Dennis and Tom Padgitt buildings, the 22-story ALICO Building stood mostly undamaged save for a few broken windows. The heavily damaged Dr. Pepper plant stood across the street from the largely undamaged Cooper Company building, to give a few examples.

The SS Henry Steinbrenner
On May 10, the lake freighter SS Henry Steinbrenner was carrying 6,800 tons of iron ore from Superior, Wisconsin to Cleveland, Ohio. The weather had been unseasonably warm for the Great Lakes, but the same cold front that resulted in violent, deadly tornadoes and tornado families that day was fast approaching from the west. The forecast from the U.S. Weather Bureau called for isolated thunderstorms to develop along the front, producing gusty winds of up to 35 mph. By the afternoon of the 10th the weather had begun to worsen, and the updated forecast called for storms with slightly higher gusts to 40 mph. What ended up materializing was a fierce storm more akin to the infamous 'Gales of November', and by 8 pm the crew of the Steinbrenner were faced with gusts to 80 mph and waves of 20 feet in height. The first signs of trouble came when a hatch cover worked loose during this time, though the crew managed to use safety lines and secure it fairly quickly.

However, things didn't get better for the Steinbrenner. By 7 am the following morning, multiple other hatch covers had worked loose as conditions continued to deteriorate, and due to the storm it was now too dangerous to send crews out on deck. With the loosened hatch covers letting water into the ship, crewmen below deck started the pumps, which failed to significantly counteract the flooding. As the temperature had dropped below freezing and it was snowing by this point, Captain Albert Stiglin advised his crew to put on warm clothing and life jackets (though those working below deck either didn't receive or couldn't heed the captain's advisory until it was already too late) as he broadcast the vessel's first distress call. The Steinbrenner struggled headways for roughly another half hour until shortly after 7:30 when three hatch covers were torn completely away and the ship's fate was sealed. The Captain almost immediately ordered his crew to abandon ship at 7:35 am.

The Steinbrenner sank within minutes of the abandon ship order. Those who were not already wearing lifejackets had no time to return to their rooms to put theirs on. The starboard lifeboat was prematurely but successfully launched with seven men aboard, while the portside lifeboat had to be unhooked and floated clear of the ship. Only three crew members were able to board this lifeboat. At the bow, ten crew members mustered around the forward life raft but were washed off the ship as she sank; only six of them managed to make it to the raft. It took rescue vessels four and a half hours to reach the scene of the sinking, by which point any crew members who had not made it to one of the lifeboats or the life raft had succumbed to the storm. Of the 33 crewmembers, 16 were rescued and 17 lost their lives.
01_00806181.jpg

steinbrenner_soolocks_1681223208.jpg


Due to national media focusing their efforts on the horrific disaster in downtown Waco, the wreck of the Henry Steinbrenner as well as the other tornadoes from the May 9-11, 1953 outbreak have been sadly overlooked and largely forgotten. Special thanks to Thomas Grazulis, the Tornado Archive, the Baylor University Texas Collection, the Angelo State University West Texas Collection, and the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society for making these posts possible.

*I'll post more damage photos from as many of the tornadoes as I can, and a very approximated map of the May 10 tornado families on the Significant Tornado Events thread.
 

Sawmaster

Member
Messages
516
Reaction score
657
Location
Pickens SC
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
As a low-level enthusiast of lakers, I knew about the Henry Steinbrenner but I never conected it to Waco.
 

TH2002

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
3,058
Reaction score
4,568
Location
California, United States
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
On this day in 2007, a tornado hits Clovis, New Mexico. There were no fatalities. It is only one of 13 tornadoes to affect along the New Mexico-Texas border.
Minor correction: The Clovis tornado did result in two fatalities. 35 people were injured there, and two elderly citizens who were in critical condition later died. The tornado was the first in NM to result in fatalities since 1974, and is tied with a 1930 storm as the state's deadliest overall.
 

TH2002

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
3,058
Reaction score
4,568
Location
California, United States
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
As a low-level enthusiast of lakers, I knew about the Henry Steinbrenner but I never conected it to Waco.
The Steinbrenner sank the morning of the 11th, and Waco occurred later that day. Although, the cold front that caused the Great Lakes storm that sank the Steinbrenner was the same front that resulted in the May 10 Wisconsin tornado families, so there's a direct meteorological connection there. In any case the May 9-11, 1953 tornado outbreak was undoubtedly a massive and far reaching weather system.
 
Back
Top