Which events did Fujita himself come out to study?

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rsheeler

Enthusiast
Apr 17, 2020
5
0
1
Iowa
Hi all,

I'm an amateur tornado and weather enthusiast from Central IA and this is my first post here. I've fascinated by tornadoes for a very long time. I've recently watched the new Fujita documentary on PBS "Mr. Tornado" and found it very interesting. It made me wonder which of the historical tornado events did Fujita come out on-site to study in their respective aftermaths? I know he was on-site for the Jordan IA 1976 aftermath. And I think I vaguely remember seeing a video of him being on-site after the 1974 Xenia OH tornado.
 

NancyM

EF2
Jun 14, 2013
163
116
11
I just looked through Tom Grazulis' "The Tornado". From what I can gather from this book, his only US ground survey was for the Fargo, ND 6/20/57 tornado, which fits with the following from the link above:

"After studying the Yanagawa, Japan tornado of 26 September 1948 on foot and the Fargo, North Dakota tornado of 10 June 1957 by car, Fujita was convinced that the use of low-flying aircraft is the only way to conduct quick-response surveys of extensive damage areas which are often inaccessible on the ground."

Interesting note: his approach to the ground survey was unusual. There were 150+ pictures taken by amateur photographers and a few movies of the Fargo tornado. Fujita and meteorologist Dewey Bergquist "located the exact spot from which each picture was taken" and mapped it. Later he "outlined the external architecture of a 'supercell'...by constructing "a three-dimensional view of the storm in his mind". He then created perspective drawings. (Grazulis, "The Tornado").
 

rsheeler

Enthusiast
Apr 17, 2020
5
0
1
Iowa
Thanks for all your comments. Very interesting info. I vaguely remember seeing a video of Fujita on site at Xenia in 1974, but I can't seem to find it now. So I could very well be mistaken about that. There is the video of his analysis of the Jordan IA 1976 tornado which he was on site for. I live not far from there, and that event is well-known in our area. I thought his analysis was very good - and his diagramming and attention to detail was wonderful to see.