40th Anniversary Of The June 8, 1966 Topeka, KS F5 Tornado

June 8th will mark the 40th anniversary of the Topeka F5 tornado.

torn.jpg


http://www.crh.noaa.gov/top/?n=toptor40

http://cjonline.com/webindepth/66tornado/m...rnado_mov.shtml
 
Hey Darin, great idea to make a thread about this! I've always thought it was one of the most dramatic weather events in American history: a violent tornado moving right through the heart of a state capital. And the pic you posted is one of my all-time favorite tornado photos. That second link is very cool-- I'd never seen footage of the Topeka tornado and did not know it existed. Nice find! :)

Open question to the group: Would the Topeka tornado still be considered an F5 according to the Enhanced Fujita Scale, and according to the apparently revised methodology being applied lately to tornado classification? I'd love to hear an expert opinion about this.
 
Open question to the group: Would the Topeka tornado still be considered an F5 according to the Enhanced Fujita Scale, and according to the apparently revised methodology being applied lately to tornado classification? I'd love to hear an expert opinion about this.[/b]
This expert would not make an estimate without having seen, first-hand, the Topeka 1966 damage.
 
This expert would not make an estimate without having seen, first-hand, the Topeka 1966 damage.
[/b]
Thanks for the response, Greg. I have read many of your posts, and yours was the kind of expert opinion I was seeking. :)

Do you think a reanalysis theoretically could be performed using whatever sources are available-- i.e., photos, film footage, detailed reports created by meteorologists and/or engineers who surveyed the damage firsthand, interviews with these professionals (if still living), etc.? Given that the Fujita scale wasn't introduced until 1971-- and therefore the Topeka event's F5 classification was, in itself, retroactively assigned-- now I'm wondering what sources they used for that initial classification. Photos? Engineering reports?

If reanalysis seems unfeasible... Does that mean that historic events can't be reanalyzed according to new standards and methodologies?

P.S. Happy Birthday! B)
 
That kind of reanalysis could be performed, but with the same level of uncertainty as the original analysis. So it begs the question - did the TOP 1966 damage really deserve an F5 to begin with?

Nonethelees, I recall that many multi-story brick institutional buildings at Washburn Univ. had major damage that might tip the EF5 designation. Not sure if there were any "slabbed" residential homes though, but as I've posted before, the engineering team is considering adding an EF5 designation to the FR12 damage indicator before next spring's rollout.
 
I have only limited knowledge of the damage from that tornado (TVC I I think, for sure it's I or II). From the bit I've seen:

1) It had violent rotational and vertical velocity.
2) Some of the residential damage appeared to rival Moore, OK.
3) The Washburn Campus was annihilated.

I would, with my limited knowledge of the damage from that tornado, opt to rate it F5.
 
I did some surface charts for this time frame. These can be found here (the zoom appendage regarding fille name only means the analysis was done using a smaller map scale and includes wind vectors and isodrosotherms):

http://www.wistorms.net/topsfc/

All charts are created using Weather Graphics analysis software.

Pat
 
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