Most Impressive or Strongest Tornado of the Last 20 Years?

Definitive F-5 of the Last Twenty Years...


  • Total voters
    4

Michael Auker

I'm a sucker for polls...so which tornado, in your mind, has been the definitive tornado of the last 20 years? Incredible obliterating structural damage...heavy objects thrown long distances...and so on?
 
I think the Moore, Oklahoma F-5 was the most impressive just from the damage it did. I saw some clips on t.v. of Val Castor chasing that beast and I have never seen anything like it, not to mention that Wurman and the D.O.W. clocked wind speeds of 318 mph- wonder if it was an f-6? Just kidding, not starting that debate all over.
 
Personally, despite other sources, i believe the May 3rd 1999 incident should of been rated an F-6, i agree the damage was astonishing, and images of soem of the craters created from the tornado sucking up the ground was amazing.... wind speeds also highest recorded in this tornado were remarkable, it was very sad day though i must say , i do and still believe history will repeat itself, omaha ne is due for disaster, and many other places to, dont be suprised .... if it happens in the near future, but deeply with my f-5 i believe Moore OK will be in the books for the closest rating to an F-6 tornado, the damage tells you alot...
 
I'm guessing the Moore tornado is winning in a landslide because of the widely-publicized 318mph wind measurement, plus it's the most recent event. That 318mph was recorded several meters above the surface, and Josh Wurman himself has stated the numbers are deceiving, and could go 20mph either way. Regardless, I've never considered that tornado as one of the all-time most powerful.

That distinction goes to the Andover, KS tornado of April 26, 1991. Earl Evans' video of this shows the most amazing and violent upward velocity as well as rotation. This tornado was alive. There isn't a more dramatic or graphic tornado video in existence IMO.
 
I believe there have been tornadoes just as strong as the Moore F5. It just stole the show because it hit a major metropolitan area. If the Hallam, NE tornado had hit OKC there would have been many more lives lost in my opinion not because it was stronger but because of its size. The 5-3-99 tornado gained more media attention and that's why people remember it more. If you put the damage path of the Moore, OK tornado through a rural area then it would not be remembered nearly as much.

Overall, I voted for the Andover, KS tornado.
 
I may be bit biased towards the Moore tornado because I've seen much more footage, but to me the storm structure was just jaw dropping. But I've not seen the structure of any of the other parent storms to compare, other than Jarrell. Andover would be a close second. For years it and the Pampa F4 in 1995 were the main highlights of any videos I saw. Until Moore. I agree the 318mph doppler measurement made a large impact on how I look at that tornado. Red Rock would fall in right behind Andover, I think it could have likely rivaled Moore had it hit a metro area.(Btw, if I were forced to find a pattern in the sequence above of F5 events with years, I'd have to say the next string of consecutive years looked to begin with 2006).
 
I would have to go with the Hallam tornado also. It may have only been an F4, but being 2.5 miles wide more than makes up for that. To me, that is much more impressive than a typical wedge with winds that are slightly stronger. If I had to pick one of the tornadoes listed though, I would vote for a tie between Andover and Moore. They are both equally impressive.
 
Given the restraints of the time frame, I had to go with Andover. The videos of the tornado demonstrate the absolute ferocity of the storm. Moore and Jarrel stand out because they are more recent.The Lawrenceburg TN tornado was in a more rural area, but the photos of the damage path show that storm was capable of much more damage.
If there hadn't been a time frame of 20 years, I think Wichita Falls (1979) and the monster storms of the Superoutbreak (Brandenberg, Guin, and Xenia) might definitely be in contention there.
Angie
 
Originally posted by Dan Christianson
Personally, despite other sources, i believe the May 3rd 1999 incident should of been rated an F-6, i agree the damage was astonishing, and images of soem of the craters created from the tornado sucking up the ground was amazing.
Hmmmm....I missed those in the survey. Where can I find more info?


greg
 
Hard to tell what we're looking for here (strong, impressive, definitive). I put my money on Jarrell... the deviant movement, extreme CAPE, and incredible vortex had "monster" written all over it. Ultra-CAPE events and Pakwash storms are just amazing. The other choices really haven't impressed me as much, though it's just a matter of perspective as many of them were certainly devastating for some people.

Tim
 
The May 3rd 1999 tornado soundly gets my vote...this one did F4/F5 damage during 2 distinct cycles along it's track. Not sure what makes the Andover one so special over other's in the list...it had true F4/F5 intensity for a much shorter time than the BC/Moore. It's like picking between a lumbering pissed off grizzly bear (May 3rd Bridge Creek/Moore, etc.) and a tightly wound tazmanian devil (April 26th Andover). I'll take the grizzly bear...not to make light of such tragic events. None in the list can hold a candle to the April 9, 1947 Woodward F5 though.
 
I'd have to go with Jarrell, Texas, largely because of the way it morphed from a skinny rope to a massive F5 in a matter of a couple minutes.
 
Ok maybe i over did it with craters, , i rememember seeing video on TLC i think it was and DISCOVERY CHANNEL, now its been awhile, ill try and find some links, for you greg.... sorry with my over/expression .

Ok i agree with you all on Hallam thats true being weaker but a much more wider tornado, if it hit OKC , it would of done alot of damage, hmm on andover ks, i guess this goes with tornadoes as well so DONT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER..... ... anyways my 2 cents
 
Interesting how much weight personal perspective carried, which really is what I meant in the poll. For example, nobody else picked my choice, the OH-PA F-5. For some reason, when I think of F-5, I think of that tornado. The Birmingham and Jarrell tornadoes also stick out in my mind.
 
I think I'd have to go with Jarrell. I toured the damage path of both Jarrell and Moore and Moore was very destructive and went through a large urban area for that it gets points. It also gets points for recorded wind speeds 318mph - albeit above ground and recent tornado intercepts indicate that ground level winds may be significantly lower (20 to 50 mph) to those measured by DOW above ground. However F-scale is damage based and based on that damage I have seen I would rank Jarrell higher.

Although Jarrell wind speeds weren't measured asphault was removed from the road, house and material was swept clear of the foundation and taken...somewhere. Maybe it was dumped in the lake. Large trucks, semis, and farm equipment were dismembered and squashed into very small unrecognizable heaps. I've heard bad stories about what happened to the people and livestock as well. It may very well have had a faster windspeed than Moore even though it moved slower. Had Jarrell gone through a more urban area such as Austin and stayed on the ground even longer it would have been even more devasting. Note also the parent circulation later produced another tornado rated F4 at Hazy Hills which killed an Emergency Medical Technician. It also dropped one near my home that knocked a train off the track and collapsed a grocery store roof.

Brian also may be right about Woodward. I've read a book about it and it's an amazing event.
 
Having seen both storms in person, I would definately pick Andover over Moore/Bridge Creek. Andover was the most visually impressive storm of the lot, and the damage was incredible, even if it was not spead out over as an extensive area as Moore/Bridge Creek. As for second place, I would probably go with the Lawrence County Tornado (1998 Middle Tennessee).

I would have to say that the Lawrence County Tennessee tornado is probably the most underrated event on the list, considering that it is the only confirmed F5 tornado in Tennessee. The NWS report title for this event says it all:

The Forgotten F5: The Lawrence County Supercell during the Middle Tennessee Tornado Outbreak of April 16, 1998

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ohx/research/f5.htm
 
I voted for 5/3/99 Moore, OK. Just seeing that thing on TV from a live newscam on a building made it all too impressive. I was going to vote for the Plainfield 1990 storm, because I have a connection to some of the vicitms. (My relatives were in the apartment complex that got completely leveled, they were ok :D ) The pictures they took of the damage were just astounding, I should get some from them. This was a rain-wrapped beast of a storm. The Andover storm was a monster too! :shock:
 
Andover cause it was the first big one I studied and sent me into this spiral of severe weather I now obsess over. May 3 gets a real close second for every obvious reason known to man!
 
Had to go with Niles-Wheatland, OH-PA. May 31, 1985. Even though I've seen much more video of both the tornado and the damage from Moore, Andover, and Jerrell, I'll stick with my old favorite descriptive of this tornado and the fact that it produced F5 damage at both ends of it's track. Just wish there was video of it.
 
Something I'm curious about regarding the Andover tornado...where along its path did it do F5 damage? So many sources say the tornado was "at its worst" over the Golden Spur mobile home park, but to the best of my knowledge one can't rate damage to trailers F5. Where did it take well-constructed frame houses securely attached to their foundations, scour them off the foundation, and sweep away the debris?
 
Originally posted by Bobby Eddins
Had to go with Niles-Wheatland, OH-PA. May 31, 1985. Even though I've seen much more video of both the tornado and the damage from Moore, Andover, and Jerrell, I'll stick with my old favorite descriptive of this tornado and the fact that it produced F5 damage at both ends of it's track. Just wish there was video of it.
Actually, there are two videos in existence of the Niles-Wheatland tornado. You can view them both here: http://1985tornado.tripod.com/
 
Originally posted by Andy Wehrle
Something I'm curious about regarding the Andover tornado...where along its path did it do F5 damage?

The F5 damage occured in the Greenwich Heights Subdivision, just to the northeast of McConnell Air Force Base.

tnmvs008.jpg


pix_crew.jpg
 
Originally posted by Chris Sokol+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Chris Sokol)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Andy Wehrle
Something I'm curious about regarding the Andover tornado...where along its path did it do F5 damage?

The F5 damage occured in the Greenwich Heights Subdivision, just to the northeast of McConnell Air Force Base.[/b]
There was also F5 damage in the subdivision just west of the trailer park, to well-built single-family residences. This was my first violent tornado damage survey of my career.
 
I believe we are in the longest f-5 drought since at aleast the 50's (maybe longer) so we are definantly due for one. I think that is partially due to the fact that some houses these days are made to be able to withstand stronger winds wich would result in less dammage done to them hence a lower F-rating. Just a thought.
 
Back
Top