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The Plainfield tornado

Does anyone know where I can find pictures of the corn damage along US 30 outside of Plainfield that Fujita rated F5? I'm having a pretty heated debate with someone who thinks that Plainfield was one of the weakest F5 tornadoes in history, and I'm trying to show him what it did in that field and why Fujita called it one of the most intense tornadoes he had every surveyed. I know I've seen the pictures, but I'm searching like mad to find them again and I can't find them on the internet.
 
I'm thinking it was part of the Weather & Forecasting special Fujita issue a few years back...
 
plainfielddamage.jpg


I found that here.

More photos here.
 
plainfielddamage.jpg


I found that here.

More photos here.
Thanks, but, and I know I'm being picky here, I'm in need of pictures from a cornfield that was about 1/2 mile NW of where this pic was taken (this is the actual town of Plainfield, with the HS along the top horizontal road, and St. Mary Immaculate very near the top of the picture). The F5 rating was only based on the damage to this cornfield, and I'm almost positive pictures of it exist. I'm trying to find them.
 
Tony,

I think this might be what you're looking for...

The picture below is from Fujita's "Plainfield Tornado of August 28, 1990" article that appears in the the "Tornado: Its Structure, Dynamics, Prediction, and Hazards", published by the American Geophysical Union in 1993.

Within the article, Fujita describes the picture:
"The damage in the cornfield southeast of U.S. 30 (Plate 8) was entirely different from the damage adjacent to structures affected by the F3 or F4 winds. Some corn crops were stripped of leaves and ears and pushed practically down to the ground. In the worst damage area, corn crops were blown away entirely, leaving behind the remnants of small roots connected to the underground root system."

-Jared

 
If you obtain a copy of Tornado Video Classics 1, you'll find a segment that shows Dr. Fujita lecturing on the Plainfield tornado to a group of meteorologists using photos he had taken of the damage. I think you'll be particularly interested in his analysis of how a car "floated" above the ground over the corn field, and of the "eye" pattern that marked the center of the vortex at one point over the field. You can obtain that video from Tom Grazulis. Doublecheck to make sure I gave you the correct volume number, but I'm about certain it's the first in the three-part TVC series.
 
I've seen major tornado damage to corn...and even at F3 levels...extreme damage is done to a corn crop in the damage path core. Green (pre-harvest) corn is likely alot tougher than the dried harvest time cornfield that I saw.
 
Tony,

I think this might be what you're looking for...

The picture below is from Fujita's "Plainfield Tornado of August 28, 1990" article that appears in the the "Tornado: Its Structure, Dynamics, Prediction, and Hazards", published by the American Geophysical Union in 1993.

Within the article, Fujita describes the picture:
"The damage in the cornfield southeast of U.S. 30 (Plate 8) was entirely different from the damage adjacent to structures affected by the F3 or F4 winds. Some corn crops were stripped of leaves and ears and pushed practically down to the ground. In the worst damage area, corn crops were blown away entirely, leaving behind the remnants of small roots connected to the underground root system."

-Jared


YES! Thank you so very much!
 
I've seen major tornado damage to corn...and even at F3 levels...extreme damage is done to a corn crop in the damage path core. Green (pre-harvest) corn is likely alot tougher than the dried harvest time cornfield that I saw.
Not only was the corn pre-harvest, it was at it's absolute peak of maturity (remember, this was late August). It was as strong as it could get.
 
I've seen major tornado damage to corn...and even at F3 levels...extreme damage is done to a corn crop in the damage path core. Green (pre-harvest) corn is likely alot tougher than the dried harvest time cornfield that I saw.

My experience with corn has been the opposite. I am by no means a farmer but I did grow 30 stocks of various types of corn last year. I found out the hard way that corn stocks are very brittle during their peak growth spurt (3-6 feet). In June a gustfront came through Atchison, KS with 40-50 MPH winds and leveled half of my crop. Upon examining the damage I found that it was amazingly easy to break off a corn stocks. You could do it with one hand. On the other hand, dry corn stocks were much harder to remove after the growing season was over. The stocks were so tough that I couldn’t break them. I ended up having to pull them out of the ground roots and all.

For what it’s worth I believe that a legitimate vegetation based damage assessment scale is more than possible. Unfortunately no one has done the research needed to develop the Veggie-scale. Does anyone know if the EF-scale lists any type’s vegetation as damage indicators?
 
I'm certainly biased (i.e. earlier mentioned Guyer/Moritz article), but I do think there is potential crop benefit to the EF/F-Scale, at least in a supplemental sense. However, similar to the issues that Scott mentions, there are many complex variables that can affect crop damage/needed wind speeds, such as the plant's maturity/health/dryness and soil moisture.

Of the 28 damage indicators, the only vegetation that the EF-Scale currently includes are hardwood and softwood trees:
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/efscale/ef-scale.html

-Jared
 
July 13 2004 was an interesting case in central Illinois. The Roanoke F4 tornado spent a large amount of it's time over corn fields and I've seen a good amount of video showing the aftermath in the fields. In the video, most cases had a good amount of the stalk remaining, but most of the leaves/corn stripped. All the stalks were laying flat angling in towards the tornado's center. These are the only two photos I could find of fields affected by the tornado, and neither are very good quality. FWIW, I think the bottom photo is also mostly soy beans (but either case it does appear most of the vegetation has been stripped from the ground)

track1.jpg


parsons23.jpg


However, as the storms merged into more of a bow echo/derecho formation more crop damage was observed. In some areas, crops were leveled to the ground as well by winds that were estimated anywhere from 60 to 110 mph.
 
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