This violent, long-lived tornado was the most infamous of nearly 60 tornadoes that struck central Oklahoma during an unprecedented outbreak on this Monday afternoon and evening of May 3, 1999. The tornado was the 9th of 14 tornadoes produced by a supercell thunderstorm during the tornado outbreak.
The topic of our summary: a long track, well documented event: The Wichita-Andover, KS F5 Tornado. It was the 3rd in a family of 4 tornadoes that pushed through South Central KS during the Plains Tornado Outbreak of April 26, 1991.
14 tornadoes occurred on April 23, 1968. Per the SPC, 2 hold a rating of F4 and one was rated F5. That twister is the topic of our summary.
In this summary, we explore the F5 that began in rural sections of Eastern Tuscaloosa County, 1.5 miles east of the Warrior River. The tornado moved through mainly unpopulated areas in Eastern Tuscaloosa County and into extreme SW Jefferson County. The first major area hit was the Oak Grove Community. 3 deaths occurred in a mobile home and the Oak Grove School was destroyed.
It was a powerful F5 tornado that moved 14.7 miles through parts of Jefferson County, AL on this day in 1977. This tornado is named after the area which received the greatest damage: Smithfield Drive and Smithfield Lane.
The deadliest tornado of the April 3-4, 1974 outbreak was the F5 that hit Xenia, OH. Per the SPC, it continues to be in the top 10 of costliest tornadoes on record. Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes, “This was the most publicized tornado of the day and perhaps the most well-studied tornado in history, from a wind-engineering perspective.”
The strongest tornado of the April 2, 1982 tornado outbreak was rated F5 The path length was 53 miles. The tornado max width was 1.5 miles (that was near Golden). Per the NWS Norman, “The physical state of this tornado varied as it morphed between multiple vortex and solid funnel phases during its lifetime.”
Per the SPC database, 17 tornadoes occurred on March 26, 1976. Two were rated F4 (1 in OK, 1 in MS). At 328pm CT, a tornado that would be rated officially F5 traveled 11.9 miles through parts of LeFlore County, OK. There were 64 injuries and 2 fatalities reported. Tremendous damage occurred in and around the town of Spiro.
Per the March 1990, Storm Data Publication, “The “Hesston” thunderstorm complex produced at least four tornadoes totaling nearly 120 miles on the ground over a 3-1/2 hour period.” We are going to take a look at the 2-F5 tornadoes that occurred from this complex.
March of 1990 was extremely active with a total of 86 tornadoes occurring. 78 of them during the period of March 11 through March 15th. The most active day: March 13.