Tornado Killers! Five Deadliest and Biggest Tornado in USA History
5 Biggest Tornadoes in the USA
Tornadoes remain one of the most terrifying and deadly examples of extreme weather. They cause maximum destruction of infrastructure, buildings, and sometimes entire cities. They are extremely difficult to predict, although they occur due to the same conditions that cause severe thunderstorms.
Many people think that life in the United States is full of comfort and prosperity and that the only tornado they have is Chevrolet Tornado in the USA and Chevy Tornado USA.
In fact, there are so many natural disasters in this country every year that it disrupts the peace of life. For example, Florida and Louisiana are often victims of powerful tropical hurricanes, California and Nevada suffer from earthquakes, Illinois and Ohio are attacked by snowstorms, and the entire central United States is the scene of a huge number of tornadoes. According to statistics, there are more than 1,200 tornadoes each year, with the bulk of them occurring in the spring and summer (the tornado season in the USA).
A tornado is an atmospheric vortex that forms in thunderstorm clouds at the junction of atmospheric fronts and descends to the surface of the earth.
Amazing Facts: Tornado Alley USA
75% of all global tornadoes occur in the United States. Why do tornadoes in the USA occur so often? It is due to the geographical conditions and climate in the interior of the United States, which are facilitative for these natural disasters. Therefore, Americans hear tornado warnings USA very often. Three-quarters of the world’s tornadoes occur in North America. The vast majority of tornadoes in the USA occur in the central United States, a region called USA tornado alley.
You may ask a question of where is tornado alley in the USA, as you may never have learned that in school? Tornado Alley or USA tornado corridor is an unofficial term used to refer to the territory of the states: Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, and South Dakota (see the map of tornado alley in the USA attached below). It is in this part of North America located between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian mountain system that the absolute majority of tornadoes form not only on the continent but also on the whole globe. This region has no well-defined boundaries. For example, the state of Texas, which is one of the tornado-prone areas in the USA, has the largest number of tornadoes, but they pass mostly unnoticed and without casualties. But the state of Kansas, to the north of it, has the most destructive tornadoes, claiming many lives.
Texas holds the absolute record for the number of tornadoes formed among all American states, and most of the whirlwinds occur in the northern part of the state. Texas could be called the tornado capital of the USA. According to statistics, there are 139 such natural disasters annually, which means that literally every 1-2 days in the warm season, a tornado occurs in one part of the state or another. Therefore, the requirements for houses and other structures in this state are quite strict.
But even they are unable to withstand powerful tornadoes that tear down homes, turning them into piles of splinters and debris. For this reason, most sensible Texans have a secure bunker in their home or garage to shelter in during a tornado. There are regular drills here, so everyone in the state knows what to do if they hear tornado warnings USA howling.
Why Does the Biggest Tornado in the USA Occur?
The occurrence of tornadoes in the United States can be simply explained in general terms. Warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico meets dry, cold air from the Rocky Mountains, trapped by air currents from the east. This often creates conditions leading to severe thunderstorms. As the scholar and scientist Todd Lane of the University of Melbourne explains, the strongest of these storms become “supercells” under which tornado zones in the USA form. In such supercells, intensely rotating columns of rapidly moving upward air form, and the wind at the ground surface joins these columns, begins to spin, and so the center of the tornado is formed.
The particular destructive power of the tornado in the USA is explained by the strength of the wind at the epicenter and by the speed of the debris of destroyed buildings involved in its motion.
Unfortunately, it is not yet known what conditions in supercells lead to the most powerful and most destructive tornadoes. Tornado strength is measured on a six-point Fujita tornado scale, where each score reflects wind speed.
The Laws of the Latest Tornado in the USA
The destructive power of a tornado depends on its size, how long it has been in contact with the ground, and whether it strikes densely populated areas. According to U.S. meteorologists, the destructive power of a single tornado can be different at different locations. There are several rotating mini-tornadoes, called suction funnels, within one area of an area with a radius of one and a half to two kilometers.
Therefore, one house on the street can be completely demolished by a tornado, with only the foundation left of it, while the neighboring house is less damaged. The experience of many years of a tornado watch in the USA suggests certain patterns. According to the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, in the past 30 years, the number of tornadoes in the country has peaked in May and June. Interestingly, tornadoes most often occur in the afternoon, closer to the evening.
Tornado In the USA Now: They Haven’t Gotten Any Stronger
In general, more tornadoes have been recorded in recent years than usual. This is partly explained by the fact that the USA tornado warning system is better established and there are fewer and fewer uninhabited places where tornadoes would normally go unnoticed. However, there is no evidence that tornadoes are occurring more frequently than before.
Although there was a record number of tornadoes greater than EF1 in 2011, the number in 2012 was one of the lowest since 1954. Since 1925, the average number of tornado victims has gradually decreased. Before the Tevo tornado USA, only 25 of the most destructive tornadoes occurred in the last 58 years. The rest of them occurred in earlier years. Tornado records have been kept for more than 100 years.
The decrease in tornadoes in the USA today’s casualties is attributed to better construction of buildings and infrastructures as well as an effective warning system. Existing tornado warning USA today’s systems can only roughly indicate the area where weather conditions are likely to produce a tornado.
What Are the Biggest Tornadoes in the USA: Top 5
The Great Tornado in Natchez
The second-largest tornado in U.S. history occurred in Mississippi, in the town of Natchez on May 7, 1840. Unfortunately, there were no tornado alerts in the USA, so people could not prepare for it. It formed southwest of town around 1 p.m. local time, then moved northeast along the Mississippi River, tearing out trees on both banks.
The tornado first struck boats and structures on the Natchez waterfront, lifting ships with passengers into the air and throwing them to the ground, and then moved into the town itself, destroying homes. As a result, 317 people were killed (48 on the ground and 269 on the river) and 109 were injured. However, the statistics at the time did not include the slaves who died, so the exact number of victims remains unknown. The resulting damage to the tornado areas in the USA was $1.26 million, a staggering figure for the time.
The Great Tornado in the Three States
The deadliest tornado in the USA ever struck the country on March 18, 1925, killing 695 people. According to the USA tornado map, it traveled at 63-75 mph and covered the longest distance recorded, which is 7 miles (ca. 11 km). The tornado went through Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. That day also set a record for the number of casualties in a single city – 234 people died in Murphysboro. The storm raged for three and a half hours. More than 15,000 homes were destroyed, and the damage was estimated at $16.5 million. People were left homeless and without food, fires broke out, and looting exacerbated the situation. However, this was only one of several tornadoes that day, tornadoes also hit Kansas, Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee. A total of 747 lives were lost and nearly 2,300 people were injured.
Another disaster on the tornado map of the USA. In 1953, two tornadoes struck the cities of Flint, Michigan, and Worcester, Massachusetts, one day apart on June 8 and 9. The tornadoes were notorious for being briefly debated in the U.S. Congress. Some congressmen were convinced that the phenomenon was not caused by nature, but by an atomic bomb test in the upper atmosphere. They demanded a government account of what had happened, but meteorologists quickly dispelled those fears.
The tornado reached the city of Flint at 8:30 p.m. on June 8. Motorists panicked and abandoned their cars, creating traffic accidents. Some neighborhoods were destroyed to the ground. The storm killed 116 people. The next day, another tornado struck Worcester, where 94 people were killed.
Tornado in St. Louis
Tornado in St. Louis is still one of the biggest tornadoes in the USA today
The May 27, 1896, tornado in St. Louis also made history. It formed near Missouri and killed a woman, then around 6:15 p.m. local time, three students at Audrain County High School. A few minutes later, another person died at another school. As early as 6:30 p.m., the tornado split into two funnels and moved into St. Louis, destroying farms in its path. The tornado swept through the center of the city, leaving a trail of destroyed homes, schools, factories, churches, parks, and railroad tracks. If to look at the tornado USA map, the width of this trail was up to 3.5 miles (5.63 km).
At least 137 citizens lost their lives. From St. Louis, the tornado moved toward Illinois, where it became smaller but more intense. A total of 255 people were killed according to official figures, unofficially the figure exceeded 500. More than a thousand people were injured, and the damage was estimated at $10 million. All in all, 1896 was the deadliest year in the history of the United States: from April 11 to November 26, 40 killer tornadoes swept across the country.
New Richmond Tornado
On June 12, 1899, a tornado on the risk map of the USA nearly wiped out the settlement of New Richmond, Wisconsin. It killed 117 people and injured almost 150. The damage totaled more than $300,000. That day, the Gallmar Brothers Circus put on a show in the town, which was attended by 2.5 thousand residents and hundreds of guests from the surrounding area. At about 3 p.m. the clouds thickened over the town and the sky grew dark.
By the end of the show at 4:30 p.m. it started raining heavily with hail. Precipitation continued until 5 p.m., and people began to disperse to their homes. At 6 p.m. the streets were still packed with tourists. By this time the town had been overtaken by a tornado that originated at 3:30 p.m. 50 miles from the settlement on Lake St. Croix. Most people could not find shelter, and many buildings were destroyed to the ground.
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