The May 15th – 16th Tornado outbreak of 1968

Yesterday and today marks the fifty first anniversary of the outbreak.

The May 15th -16th 1968 Tornado outbreak was a significant and deadly event. The outbreak of Tornadoes affected the states listed below.

  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee

This outbreak produced thirty nine Tornadoes from 3:28pm on the 15th May till 2:50am on the 16th May. This included two F5/EF-5 Tornadoes in Iowa1.

Resource credit: National Weather Service

1: The first F5/EF-5 Tornado swept through five counties and sixty five miles. It affected Charles City just before 5:00pm. This particular Tornado destroyed much of the area. Damage figures were estimated up to thirty million dollars in Charles City alone whilst one point five million dollars in damage was recorded elsewhere. This F5/EF-5 killed thirteen people and injured almost four hundred and sixty people.

FYI: The featured photo of this article is that of the F5/EF-5 that struck Charles City – however the photo was captured two miles southwest of the city by Floyd County Sheriff.

RELATED: 1968 Charles City Tornado – interesting survivor stories feature in this blogpost.

The second F5/EF-5 Tornado affected Fayette County at around 4:57pm. It destroyed or damaged nearly a thousand homes. The hardest hit areas were Oelwein and Maynard where homes were completely swept away from their foundations. Five people were killed by this F5/EF-5 whilst one hundred and sixty were injured.

These were two of four F5/EF-5 Tornadoes that struck the United States during the year of 1968 – the other two; southwestern Ohio on the 23rd April and Minnesota on the 13th June. The next and last official F5/EF-5 Tornado that touched down in Iowa was in Jordan on the 13th June 1976.

The thirty nine Tornadoes spawned during this outbreak killed seventy two people and caused twelve hundred injuries. You can find more details on the outbreak here.

RELATED: May 15 1968 Iowa Tornado Summary – official Facebook page for the Charles City Tornado.

April 2011 Super Tornado Outbreak – relive the outbreak in video

RELATED: Videos of the Violent EF4 and EF5 Tornadoes on April 27, 2011

The April 2011 super Tornado outbreak was one of the biggest, deadliest and most destructive severe weather and Tornado outbreaks in the U.S. Suffice to say some of a handful of the Tornadoes that touched down during the outbreak struck heavily populated areas.

Regardless of alerts well in advance and short term warnings, the Tornadoes/storms killed three hundred and twenty one people and injured almost three thousand people, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA – Storm prediction Center – SPC).

Nearly three hundred and fifty Tornadoes touched down in around of the south, Midwest and northeast states of the U.S. A majority of the Tornadoes that touched down during the April 2011 super outbreak happened on the 27th April, according to the National Weather Service.

The most destructive Tornado, a multiple-vortex EF-4 Tornado, which took the lives of sixty five people and injured more than one thousand people alone swept through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama during the afternoon/evening on the 27th April.

Suffice to say, within a matter of minutes, ten per cent of Tuscaloosa was destroyed and more than one thousand six hundred people were left homeless – including the students of University of Alabama. It has to be said, the above mentioned Tornado was one point five miles wide with winds of one hundred and ninety miles per hour. 

The Tornado was on the ground for more than eighty miles.

It has to be stated: The same supercell thunderstorm that produced the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham Tornado went onto to spawn other Tornadoes that “skipped” along a three hundred and eighty mile long path from Mississippi to North Carolina.

Three EF-5 Tornadoes, twelve EF-4 Tornadoes and twenty one EF-3 Tornadoes struck during the April 2011 super Tornado outbreak. Some of the violent storms coincided areas that were hit with severe weather and Tornadoes earlier in the month. April 2011 was a busy month!

A destructive and deadly Tornado outbreak took place on the 14th – 16th April, when one hundred and seventy eight Tornadoes touched down and resulted in the deaths of almost fourty people across parts of the Plains, south and eastern seaboard.

In closing, April 2011 saw a record seven hundred and fifty Tornadoes strike the U.S, according to the SPC – records go back to 1950.

We didn’t particularly want to make this a wordy article, however we wanted to give this significant outbreak a well-balanced and detailed introduction. Now you’ve read about it, now relive the April 2011 super outbreak thru the lens of a camera in the videos below.

Find an extensive video playlist of the Hackleburg/Phil Campbell EF5 Tornado below.

Furthermore, TV coverage and documentaries in regards to this outbreak can be found below.

UPDATE: A reader brought it to our attention that Smithville, Mississippi was struck by an EF-5 Tornado on the 27th April 2011 – watch two videos of the Tornado below.

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Tornado captured on camera in Tunica, Mississippi

Will you just look at it! A rope Tornado has been captured on camera in Tunica, Mississippi – watch in the video below.

The video was captured by Austin Dunlap on the day the Tornado struck – yesterday evening, 25th April. Dunlap posted the video on his official Facebook account.

Great footage Austin! You can find all our on articles on Tornadoes that have struck Mississippi here.

Tornadoes by state so far this year visualised in one incredible map

The visualisation below illustrates how many Tornadoes have struck each state of the U.S. so far this year.

Visualisation credit: Taylor Kanost

Suffice to say, Dixie Alley has been significantly active.

Sixty Tornadoes have struck Mississippi, fifty three Tornadoes have struck Alabama and thirty six Tornadoes have struck Georgia.

Texas has seen thirty four Tornadoes touch down in the state.

FYI: We Are Iowa’s morning meteorologist Taylor Kanost posted the visualisation on his official Twitter account.

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MUST SEE VIDEO! Watch Tornado rip roof from house

The Tornado in the below video struck during the severe weather event – outbreak of Tornadoes – of April 2018. Find out more about the event at the bottom of the article.

We’ve watched this footage over and over again! In the video below, watch a Tornado rip the roof from a house in Meridian, Mississippi.

The video was captured by Aeje Chaudhary on the day the Tornado struck – 14th April. However, the video was then sold to RM videos.

Subsequently, the video broker posted the video on their official YouTube account.

During the evening of the 13th April, supercells developed across northeast Louisiana  (LA) within the broad warm sector of strong surface “cyclone” not so far from the border of Kansas/Nebraska.

The storms displayed rotation almost immediately, which then began producing Tornadoes across northern LA.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), two Tornadoes happened in the NWS Jackson, Mississippi (MS – branch) forecast area – association with a supercell that tracked from near Rayville, LA1.

1: north northeastward along the Boeuf River.

It’s suffice to suggest these storms also produced strong wind as they moved into southeast Arkansas (AR). Overnight, the cold front associated with the storm system began to move eastward2.

2: A quasi-linear convective system developed over the ArkLaTex and moved eastward.

Again, according to the NWS, these storms reached the western portion of the Jackson, MS (branch) forecast area after 2:30am on the 14th April. Six Tornadoes touched down during the early morning hours across southwest AR…

…Not forgetting northeast LA – due to this line of above mentioned storms. The storms carried on to produce damaging straight-line winds, knocking down trees and power lines in a number of areas.

Throughout the morning of the 14th April, the storms continued to move eastward into MS. A handful of Tornadoes developed along this line of storms…

…Including one in Flowood, one near Noxapater, one in western Lamar County and the article-related EF-2 Tornado in Meridian.

FYI: Above mentioned areas all based in MS.

Possible Tornado captured on camera yesterday in Leake County, MS

We’re still not sure!

A possible Tornado was captured on camera yesterday in Leake County, Mississippi – just north of Standing Pine to be precise – watch in the video below.

The video was captured by Travis and Zach McKee on the day this weather event occurred – 18th April.

However, family member, Marti Calhoun posted the video on her official Twitter account.

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GROUND VIEW: Morton, Mississippi Tornado captured on camera

How things change so quickly! In the footage below, watch a ground view video of the Morton, Mississippi Tornado.

The video was captured by Jerry Ray Johnson on the day the Tornado struck – 18th April. Johnson posted the video on his official Facebook account.

The town took a direct hit from the Tornado.

It’s suffice to say this Tornado caused a significant amount of damage, see in the videos below.

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Unseen video of Burnsville, MS Tornado has emerged online

Unseen video of the 23rd February Burnsville, Mississippi Tornado has emerged online – watch in the video (no sound) below.

Video credit: Dustin Knight

The video was captured by Dustin Knight on the day the Tornado struck – February 23rd. However, instead of posting it…

…Knight sent the video to us – so we could post it! What a champ.

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New video of Artesia, Columbus MS Tornado has emerged online

New video of the Artesia and Columbus, Mississippi Tornado has emerged online – watch in the video below.

2/23/2019- Artesia & Columbus MS Tornadoes from Rich Lewis on Vimeo.

The video was captured by Rich Lewis on the day the Tornado struck – 23rd February. However, the video was posted on his personal vimeo channel.

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Photos and videos of Tornado damage in AR, MS and LA

Below find photos and videos of damage caused by yesterday’s Tornado in Arkansas,
Mississippi and louisiana .


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Damaging Walnut, MS Tornado captured on camera

The damaging Walnut, Mississippi Tornado has been captured on camera – see in video/photo below.

Photo credit: Derek Smith

The photo was posted by Derek Smith around an hour ago today.

” Tornado responsible for the damage in Walnut, MS earlier. Off my chase partner Jordan Hall’s video” – Derek Smith

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Study: U.S. Tornado frequency is shifting eastward from Great Plains

Tornado Alley is still tops!

This old news however it’s still relevant news.

A study conducted – back in 2018 – found that over the past fourty years, Tornado frequency has increased over a “large swath” of the midwest and southeast and decreased in elements of the central and southern Great Plains – region traditionally associated with Tornado Alley.

The study, conducted by Northern Illinois University’s meteorology professor Victor Gensini and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory’s Harold Brooks found significant decreasing trends in frequencies of both Tornado reports and Tornado environments over elements of Texas, Oklahoma and northeast Colorado.   

Tornado Alley suffice to say is the top zone for Tornadoes in the United States, however other including the “so-called” Dixie Alley which includes much of the lower Mississippi Valley region are catching up. The researchers identified substantial increasing trends of Tornado reports and Tornado environments in portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.

“Regions in the southeast and midwest are closing the gap when it comes to the number of Tornado reports. It’s not that Texas and Oklahoma do not get Tornadoes, they’re sstill the number one location in terms of Tornado frequency. But the trend in many locations is down over the past 40 years”

Victor Gensini, Northern Illinois University’s meteorology professor

Gensini stated that the study also looked at the frequency of Tornadoes in fine-scale using two individual approaches. The researchers tracked the number of Tornado reports from 1979 to 2017, whilst investigation regional trends in the daily frequency of Tornado-environment formation over the same period – 1979 to 2017 – using an index known as the Significant Tornado Parameter (STP).

Frequently used in order to predict severe weather, the index captures the coexistence of atmospheric elements favourable for producing Tornadoes. Both the number of actual Tornado reports and the historical STP analysis showed the eastward uptick in Tornado frequency.

The trend is significant for understanding the potential for future Tornado exposure, damage and casualties. Severe thunderstorms accompanied by Tornadoes, hail and damaging winds cause an average of five point four billion dollars each year across the U.S, events with with ten billion or more in damages are no longer uncommon. Suffice to say we say that with the AL, GA Tornado outbreak this past Sunday.

Previous research has identified the southeast as particularly vulnerable to Tornadoes. Simply because of factors such as longer and larger Tornado paths, expanding population, density, mobile home density and higher night time Tornado probabilities, most Tornado deaths occur in southeast – mid-south region. There’s a theme developing here, you can attach this particular theory to the AL, GA Tornado Outbreak.

The researchers cannot say for certain whether the eastward shift in Tornado reports and environments might be caused by natural or human-induced climate change. We have the opinion that it will be more natural. We found this study fascinating, even a year after it was published. You can read it in full here.

New video of the EF-2 Burnsville, MS Tornado has come to light

Posted two days ago, this video came to our attention.

New video of the EF-2 Burnsville, Mississippi Tornado has come to light – watch in the video below.

Captured by 5stormchasers, the video was posted on their official YouTube account.

The Tornado struck this past Saturday. It’s safe to suggest the following, you get a better look at the Tornado!

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National Weather Service confirms an EF-2 Tornado struck Burnsville, MS

Before we get to the video! The National Weather Service (Memphis branch) has confirmed an EF-2 struck Burnsville, Mississippi this past Saturday.

So what does that mean? The following bullet points will explain:

• The EF-2 had an estimated wind speed of one hundred and fifteen miles per hour.
• The EF-2 had a path length of eight miles.
• The EF-2 had a width of one hundred and fifty yards.

We’re happy to report on this one, no injuries/deaths were caused. However, it did cause some significant damage.

We’ve saved the best till last! This has got to be the best video we’ve seen so far. A new video of the significant Burnsville, Mississippi has emerged online – watch below.

The video which was sent to Local 24 Memphis by Nathan Blount (who took the video) on the 24th February 2019.

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National Weather Service confirms an EF-3 Tornado struck Columbus, MS

The National Weather Service (Jackson, Mississippi branch) has confirmed an EF-3 struck Columbus, Mississippi this past Saturday.

So what does that mean? The following bullet points will explain:

• The EF-3 had an estimated wind speed of one hundred and thirty seven miles per hour.
• The EF-3 had a path length of almost ten miles – nine point six to be exact.
• The EF-3 had a width of four hundred and forty yards.

Sadly, we hate this part! The EF-3 caused one death and eleven injuries.

It’s suffice to say we’re not surprised by this rating! Why? because of the videos coming out of the area – see below.

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Man captures video of yesterday’s significant Tornader in Burnsville, MS

“Check that big son of a gun out, y’all!”

Turn the sound up and watch below as man1 captures video of yesterday’s Tornader (Tornado) in Burnsville, Mississippi.

“Y’all see that freakin’ Tornader right there?”

The video which was sent to WVTM 13 News by Shane Tucker (who took the video) on the 23rd February 2019.

We love our people down south!

More (professionally) shot video from yesterday’s Tornado in Burnsville, Mississippi has emerged overnight. Find in the related link below.

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New video of the damaging Columbus, MS Tornado has emerged online

Breathtaking

A new video of the damaging Columbus, Mississippi Tornado has emerged online – watch in video below.

The video which was sent to WTVA’s Matt Laubhan by Ken Waldrip (who took the video) on the 23rd February 2019.

The video was filmed from the Marriott in Columbus.

It has emerged overnight (UK time) that one person has died because of the Tornado – find out more from the tweet below.

UPDATE: A further video of the powerful Columbus, Mississippi Tornado has emerged online – watch video below.

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Storm chasers take direct hit from Tornado after successful intercept

PSA: DO NOT TRY THIS!!!

Just like this blog and this blog, this particular piece is not a wordy one! However, you have to read/watch it to see what not to do1

1: This goes out to our storm chasing friends!

…In the videos below, watch as the Outlaw Chasers take a direct from the Tornado that struck Burnsville, Mississippi after a successful Tornado intercept2.

2: Putting INPAR probe into Tornado.

Let us know what you thought of the events in the video above in the comments below.

UPDATE: Outlaw chaser Randy Dean Hicks has shared quite a remarkable screen grab – see below.

Photo credit: Randy Dean Hicks

UPDATE #2 – New video has come to light via AMHQ/The Weather Channel – see below.

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Powerful Tornado captured on camera in Columbus, MS

A powerful Tornado has been captured on camera in Columbus, Mississippi – watch in video below (no sound).

Whilst you don’t see an actual funnel on the video, you can tell by the ferocity of the winds that is was one damaging Tornado.  

The video was captured by Dax Clark Weather and posted today – 23rd February 2019 – on Twitter. It was the caption of this video that got us to say the least.

A number of injuries and a significant amount of damage has been caused by this Tornado. However, this is still a developing story.

We will post more video/photos of this Tornado once it becomes available.

UPDATE: Video shows significant damage caused by powerful Tornado in Columbus, Mississippi.


UPDATE #2: Video shows more significant damage caused by powerful Tornado in
Columbus, Mississippi.

UPDATE #3: More damage photos.

UPDATE #4: Formation of Tornado in video.

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