F-5 Tornadoes: Ranking the Highest of the High

Violent Oklahoma Tornado. Courtesy of Dick McGowan
I wish to direct your attention to a fascinating list ranking the intensity of the 59 tornadoes since 1950 that have been rated F-5. You can access the article, here.
The reasoning is very sound and the timing is excellent. Yesterday was the anniversary of the Wichita-Andover Tornado (5th strongest tornado since 1950). Today is the 9th anniversary of two of the top three.
  • The #3-ranked tornado by intensity was the Hackleburg, Alabama, Tornado which occurred on this date in 2011.
  • #2 was the Jarrell, Texas, tornado of 1997.
  • #1 was the incredible Smithville, Mississippi, tornado of this date in 2011. 
Four tornadoes that have played a role in my life (Ruskin Heights, Udall, Andover, and Greensburg) are all ranked as average or stronger than average F-5's. You can read more about those in my book, Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather

The Joplin Tornado is ranked 21st and it is the topic of my second book, When the Sirens Were Silent

The 2020 tornado season has, tragically, been more active than usual. We have already had 75 deaths. As to the rest of the 2020 tornado season, there are solid reasons to believe that, starting next week, the above average trend will resume and will likely continue through the rest of May. Stay prepared. 


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