A Retrospective of the June 1953 Flint and Worcester Tornadoes .


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A Retrospective of the June 1953 Flint and Worcester Tornadoes. How They Happened and What We Learned. Eleanor Vallier-Talbot NOAA/NWS Taunton, MA. Flint and Worcester. Set up for development of the tornadoes Synoptic and upper air features Massive damage that occurred
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A Retrospective of the June 1953 Flint and Worcester Tornadoes How They Happened and What We Learned Eleanor Vallier-Talbot NOAA/NWS Taunton, MA

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Flint and Worcester Set up for advancement of the tornadoes Synoptic and upper air highlights Massive harm that happened Photos and reports Aftermath Changes and redesigns to innovation and cautioning framework Research led with information from these tempests

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Monday, June 8, 1953 1200Z Surface Map

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Credit: NWS Detroit/Pontiac, MI

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Credit: NWS Detroit/Pontiac, MI

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Credit: NWS Detroit/Pontiac, MI

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If we had satellite and radar in 1953… Using the 21Z Mt. Clemens (60 miles SE of Flint) sounding NWS Detroit created admired recreations Satellite http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/1953beecher/flash.php?image=3D 2 KM radar http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/1953beecher/flash.php?image=rad2km

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Erie, MI Tornado and Waterspout - 30 miles over water Credit: Grazulis

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Beecher, MI – June 9, 1953 Credits: NOAA News and Flint Public Library

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Beecher and region Damage Credit: Flint Public Library

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Credit: NWS Detroit/Pontiac, MI

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Michigan/Ohio Tornadoes Large F5 tornado went through Flint and Beecher (Only F5 in SE bring down Michigan) Killed 116 individuals… last tornado to murder more than 100 individuals in U.S. history 844 harmed, happened at 830 PM EST 27 miles in length, more than 800 yards wide Three F4 tornadoes in MI/OH Temperance/Erie; Deshler/Cygnet; Kings Mill Four F3 tornadoes in MI/OH $19M harm (1953); $127M harm (2002 dollars)

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Boston Globe June 9, 1953

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The June 9 th Forecast

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Tuesday, June 9, 1953 1200Z Surface Map

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June 9, 1953 1200Z 500 mB graph

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Discussions at WBO Boston Knew history of this climate framework and saw capability of harming/tornadic improvement in Massachusetts Meteorologist Al Flahive and other staff met at 10 AM to examine say of "Tornado" for their next figure issuance Decided against it so not to be " superfluously disturbing " Opted for first-since forever extreme electrical storm gauge wording in New England issued at 1130 AM "Blustery, halfway shady, hot and moist with rainstorms, some locally serious , building up this evening" (Credit: Chittick)

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Tuesday, June 9, 1953 1830Z Surface guide

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Hand drawn guide from WB office in Worcester "Turning" wind harm and 3 creep measurement hail reported in Colrain and baseball hail in Northfield at around 345 PM EDT around 3 PM

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Taken at 455 PM EDT Lexington, MA MIT Radar Hook Echo Signature (Holden, MA) Credit: BAMS

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Hail in Rutland… Next to a light Credit: Chittick

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457 PM Credit: Grazulis

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Twin Funnels Seen on Brattle Street, Worcester at 508 PM Courtesy: Chittick Photo by: Howard Smith Worcester Telegram & Gazette

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Barograph Trace found in north (Worcester/Holden) Bottomed out at 27.54 inches at 4 PM EST (5 PM ESDT) Lowest recorded weight in eastern U.S. (N. of Florida)

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Worcester Tornado close Lake Quinsigamond, Shrewsbury 522 PM Mile 35 – Viewed toward NNE Funnel around one mile wide Photo taken by the late Henry LaPrade

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Warning Issued! Telephone call made after 5 PM from Blue Hill Observatory (Milton, MA) to WBO Boston Observer John Conover reported flotsam and jetsam dropping out of the sky "… It\'s originating from incredible statures, shingles, little branches, paper… sheets a few feet long… " I\'m perplexed there\'s been an awful tornado some place ." Forecaster Drebert concurred, issued first historically speaking tornado cautioning in New England! "… Caution exhorted on extreme electrical storms with secluded tornado action in the Boston territory somewhere around 6 and 8 PM tonight." Sent through print at 545 PM !! (Credit: Chittick)

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Assumption College Before…

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and After… Credit: Chittick

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Uncantena Avenue, off Clark Street in the upper Burncoat zone Credit: Chittick

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Credit: Chittick

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Sheet metal wrapped around debarked trees… Corner of Holden St. also, Brentwood Dr., Holden, MA

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Overshooting top from parent electrical storm as it moved away… Estimated best more than 70,000 feet! (B. Vonnegut & A. Bemis) Credit: Chittick

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F3 Tornado in Exeter at around 520 PM Hand drawn tracks of three tornadoes that influenced New England on June 9, 1953 from the Worcester Weather Bureau office F3 Tornado from Sutton to northern Mansfield

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Official Tracks of Massachusetts Tornadoes – June 9, 1953 Credit: BAMS

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Worcester\'s Final Statistics F4 harm On ground 84 minutes and 46 miles, up to one mile wide 94 individuals killed, 1300 harmed (#4 in U.S.) 4000 structures harmed or devastated Debris found in the Boston zone and on Cape Cod Frozen sleeping cushion found in Massachusetts Bay close Weymouth Books and dress found at Blue Hill and on external Cape Cod (Provincetown/Chatham/Eastham <110 miles away>) Reports of hail from Portland-Bangor-Eastport, ME 1/4 to 3/4 crawl in squall line, no tornadoes reported $52.1M harm (1953 dollars); $1.14B (1997 dollars <adjusted for riches & inflation>)

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Aftermath Recently shaped Weather Bureau Severe Weather Unit (SWU) in mid 1952 (SPC history) Did well in determining the Iowa and Flint tornadoes, yet "got unsuspecting" New England tornadoes on June 9, particularly the seriousness of the Worcester storm Renamed Severe Local Storms Warning Center (SELS) on June 17, 1953 Reorganized to a limited extent as a result of these tempests and Waco, TX in May (114 dead) One forecaster and SELS manager asked for exchange out of unit by end of 1953 Moved to Kansas City from Washington in 1954 Worcester Rating re-appraisal Blue lace board of trustees held in summer 2005 to conceivably re-rate tornado to a F5 Only tempest other than Hurricane Andrew this was accomplished for

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Aftermath Eventual sending of climate radar across the nation Research radar at MIT saw Worcester tornado, just the fourth tornado seen on radar around then Warning framework Noted that few notices were gotten by different organizations in focal Massachusetts, yet never passed on to different groups Eventual advancement of caution framework for crisis administration and residents Improvement of radio and TV correspondences

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Research Cloud zap of extreme electrical storms Paper in Atmospheric Research in 1999 to pay tribute to Bernard Vonnegut (Williams, et al) Vonnegut explored extreme tempests, lightning and tornadic action after his involvement with Worcester tornado Vonnegut and Bemus noted from 600-1200 flashes for every moment in the Worcester storm Only visual perception of stroke rate in evening tornadic supercell Lightning from the tempest could be seen seaward until midnight June 10 Debris aftermath from tornadic rainstorms Former Tornado Debris Project out of Oklahoma University Used Worcester reports in their memorable research for BAMS article in 1995 (J. Snow, et al)

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Credits and References Significant Tornadoes 1680 – 1991 by Thomas P. Grazulis What Is So Rare as a Day in June: Worcester Tornado June 9, 1953 (Multimedia presentation) by William Chittick Tornado! 84 Minutes, 94 Lives by John O\'Toole "The Squall Line and Massachusetts Tornadoes of June 9, 1953," Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), Vol. 36 No. 3, March 1955, pp. 109-122. NOAA Central Library Data Imaging Project – U.S. Every day Weather Maps (on the web)

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Credits and References Plymouth State College WXP NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Map Generator (on the web) Boston Globe Worcester Telegram and Gazette NWS Taunton recorded information NWS Detroit/Pontiac, MI site http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/1953beecher/NOAA News Online, May 5, 2003 article Flint, MI, Public Library http://www.flint.lib.mi.us/exhibition/beechertornado/index.shtml

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