Recalling the Classic May Tornado Outbreak of 1896 (credit: This Day in Weather History)
DISCUSSION: As we go all the way back to May 17th, 1896, an estimated F5 tornado tracked 100 miles through northeastern Kansas and extreme southeastern Nebraska. Seneca, Oneida, Sabetha, and Reserve, Kansas sustained severe damage. While passing through Reserve, the tornado was 2 miles wide. This goes without saying that a tornado of that size and intensity likely had a tremendous impact on the region both in terms of infrastructural damage as well as the overall loss of life (both human and animals). In the image attached above, you can see the 500-mb geopotential height pattern which was observed at that time which greatly helped to facilitate the tornado outbreak discussed above. The 500-mb geopotential height pattern indicated the presence of a strong deep layer temperature contrast which are often associated with tornado outbreaks since temperature outbreaks are synonymous with forntal boundaries of various types which are often associated various tornado threats as well. Collectively, 25 people were killed, and 200 were injured. U.S. Tornadoes has a great post the tornadoes during the second half of May in 1896. To learn more about this particular tornado outbreak, feel free to click on the following link.
To learn more about other past historic weather events from around the world, be sure to click here!
©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz
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