The Enigma Tornado Outbreak of 1884

Meteorologists today use a tornado intensity scale called the Enhanced Fujita Scale to assess a tornado's strength, use satellites and doppler radar to track storm cells and see tornadoes form, and and use “storm chasers” to follow the paths of tornadoes. But none of that was around in 1884. In 1884 there was nothing but the reports by survivors. Those reports suggest a tornado outbreak on a massive scale, and damage that devastated whole communities, but leave a picture of what might have been one of the worst tornado outbreaks in history that is so incomplete that the true scale of the storm is a mystery, and so is called “the enigma tornado outbreak.”

Feb 19, 2024 | 17:17 | Lance Geiger

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