Tornadoes of 1999

This page documents the tornadoes and tornado outbreaks of 1999, primarily (but not entirely) in the United States. Most tornadoes form in the U.S., although some events may take place internationally, particularly in parts of neighboring southern Canada during the Northern Hemisphere's summer season, as well as Europe. One particular event, the Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma F5 tornado, produced the highest wind speed ever recorded on Earth, which was 301 ± 20 mph (484 ± 32 km/h).

Tornadoes of 1999
1999 United States tornado tracks.png
Map of all tornadoes in the United States during 1999
TimespanJanuary–December 1999
Maximum rated tornadoF5 tornado
Tornadoes in U.S.1,339[1]
Damage (U.S.)$2 billion
Fatalities (U.S.)94[2]
Fatalities (worldwide)>137

StatisticsEdit

United StatesEdit

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 830 323 122 51 12 1 1339

During 1999, a total of 1,339 tornadoes touched down across the United States, ranking it as the eighth-most active year since reliable records began to be kept in 1950;[3] at the time, 1999 was the fourth-most active year on record.[4] The year began with the most active January on record, featuring 216 tornadoes.[4] Culminating with the largest outbreak in the month, with over 100 tornadoes touching down on January 21 and 22 (surpassing the previous daily record of 39 on January 10, 1975), many records were broken.[4][5] Due in large part to this outbreak, Arkansas saw more tornadoes in 1999 than any other year, with 107 recorded, and its most active January. The state also broke the record for most tornadoes in January of any state.[5]

EuropeEdit

The European Severe Storms Laboratory maintains a database of all severe weather events across the continent. The vast majority of tornadoes go unrated due to a lack of surveys; however, some nations, such as France, provide detailed reports on these events. Of the 87 reported tornadoes during 1999, 45 were rated.[6]

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
42 4 24 14 3 0 0 87

JanuaryEdit

Exceptional tornado activity took place across the United States in January, with 216 tornadoes touching down, more than ten times the average of 20. This set the record for most tornadoes recorded in the month, and more than quadrupled the previous record of 52 set in 1975.[4][7] The extreme activity during the month was attributed to an unusually spring-like setup, with a warm, moist air mass from the Gulf of Mexico flowing northward into an area with strong upper-level westerlies. The synoptic set up of these factors was typical of March or April rather than mid-winter. January 1999 was the most active month for tornado activity in meteorological winter until it was later surpassed by December 2021, which had a total of 222 tornadoes.[4]

January 1–3Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 19 17 10 1 0 0
 
Map of tornadoes across Southeast Texas and southern Louisiana from January 1–2

On January 1, a strong upper-level low moved over Southeast Texas, while an accompanying surface low formed over North Texas. A cold front extended southward from this surface low into the Gulf of Mexico. Ahead of this front, a strong low level jet formed, bringing a surge of warm, moist air from the Gulf northward. The combination of these factors resulted in an unstable environment favoring the development of rotating supercell thunderstorms.[8]

January 17–18Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 9 9 3 2 1 0

This was the second of three major tornado outbreaks in January 1999. Two strong to violent tornadoes hit the Jackson, Tennessee areas. Eight people were killed in the outbreaks.

January 18 (South Africa)Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 0 0 0 0 1 0

On January 18, a violent F4 tornado struck Mount Ayliff and Tabankulu in Eastern Cape, South Africa. The majority of the towns were destroyed, with 95 percent of residents left homeless. Numerous vehicles were lofted significant distances by the storm, with one traveling 500 m (1,600 ft).[9] The deadliest tornado on record in South Africa, 25 people were killed and approximately 500 others were injured.[10]

January 21–23Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 68 36 13 9 1 0

January 21 saw 87 tornadoes touch down, making it the most active tornado day ever recorded in that month. In all, 127 tornadoes touched down and 9 people were killed.[4]

FebruaryEdit

There were 22 tornadoes confirmed in the US in the month of February.

February 13Edit

One person was killed and another was injured when a tornado struck Serik, Turkey.[6]

MarchEdit

There were 56 tornadoes confirmed in the US in the month of March.

AprilEdit

There were 177 tornadoes confirmed in the US in the month of April.

April 2–3Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 7 6 0 3 1 0

A series of tornado touchdowns struck from Kansas to Louisiana at the beginning of April. The most powerful tornado occurred in Caddo Parish and Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana where an F4 tornado killed 7 people and injured 107 others. The final outbreak tally was 17 tornadoes.

April 8–9Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 14 25 8 4 3 0

A widespread tornado outbreak affected the United States in early April 1999. It is best known for producing an F4 that killed four people in the Blue Ash and Montgomery, Ohio, areas.

MayEdit

There were 310 confirmed tornadoes in the US in the month of May.

May 2–8Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 73 44 20 10 4 1

A massive tornado outbreak first struck the Southern Plains on May 2–4. The worst tornado was an extremely violent F5 tornado that tore through the Southern Oklahoma City metro area, killing 36. It produced a wind gust of 301 mph, the highest winds ever recorded on Earth.[4] The outbreak then produced at least seven tornadoes in Tennessee on May 5. One F4 tornado struck Linden in Perry County, killing three people, while an F2 tornado struck Gallatin in Sumner County injuring 17.[11]

May 9–12Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 29 3 0 1 1 0

A slow-moving cold front produced several days of severe weather and tornadoes across the Central U.S.[12] From May 9 to 10, mostly weak tornadoes touched down from South Dakota to Texas.[13] The most notable tornadoes occurred on May 11 as multiple supercells developed along the cold front in Oklahoma and Texas. Shortly after 6:00 p.m. CDT (2300 UTC), a 0.75 mi (1.21 km) wide multiple-vortex tornado struck Mason County, Texas. Remaining on the ground for 7 mi (11 km), the F4 tornado leveled two homes and scattered debris over great distances. In one of the homes, six people sought refuge in a car within their garage; debris fell on the car, killing one and injuring the other five. A pick-up truck was torn apart and pieces of it were found 0.75 mi (1.21 km) away. 16 other homes were damaged by the tornado in addition to numerous barns and outbuildings. A large section of asphalt was ripped out by the tornado as well.[14] A few hours later, an F3 tornado touched down in Gillespie County, Texas. The tornado damaged or destroyed 70 structures and tossed vehicles up to 100 yards (91 m). Damage from the storm reached $1 million.[15] On May 12, activity was again limited to a few weak tornadoes.[13]

May 15–17Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 22 7 2 2 0 0

On May 15, some tornadoes were reported including one near Stockton, Kansas.[16]

The next day, several tornadoes touched down in Iowa. Two F3 tornadoes struck Harrison County, one of which struck a bus, killing two people on board and injuring several others.[17][18]

May 15 (China)Edit

On May 15, a tornado struck rural areas of Suixi County, Guangdong, China, killing 13 people and causing extensive damage.[19] The majority of damage occurred in Qinge Village. Nine people were killed in the town while four others later died of their injuries.[20] A total of 178 homes were destroyed while 489 more were damaged. An additional 51 people were injured, 35 seriously, and damage was estimated at $414 million.[19]

May 30–June 1Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 32 16 6 5 0 0

An outbreak produced 59 tornadoes across the Great Plains. On May 31, two significant tornadoes, rated F2 and F3, struck Lincoln County, Colorado, while a photogenic tornado formed over Sitka, Kansas.[21][22] More intense tornadic activity occurred on June 1. An F3 tornado killed two people in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, while another person was killed by an F3 tornado in Zanesville, Illinois.[23]

JuneEdit

There were 289 tornadoes confirmed in the US in the month of June.

June 3–5Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 50 6 6 2 0 0

Tornadoes touched down across portions of the Great Plains on June 3. Two F3 tornadoes struck near Almena, Kansas and Elyria, Nebraska, while two F2 tornadoes struck near Comstock, Nebraska and southeast of Steele, North Dakota.[24] More tornadoes, mostly rated F0, touched down on June 4, concentrating in two clusters; one in South Dakota and Nebraska and the other in Illinois. However, an F2 tornado did strike Oglala, South Dakota, killing one person.[25] On June 5, a high risk for severe weather was issued for parts of South Dakota and Nebraska by the Storm Prediction Center as another violent tornado outbreak was expected. 21 tornadoes did touchdown that day, but they were all weak.[4][26][27]

June 4 (Italy)Edit

A supercell produced a tornado around San Quirino, Italy, causing damage to houses, sheds, and trees along a path width of about 300 m and length of less than 10 km.[28]

JulyEdit

There were 102 tornadoes confirmed in the US in the month of July.

AugustEdit

There were 79 tornadoes confirmed in the US in the month of August.

August 11–13Edit

 
The tornado as it moved through Salt Lake City
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 6 5 1 0 0 0

On August 11, a cold upper-level trough moved into Utah. By the afternoon, a frontal boundary or convergence zone developed over the state. With sufficient wind shear and instability, thunderstorms that developed along this boundary became severe. One particular storm over the Salt Lake Valley grew to 41,000 ft (12 km) and produced a strong tornado that struck Salt Lake City.[29] Touching down at 12:41 p.m. MDT (1841 UTC), the tornado quickly intensified as it moved through the metropolitan area for 4.3 mi (6.9 km). The F2 tornado damaged or destroyed 300 structures, including the Delta Center and the city's capitol building. Overall, one person was killed, 80 were injured, and losses amounted to $170 million,[30] making it the most destructive tornado in the state's history. Attaining a maximum width of 150 yd (140 m), this tornado ranked as the largest on record in Utah.[29][30] Four weaker tornadoes touched down across South Dakota and Wyoming on August 12. The following two days featured seven additional tornadoes, none of which exceeded F1 intensity.[31] Alongside the tornadoes, straight-line winds caused extensive damage in many states from August 11–13.[32] In Pitkin County, Colorado, one storm produced winds up to 115 mph (185 km/h), downing hundreds of trees over a 3-square-mile (7.8 km2) area.[33] These winds resulted in one fatality and $56.9 million in damage, the majority coming from crop damage.[32]

August 14–15Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 12 0 3 0 0 0

On August 14, two tornadoes hit the small town of Lewistown, Montana. The first tornado, an F2, was on the ground for less than a mile. The second tornado's path is unknown. Reports said 150 homes were damaged, and hail affected almost everyone in the town. There were no fatalities and only one minor injury.

August 29 (South Africa)Edit

An F1 tornado struck Cape Flats, South Africa. Causing damage along a path at least 1 mi (1.6 km) long and 1,000 yd (910 m) wide, it moved through the impoverished neighborhood of Manenberg.[34] At least four people were killed, while a fifth died from a heart attack, and 220 were injured.[34][35] Approximately 5,000 people were left homeless.[35]

SeptemberEdit

There were 56 tornadoes confirmed in the US in the month of September.

September 15Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 13 2 2 0 0 0

As Hurricane Floyd neared landfall in North Carolina, its outer bands spawned 17 tornadoes across the state. The majority were weak, though two produced F2 damage.[36]

September 24 (Japan)Edit

A tornado struck the city of Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan, destroying three homes and damaging many others. A total of 262 people sustained minor injuries, mainly school children, from shattered glass.[37]

OctoberEdit

There were 17 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in the month of October.

October 13Edit

A squall line originating in Illinois produced an F3 tornado in Pickaway County, Ohio, that destroyed several homes and injured six people. The storm was responsible for $4 million in damage.[38]

October 15Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 3 1 0 0 0 0

As Hurricane Irene neared landfall in Florida, it spawned four weak tornadoes across the state.

October 21 (South Africa)Edit

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 0 1 0 1 0 0

A severe thunderstorm developed about 50 km (31 mi) south of Johannesburg, South Africa. Lasting about an hour and a half, the storm produced two tornadoes, rated F3 and F1, along its path. The first tornado was on the ground for roughly 100 km (62 mi) and had a peak width of 250 m (270 yd). The tornado mostly remained over open areas, though significant damage occurred in Heidelberg, Gauteng. There, 40 people sustained injuries and 400 structures were damaged. At an unknown point along the path, the tornado sucked up nearly all the water in a large shallow dam and deposited it on nearby hills.[39]

NovemberEdit

There were 7 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in November.

November 26Edit

A cold front moved into an unseasonably warm air mass over Pennsylvania, resulting in the formation of a tornado in Chester County. Rated high-end F1, the tornado destroyed 6 structures and damaged 26 more, leaving $3 million in losses; 12 people were injured.[40]

DecemberEdit

There were 15 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in December.

December 2–4Edit

Almost all of the tornadoes in December touched down between December 2 and 4. An F2 tornado in Oklahoma was on the ground for 12 mi (19 km),[41] while an F1 tornado in Texas killed two people when it destroyed a mobile home.[42]

December 9Edit

An isolated F3 tornado touched down in Yazoo County, Mississippi, destroying two mobile homes and downing thousands of trees.[43]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "U.S. Annual Tornado Maps (1952 - 2011): 1999 Tornadoes". Storm Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "Annual U.S. Killer Tornado Statistics". Storm Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Annual Tornado Maps". Storm Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Keli Tarp (December 27, 1999). "1999 tornado summary". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Making Tornado History in 1999". National Weather Service Office in Little Rock, Arkansas. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. May 14, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "European Severe Weather Database". European Severe Storms Laboratory. 2013. Archived from the original on January 3, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  7. ^ Keli Tarp (February 9, 1999). "January tornado number breaks national records". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  8. ^ "January 1-2, 1999 Historic Tornado Outbreak". National Weather Service Office in Lake Charles, Louisiana. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. January 10, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  9. ^ E de Coning & B. F. Adam (July 3, 2000). "The tornadic thunderstorm events during the 1998–1999 South African summer" (PDF). Water South Africa. 26 (3): 369–374. ISSN 0378-4738. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  10. ^ Charlie Porteous (October 3, 2011). "Tornadoes kill two, destroy more than 1,000 homes". The South African. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  11. ^ US Department of Commerce, NOAA. "May 5, 1999 Tornado Outbreak". www.weather.gov.
  12. ^ "Oklahoma Event Report: Tornado". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Storm Events Database: May 9–12, 1999 Tornadoes". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  14. ^ "Texas Event Report: Tornado". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  15. ^ "Texas Event Report: Tornado". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  16. ^ "Bob Conzemius Weather - Stockton, KS Tornado". tornadobob.com. Retrieved 2020-10-26.[dead link]
  17. ^ Narramore, Jen. "Harrison County, IA F3 Tornadoes – May 16, 1999 – Tornado Talk". Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  18. ^ "May 16, 99 Logan IA Tornado event:". stormandsky.com. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  19. ^ a b "The World: Twister kills 13 in southern China". Eugene Register-Guard. Beijing, China. May 17, 1999. p. 2A. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  20. ^ "China: tornado kills 13, injures 51 in Guangdong Province". Beijing, China. Xinhua News Agency. May 16, 1999. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  21. ^ "Bob Conzemius Weather - Sitka, KS Tornado". tornadobob.com. Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  22. ^ Lietz, Joshua. "Tornadoes on May 30, 1999". Tornado History Project. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  23. ^ Lietz, Joshua. "Tornadoes on June 1, 1999". Tornado History Project. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  24. ^ Lietz, Joshua. "Tornadoes on June 3, 1999". Tornado History Project. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  25. ^ Lietz, Joshua. "Tornadoes on June 4, 1999". Tornado History Project. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  26. ^ "June 5, 1999 - Bassett, Nebraska". tornadobob.com. Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  27. ^ "Sky Diary's storm gallery: 1999". skydiary.com. Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  28. ^ Bechini, Renzo; D. Giaiotti; A. Manzato; F. Stel; S. Micheletti (Jan 2001). "The June 4th 1999 severe weather episode in San Quirino, Italy: a tornado event?". Atmos. Res. 56 (1–4): 213–32. Bibcode:2001AtmRe..56..213B. doi:10.1016/S0169-8095(00)00074-0.
  29. ^ a b Clayton Brough; Dan Brown; David James; Dan Pope & Steve Summy (August 12, 2012). "Utah's Tornadoes & Waterspouts - 1847 to the Present". National Weather Service Office in Salt Lake City, Utah. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  30. ^ a b "Utah Event Report: Tornado". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  31. ^ "Storm Events Database: August 11–13, 1999 Tornadoes". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  32. ^ a b "Storm Events Database: August 11–13, 1999 Thunderstorm Wind". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  33. ^ "Colorado Event Report: Thunderstorm Wind". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  34. ^ a b "Cape Town tornado kills three". British Broadcasting Company. August 29, 1999. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  35. ^ a b "Storm kills 4, injures hundreds in South Africa". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Associated Press. August 30, 1999. p. 6A. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  36. ^ "Storm Events Database: September 15 Tornadoes". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  37. ^ "Typhoon Bart kills 26 in Japan". The Daily Gazette. Tokyo, Japan. Associated Press. September 25, 1999. p. A8. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  38. ^ "Ohio Event Report: Tornado". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  39. ^ E. de Coning; B. F. Adam; A. M. Goliger & T. van Wyk (1999). "An F3 tornado in Heidelberg, South Africa on 21 October 1999". Weather Forecasting Research Group, CSIR Building and Construction Technology. National Weather Association. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  40. ^ "Pennsylvania Event Report: Tornado". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  41. ^ "Storm Events Database: December 1999 Tornadoes". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  42. ^ "Texas Event Report: Tornado". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  43. ^ "Mississippi Event Report: Tornado". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.

External linksEdit