Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Wichita, KS

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NOUS43 KICT 311100

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Wichita KS
600 AM CDT Tue May 31 2016


In 1985, an outbreak of 41 tornadoes raked the Lower
Great Lakes, from Northeast Ohio to extreme southern
Ontario, Canada.  Eight were violent, with one achieving
F5 intensity.  Three of the tornadoes deserve special
attention.  One violent F4 tornado possessed a track 69
miles long and averaged 1 1/2 miles wide as it roared
through Central Pennsylvania.  At one point, the vortex
reached 2.2 miles wide! As it tore through a state
forest, it obliterated around 90,000 trees.  It was very
fortunate that no towns were hit.  An F5 tornado with a
track 47 miles long and around one half mile wide tore
through extreme Northeast Ohio and Northwest
Pennsylvania.  It killed 18 and injured around 310.
Although Northeast Ohio bore the brunt of the tornado`s
wrath where it tracked 33 miles and caused around $65
million damage, it nearly wiped Wheatland Pennsylvania
off the map.  It is the only F5 tornado to have struck
the Keystone State.  In Canada, one F4 tornado raced 67
miles and was around 1 mile wide.  It passed about 25
miles northwest of Toronto and killed 4 people.  In all,
76 people were killed and around 890 injured during this
outbreak.  In 1941, thunderstorms swamped Burlington
Kansas with 12.59 inches of rain.  This had established a
24 hour Kansas State rainfall record until June 22, 1967
when 13.53 inches swamped a volunteer weather station 3
miles west southwest of Woodruff in Phillips County.


In 2015, a nasty May ended across the Southern Plains as
severe thunderstorms producing hail that reached
grapefruit-sized, destructive winds that reached close to
100 mph, numerous tornadoes, and torrential rains invaded
these areas repeatedly.  Most of Southern Oklahoma was
overwhelmed by rainfalls from 15 to 25 inches that May as
well as much of North Texas.  Durant was inundated by
24.42 inches which nearly doubled the May record of 12.57
inches set in 1982.  Marietta`s May total of 23.44 inches
doubled the record of 11.56 inches set in 1950, while
monthly totals across Oklahoma City ranged from 19.48 to
23.10 inches in Norman.  No doubt, with such phenomenal
rainfall, numerous rivers rose to the occasion with
record stages reached at several locations.  The most
dramatic rises occurred in Central Texas on the 23rd and
24th where the Blanco River had soared to a record 40.21
feet at Wimberley, located 40 miles southwest of Austin,
when the gauge was lost.  A 31 foot rise occurred in 2
1/2 hours! The flash flooding in Wimberley was no doubt
catastrophic.  Around 300 houses were damaged or
destroyed and despite a widespread rescue effort, several
people drowned.  The Norman Oklahoma Forecast Office
issued 3 Flash Flood Emergencies.  Parts of I-35 had to
be barricaded.Initial reports are that 108 tornadoes
struck Texas and Oklahoma.  The most significant was the
massive vortex that struck Van Texas, located about 50
miles east of Dallas, where 2 were killed, dozens
injured, and around 30 percent of the town demolished on
the evening of May 10th.  Several houses vanished.

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