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Thread: Ivanovo Tornado Outbreak 6/9/1984

  1. #1

    Default Ivanovo Tornado Outbreak 6/9/1984

    I've long had an interest in tornadoes, and I've been particularly intrigued by tornado outbreaks outside of the US. The Ivanovo outbreak has always been of interest to me, if only because so little information seemed available on it, and it seemed particularly violent. For those who don't know the outbreak killed close to 400 people (estimated) in the regions north of Moscow.

    While bored on the internet the other day, however, I came across an excellent paper summarizing the outbreak from the KÚraunos Observatoire Franšais des Tornades et des Orages Violents. The paper can be found as a PDF here.

    The first part of the paper, detailing the strength of the tornadoes is in French, so I've taken the liberty of doing some translation/paraphrasing below. However, the section detailing the meteorological conditions present on that day (starts on page 7) is in English. I hope you all find this as interesting as I do!

    Tornado Outbreak in Russia on June 9th, 1984:


    On June 9th, 1983, a tornadic event of unusual violence struck the western part of Russia. Meteorological conditions were exceptionally primed for tornadoes as had not been seen in many years. These tornadoes killed 400 people and injured 213 others. In 1987 Russian scientists published their research on this event. However there has been confusion in identifying the different tornados and understanding their Fujita classifications. For example the tornado which struck the city of Ivanovo was officially recorded as an F4 by the Russian Federation. Nevertheless, after re-examining the descriptions of the damage (cars thrown and completely crushed, great trees uprooted and hurled several kilometers, reinforced concrete buildings and some 1180 homes pulverized) it is apparent the storm had the characteristics of an F5. This information compliments the TORRO classification of the Ivanovo tornado as a F5/T10. The Kostroma tornado might also be underestimated: it was classified officially as an F4, but according to certain evidents it might have been an F5 (trees uprooted and thrown long distances, a crane weighing 350 tons thrown nearby, a water tower weighing many tons thrown 1 km away); it needs to be confirmed.

    The area affected by the tornadoes of June 9th, 1984 covered an area of 400,000 square kilometers. The lack of information makes one think that perhaps not all the tornadoes were recorded. This haziness of information on tornadoes of such terrible magnitude that killed and injured so many resembles
    the Tri-State Tornado of March 18th, 1925.


    ---list of tornadoes--

    This event is certainly remarkable for the path length of the storms compared to other such phenomena. The exceptional path lengths makes one think of the Super Outbreak of April 3rd and 4th, 1974 in the US, studied by Mr. Fujita. According to him, the long damage paths could come from a subtle link between the tornados and the violent phenomenon known as the downburst. In effect, if the downburst is composed of warm and humid air it can provide energy to the tornado and lower atmosphere of the powerful supercell. These cases are rare because the majority of descending currents consist of cold air and hamper the development of rotating columns of air. (I had difficulty with this section, as I've never heard this theory regarding downbursts before)


    ----------- ----------

    *Each description has at the start the ongoing weather when the tornado occured - I believe all are listed as "hailstorm" (orage de grele), the landscape of the area, followed by the path length, path width, and affected communities. I'm going to only translate the descriptions below - the upper part should be easy to figure out.

    Ivanovo tornado

    The Ivanovo tornado was the most destructive. It was on the ground for 160 km, travelling SSW to NNE with a slight change in direction north of Ivanovo to the direction of the Volga. Cars were thrown and completely destroyed, great trees were uprooted and carried several kilometers and reinforced concrete buildings were pulverized and 1180 homes were completely destroyed. 75 people were killed in Ivanovo and 20 others were killed in Yuchnyy. Approximately 130 people were injured in Yuchnyy.


    Tornado in Kostroma

    This tornado touched down near Kostroma and Balino in Yaroslavl Oblast (region). Trees were thrown long distances, parts of bridges were destroyed, buildings constructed of steel and concrete were severely damanged (or destroyed). A crane weighing 350 tons was thrown down. Water towns weighing many tons were thrown a kilometer.

    Tornado in Golubkovo

    In the region of Yaroslavl Oblast. Little information detailing the damage is actually available. The tornado struck the village of Gulubkovo around 4 PM Moscow Standard Time (1200 UTC)

  2. #2
    Member Dann Cianca's Avatar
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    I spoke with a Russian friend who confided in me:


    "The most famous tornado outbreak in Russia is dated 1984/06/09. A lot of people died that day. There were several tornadoes in western Russia on June 9 1984, but the most deadliest one hit Ivanovo and Balino. Unfortunately, it's hard to find information about this event because it happened in time of USSR. All the bad news were dissembled or minimized. I heard that over 400 were killed, that actually means over 700, I guess, or even more (sorry for my english)." - Ivan Shkalikov
    Dann Cianca
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    Site Owner Tim Vasquez's Avatar
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    Here are satellite images for this storm, which remains as the worst tornado outbreak in modern Russian history.






  4. #4
    Member Dann Cianca's Avatar
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    Thanks for adding those, Tim. You think there was some vorticity that day?
    Dann Cianca
    The Weather BlogThe Facebook
    If it's got a core, yo' I'll punch it, check out the hook as the meso revolves it.

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