Historical Weather Images


Researching past tornado events and just plain luck has allowed Scott Blair and I to find some remarkable weather images from the past. Here, I've decided to post some of those images so that others may also partake in viewing them. Enjoy!!


1. 4/2/58 Wichita Falls Tornado This F-3 rated tornado tore through Wichita Falls, TX. on April 2, 1958. Notice the debris cloud, clear slot caused by the RFD, and the older vehicles. Tornado stats-Path Length: 16 miles; Width: 1000 yards, Killed: 1, Injured: 14, Damage: $500K. The photo was taken by Eldon Manes, and his son, Joel Manes, graciously provided the original slide.

2. 4/3/84 Jonesboro Meso Ray Raines took many tornado related photos during his life, and this is the first of several that will appear on this page. In this photo, Raines happened to be in perfect position to capture some beautiful storm structure in Jonesboro, AR. on April 3, 1984. Main features noticeable in this photo include a well organized wall cloud with an RFD on the extreme left of the photo, an inflow tail leading into the updraft base in the center of the photo and extending to the right, and the precipitation shaft is on the extreme right. Original slide provided by the University of Central Arkansas Archives.

3. 4/3/84 Jonesboro Tornado This second photo of the Jonesboro supercell shows classic structure as an F-3 rated tornado is being produced by a highly organized mesocyclone with developing inflow tail. Also, well-defined striations are noticeable in the updraft base, and the precip. shaft is located on the extreme right. Tornado stats-Path Length: 49 miles; Width: 600 yards; Killed: 0; Injured: 2; Damage: $50 million. Photo by Ray Raines. Original slide provided by the University of Central Arkansas Archives.

4. Damage from 3/21/52 Judsonia Tornado One of the many dramatic photos that Raines took of the damage caused by the devastating F-4 rated tornado that ripped through Judsonia, AR. on March 21, 1952 which killed 50 and injured 325. Original slide provided by the University of Central Arkansas Archives.

5. Damage from 3/21/52 Judsonia Tornado Another view of the Judsonia city limit sign along with damage from the March 21, 1952 tornado. A cemetery was used as the backdrop for the photo. Photo by Raines. Original slide provided by the University of Central Arkansas Archives.

6. Couple in Storm Shelter Photo of a couple in the storm cellar they took shelter in during the March 21, 1952 Judsonia tornado. Photo by Raines. Original slide provided by the University of Central Arkansas Archives.

7. Surface Map from 3/21/52 (Large file: 185K) Weather map showing the surface setup for the March 21, 1952 Arkansas tornado outbreak. Notice the striking similarity to the 12z surface map from 1/21/99 which is the next featured image. Originally published in the March 22, 1952 edition of the "New York Times".

8. Surface Map from 1/21/99 (Large file: 155K) The 12z surface setup from January 21, 1999 on which 56 tornadoes were confirmed to have occurred in Arkansas. On this record-setting day, Arkansas became the record holder for the most tornadoes in any state on any day during January and the most tornadoes in any state in the month of January. Overall, one hundred-seventeen tornadoes were confirmed within a six state area which also broke the record for the most tornadoes on one day in January. Courtesy of Unisys' image archive.

For more photos of the March 21, 1952 Judsonia tornado damage, check out James Skipper's Judsonia tornado page.

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