E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology

E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology, Vol 7, No 4 (2012)

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Russian Tornado Outbreak of 9 June 1984

Jonathan Daniel Finch, Dan Bikos,


The tornado outbreak of 9 June 1984 is among the most important tornado events in Russia’s history because it was associated with substantial loss of life (400 deaths), and contained one of two F4 tornadoes on record for that country. Also, a 1-kg hailstone was observed, comparable to the heaviest on world record. The synoptic and mesoscale environments are examined and previous studies of this case are revisited to confirm or dispute findings. One of the major findings in dispute is the source of the low-level moist air mass, which is shown to be the Black Sea. Due to the paucity of previous studies, the authors also surveyed the typical sources of low-level moisture for tornado events in the western part of the former Soviet Union.

Despite the limited information available about the tornadoes for this case (at least relative to significant tornado events in the United States), the authors present details from eyewitness accounts, previous studies, and modernized updates from the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD). Satellite data were studied in order to augment this limited information and to refine event locations and times. A map of storm tracks is presented, along with reasons why it differs in some instances from previous studies.

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