2.1 Verifying the John P. Finley 19th Century Historical Tornado Database

Monday, 8 January 2018: 10:30 AM
Room 2 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Timothy W. Troutman, NOAA/NWSFO, Riverton, WY
Manuscript (139.5 kB)

John P. Finley developed the nation’s first tornado database and severe storm verification network during the late 19th century while serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Finley’s objective was to document all known and suspected tornado events up to the late 1880s. With the recent development of microfilm and digitized data available via the Internet, the objective of this project was to improve upon the previous verification of Finley’s 19th century state tornado databases. Examples of Finley’s state tornado charts from the period of the late 1700s to late 1880s are presented. Finley’s data is then verified against historical newspapers from the chroniclingamerica.com and geneaologybank.com databases. New statistical tornado event analyses verification of the Finley state tornado charts are presented along with examples of newly discovered un-documented tornado events.
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