Historical Tornadoes



1800's | 1900 - 1920 | 1921 - 1940 | 1941 - 1960 | 1961 - 1980 | 1981 - 2000 | Tornado Outbreaks


May 7, 1840 The Great Natchez Tornado
  • Natchez, MS
  • 317 killed
  • 109 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards wide and 35 miles long
  • $1,260,000
  • This tornado went through the center of of Natchez. The tornado damage path was a miles wide in the city. This occurred in pre-Civil War Natchez, and at that time it was a very important port on the Mississippi River. Most of the deaths, 269 of them, occurred on the water.
  • June 3, 1860
  • Comanche, IA
  • 92 killed
  • 200 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards wide and 80 miles long
  • May 30, 1879 Irving, KS Tornado
  • Riley, Marshall, and Nemaha Counties, KS, and Pawnee and Richardson Counties, NE
  • F4
  • 18 killed
  • 60 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 100 miles long
  • see the article "The Irving Tornado"
  • April 18, 1880 Marshfield Tornado
  • Marshfield, MO
  • F4
  • 99 killed
  • 200 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 64 miles long
  • About 10 percent of the residents of Marshfield were killed and all but 15 buildings were destroyed.
  • see "Eyewitness Account: The Tornado of 1880 that Destroyed Marshfield"
  • March 27, 1890 Louisville Tornado
  • Louisville, KY
  • F4
  • 76 killed
  • 200 injured
  • damage path 300 yards wide and 15 miles long
  • $3,000,000
  • At least 44 deaths occurred when the Falls City Hall, packed with over 200 people, collapsed. This is one of the highest tornado death totals in a single building in U.S. history.
  • see damage pictures of the Louisville Tornado
  • July 6, 1893
  • Pomeroy, IA
  • F5
  • 71 killed
  • 200 injured
  • damage path 500 yards and 55 miles long
  • $400,000
  • 80 percent of the homes in Pomeroy were destroyed.
  • see the July 13, 1893 newspaper article "Sad Havoc: Pomeroy is Only a Pile of Ruins"
  • May 15, 1896
  • Sherman, TX
  • F5
  • 73 killed
  • 200 injured
  • damage path 400 yards wide and 28 miles long
  • $200,000
  • About 50 homes were destroyed, but 20 of them were completely obliterated. Most of the bodies were found 100 to 400 yards from their home sites.
  • May 27, 1896 Great St. Louis Tornado
  • St. Louis, MO and East St. Louis, IL
  • F4
  • 255 killed
  • 1000 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 12 miles long
  • $10,000,000
  • see the article "The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis"
  • see the newspaper article "The Stricken City: Further Particulars of the Great St. Louis Tornado"
  • see the article "The St. Louis Cyclone of 1896"
  • June 12, 1899 New Richmond Tornado
  • New Richmond, WI
  • F5
  • 117 killed
  • 200 injured
  • damage path 300 yards wide and 30 miles long
  • $300,000
  • The timing of this tornado was particularly unfortunate. This event occurred on a day when about 1000 people from the surrounding villages had come to town to see a circus. The tornado struck about an hour after the circus ended. Also, this tornado carried a 3000 pound safe a full block.
  • see this article on the New Richmond tornado
  • May 18, 1902 Goliad Tornado
  • Goliad, TX
  • F4
  • 114 killed
  • 250 injured
  • damage path 250 yards wide and 15 miles long
  • June 1, 1903
  • Gainesville, GA
  • F4
  • 98 killed
  • 180 injured
  • damage path 300 yards wide and 4 miles long
  • $1,000,000
  • May 10, 1905 Snyder Tornado
  • Snyder, OK
  • F5
  • 97 killed
  • 150 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 40 miles long
  • $250,000
  • The roar from this tornado was reportedly heard 12 miles away.
  • see the article "Historical Snapshot: The Snyder, Oklahoma Tornado"
  • April 24, 1908 Natchez Tornado
  • Avoyelles and Concordia Parishes, LA, Natchez, MS, Jefferson County, MS
  • F4
  • 91 killed
  • 400 injured
  • damage path 700 yards across and 105 miles long
  • April 24, 1908 Great South Mississippi Tornado
  • Amite, LA, Purvis, MS
  • F4
  • 143 killed
  • 770 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards across and 155 miles long
  • The town of Purvis was leveled to the ground. In this town alone 55 people died and 400 people were injured. Only seven of the 150 homes in town were left standing. Four people were killed in south Forrest County, MS as they hid in a railroad boxcar. The boxcar was thrown 150 feet and torn apart.
  • November 11, 1911 Rock County, WI Tornado
  • Rock County, WI
  • F4
  • 9 killed
  • 50 injured
  • damage path 18 miles long and up to 400 yards wide
  • see this article about the Rock County tornado
  • May 26, 1917 Mattoon/Charleston Tornado
  • Mattoon, IL and Charleston, IL
  • F4
  • 101 killed
  • 683 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 155 miles long
  • $1,980,000
  • Debris from this tornado was carried over 50 miles.
  • May 21, 1918 Guttenberg, IA - Lone Rock, WI Tornado
  • Clayton County, IA and Grant, Iowa, Richland, and Sauk Counties, WI
  • F4
  • 8 killed
  • 100 injured
  • damage path 80 miles long and up to 400 yards wide
  • $650,000 damage without accounting for inflation
  • see this article on the Lone Rock tornado
  • April 20, 1920
  • Aberdeen, MS and Franklin County, AL
  • F4
  • 88 killed
  • 700 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 130 miles
  • $2,000,000
  • June 28, 1924 Sandusky-Lorain Tornado
  • Sandusky and Lorain, OH
  • F4
  • 85 killed
  • 300 injured
  • damage path 400 yards wide and 37 miles long
  • $12,500,000
  • March 18, 1925 Great Tri-State Tornado
  • Ellington, MO; Gorham, Murphysboro, Desoto, Parrish, Hamilton County, and White County, IL
  • F5
  • 695 killed
  • 2027 injured
  • damage path 1200 yards wide and 219 miles long
  • $16,500,000
  • This tornado set records for speed and path length. In Gorham, IL the tornado killed 34 people. Murphysboro set the record for the largest death toll, within a single city, in U.S. tornado history, killing 234 people. In Desoto, the tornado killed 33 at a school, the most deaths at a school in U.S. tornado history.
  • April 12, 1927 Rock Springs Tornado
  • Rock Springs, TX
  • F5
  • 74 killed
  • 205 injured
  • damage path 1600 yards wide and 35 miles long
  • $1,230,000
  • 235 of Rock Springs's 247 buildings were destroyed.
  • September 29, 1927 St. Louis Tornado
  • St. Louis, MO
  • F3
  • 79 killed
  • 550 injured
  • damage path 600 yards wide and 12 miles long
  • $53,000,000
  • March 14, 1933 Nashville, TN Tornado
  • Davidson, Wilson, and Smith Counties, TN
  • F3
  • 15 killed
  • 45 injured
  • damage path 45 miles long and up to 500 yards wide
  • $2,200,000 damage
  • see the website "Articles, correspondence, and photographs of the Nashville tornado of March 14, 1933"
  • April 5, 1936 Great Tupelo Tornado
  • Tupelo, MS
  • F5
  • 216 killed
  • 700 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards wide and 15 miles long
  • $3,000,000
  • April 6, 1936 Great Gainesville Tornado
  • Gainesville, GA
  • F4
  • 203 killed
  • 1600 injured
  • damage path 400 yards wide and 7 miles long
  • $13,000,000
  • This tornado swept directly through downtown Gainesville. The wreckage was astounding, with debris filling the streets 10 feet deep. The largest death toll in a single building for any U.S. tornado occurred at the Cooper Plants Factory. The building, crowded with young workers, collapsed and caught fire, killing about 70 people.
  • June 23, 1944 Shinnston Tornado
  • Shinnston, WV
  • F4
  • 100 killed
  • 381 injured
  • damage path 300 yards wide and 60 miles long
  • $5,500,000
  • This tornado occurred in very rugged terrain, countering the popular myth that there are no tornadoes in the mountains.
  • April 9, 1947 Woodward Tornado
  • Glazier and Higgins, TX; Woodward, OK
  • F5
  • 181 killed
  • 970 injured
  • damage path 1500 yards wide and 170 miles long
  • $7,700,000
  • see the article "The Woodward Tornado of April 9, 1947"
  • May 11, 1953 Waco Tornado
  • Waco, TX
  • F5
  • 114 killed
  • 597 injured
  • damage path 600 yards wide and 23 miles long
  • $41,000,000
  • see the article "The Waco Tornado of 1953"
  • June 9, 1953 Worcester Tornado
  • Worcester, MA
  • F4
  • 94 killed
  • 1288 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards wide and 46 miles long
  • $52,143,000
  • This tornado occurred far east of the traditional "tornado alley", showing that major tornadoes can occur in areas that do not get many tornadoes.
  • May 25, 1955 Udall Tornado
  • Udall, KS
  • F5
  • 80 killed
  • 270 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 30 miles long
  • $2,225,000
  • Over half the population of Udall was killed or injured in this tornado.
  • April 3, 1956 Berlin, WI Tornado
  • Green Lake and Winnebago Counties, WI
  • F4
  • 7 killed
  • 50 injured
  • damage path 12 miles long and up to 400 yards wide
  • $1,000,000 damage
  • see this article on the Berlin tornado
  • April 2, 1957 Dallas, TX Tornado
  • Dallas, TX
  • F3
  • 10 killed
  • 216 injured
  • damage path 125 yards wide and 15 miles long
  • $1,500,000
  • This tornado is not historic because of the damage it caused, but because it is one of the most photographed and studied in history. Photos were taken by at least 125 people and over 2000 feet of film was shot. Some of these pictures are, to this day, unequaled in close-up quality.
  • see the magazine article "April 2, 1957: Dallas' Date With Disaster
  • June 4, 1958 Colfax, WI Tornado
  • St. Croix and Dunn Counties, WI
  • F4
  • 20 killed
  • 110 injured
  • damage path 32 miles long and up to 800 yards wide
  • see this article on the Colfax tornado
  • April 3, 1964 Wichita Falls Tornado
  • Wichita Falls, TX
  • F5
  • 7 killed
  • 111 injured
  • damage path 500 yards across and 5.6 miles long
  • $15,000,000
  • April 11, 1965 Hillsdale Tornado
  • Hillsdale County, MI
  • F4
  • 44 killed
  • 612 injured
  • damage path 2000 yards wide and 90 miles long
  • $32,000,000
  • April 11, 1965 Dunlap Tornado
  • Dunlap, IN
  • F5
  • 36 killed
  • 320 injured
  • damage path 400 yards wide and 35 miles long
  • March 3, 1966 Jackson Tornado
  • Jackson, MS and Scott County, MS
  • F5
  • 57 killed
  • 504 injured
  • damage path 900 yards wide and 75 miles long
  • $18,000,000
  • June 8, 1966 Topeka, KS Tornado
  • Shawnee County, KS
  • F5
  • 16 killed
  • 406 injured
  • damage path 22 miles long and up to 800 yards wide
  • This tornado travelled directly through Topeka, leveling entire neighborhoods. About 820 homes were destroyed and another 3,000 damaged.
  • see the article "The Topeka Tonado - June 8, 1966
  • April 21, 1967 Belvidere Tornado
  • Belvidere, IL
  • F4
  • 24 killed
  • 500 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 28 miles long
  • $22,000,000
  • 13 were killed and 300 injured at Belvidere High School. The tornado hit as high school students were being dismissed. The buses in front of the school were already loaded with elementary school students. 12 of the 16 buses were overturned or thrown.
  • see the article "Black Oak and After"
  • see this website about the Belvidere tornado
  • April 21, 1967 Cook County Tornado
  • South Chicago, IL
  • F4
  • 33 killed
  • 500 injured
  • damage path 200 yards wide and 16 miles long
  • This tornado struck during Friday evening rush hour. Many deaths occurred in cars stopped at traffic lights.
  • January 23, 1969 Hazlehurst Tornado
  • Hazlehurst, MS
  • F4
  • 32 killed
  • 241 injured
  • damage path 1200 yards wide and 105 miles long
  • This is a unique event in that it is a massive tornado that occurred during a time of year in which tornadoes are rare.
  • May 11, 1970 Lubbock Tornado
  • Lubbock, TX
  • F5
  • 28 killed
  • 500 injured
  • damage path 1500 yards wide and 8 miles long
  • $135,000,000
  • This tornado is significant in that subsequent studies of the event began a new era in the understanding and analysis of tornado damage, deaths, wind speeds, and multiple vortices.
  • see this website about the Lubbock tornado
  • February 21, 1971 Mississippi River Delta Tornado
  • Waverly, LA; Inverness, MS
  • F4
  • 46 killed
  • 400 injured
  • damage path 600 yards wide and 110 miles long
  • This tornado leveled the town of Inverness with 21 deaths and over 200 injuries, as 125 homes and 40 buildings were destroyed.
  • April 3, 1974 Xenia Tornado
  • Xenia, OH
  • F5
  • 34 killed
  • 1150 injured
  • damage path 500 yards wide and 32 miles long
  • $100,000,000
  • This is best known of the 1974 Super Outbreak of tornadoes. This could be the most well-studied tornado in history.
  • see this website about the Xenia tornado
  • see the "Xenia, OH Tornado Photo Page
  • April 3, 1974 Guin Tornado
  • Guin, AL
  • F5
  • 30 killed
  • 280 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 102 miles long
  • see "April 3rd and 4th 1974 Tornado Outbreak in Alabama" for more information
  • April 10, 1979 Wichita Falls Tornado
  • Wichita Falls, TX
  • F4
  • 42 killed
  • 1740 injured
  • damage path 1300 yards wide and 47 miles long
  • $400,000,000
  • This tornado is one of the most destructive in history. About 3,095 homes were destroyed and about 20,000 people were left homeless.
  • May 22, 1987 Saragosa Tornado
  • Saragosa, TX
  • F4
  • 30 killed
  • 121 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards wide and 3 miles long
  • $1,300,000
  • This tornado destroyed 61 homes in Saragosa, which was about 85% of the town.
  • June 2, 1990 Aden, IL - Huron, IN Tornado
  • Hamilton, Wayne, Edwards, and Wabash Counties, IL, and Knox, Gibson, Pike, Daviess, Martin, Orange, and Lawrence Counties, IN
  • 1 killed
  • 11 injured
  • damage path 250 yards wide and 110 miles long
  • June 2, 1990 Bryantsville - Bedford, IN Tornado
  • Lawrence County, IN
  • 1 killed
  • 51 injured
  • damage path 400 yards wide and 11 miles long
  • June 2, 1990 Union - Petersburg, IN Tornado
  • Gibson and Pike Counties, IN
  • F4
  • 6 killed
  • 60 injured
  • damage path 200 yards wide and 13 miles long
  • June 2, 1990 Still Meadows, IN - Fairfield, OH Tornado
  • Dearborn County, IN, and Hamilton, Butler, and Warren Counties, OH
  • F4
  • 0 killed
  • 37 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards wide and 32 miles long
  • June 15, 1990 Stratton, NE Tornado
  • Hitchcock and Red Willow Counties, NE
  • F4
  • 0 killed
  • 1 injured
  • damage path 1500 yards wide and 28 miles long
  • August 28, 1990 Plainfield, IL Tornado
  • Kendall and Will Counties, IL
  • F5
  • 29 killed
  • 350 injured
  • damage path 600 yards wide and 16 miles long
  • March 22, 1991 Selmer, TN Tornado
  • Benton and Tippah Counties, MS, and McNairy County, TN
  • F3
  • 4 killed
  • 48 injured
  • damage path 400 yards wide and 45 miles long
  • April 26, 1991 Wichita - Andover, KS Tornado
  • Sedgwick and Butler Counties, KS
  • F5
  • 17 killed
  • 225 injured
  • damage path 500 yards wide and 45 miles long
  • see this picture of the tornado
  • see the article "Looking Back at One of Kansas's Significant Natural Disasters"
  • April 26, 1991 Red Rock, OK Tornado
  • Noble and Osage Counties, OK
  • F4
  • 0 killed
  • 6 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards wide and 66 miles long
  • This tornado was observed by a chase team from the University of Oklahoma. Using a portable Doppler radar, the measured wind speeds in the tornado up to 286 mph. This windspeed is in the F5 range, however, only F4 damage was found.
  • April 26, 1991 Westport, OK Tornado
  • Pawnee and Osage Counties, OK
  • F4
  • 1 killed
  • 24 injured
  • damage path 800 yards wide and 32 miles long
  • April 26, 1991 Oologah, OK Tornado
  • Rogers County, OK
  • F4
  • 0 killed
  • 22 injured
  • damage path 1000 yards wide and 4 miles long
  • $15,000,000 damage
  • November 29, 1991 Springfield, MO Tornado
  • Christian and Greene Counties, MO
  • F4
  • 2 killed
  • 64 injured
  • damage path 400 yards wide and 10 miles long
  • $15,000,000 damage
  • Tornado Outbreaks


    Carolinas Outbreak
  • March 28, 1984
  • 22 tornadoes
  • 57 deaths
  • 1,248 injuries
  • damage $200,000,000
  • 37% of fatalities in mobile homes
  • Pennsylvania-Ohio Outbreak
  • May 31, 1985
  • 41 tornadoes
  • 75 deaths
  • 1,025 injuries
  • damage $450,000,000
  • Plains Outbreak
  • April 26-27, 1991
  • 54 tornadoes
  • 21 deaths
  • 308 injuries
  • damage $277,000,000+
  • 15 deaths in/near mobile homes, 2 deaths in vehicles
  • Super Outbreak
  • April 3-4, 1973
  • 148 tornadoes
  • 315 deaths
  • damage $1,700,000,000 (1990 dollars)
  • Palm Sunday Outbreak
  • April 11-12, 1965
  • 51 tornadoes
  • 256 deaths
  • damage $820,000,000 (1990 dollars)
  • Tri-State Outbreak
  • March 18, 1925
  • 7 tornadoes
  • 740 deaths
  • November Outbreak
  • November 21-23, 1992
  • 94 tornadoes
  • 26 deaths

  • Home
    Tornado Formation | Tornado Safety | Tornado Statistics | The Fujita Scale
    Tornado Research | Historical Tornadoes | Tornado Damage Pictures
    Links | About Me


    Joe Furr


    1