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20th Anniversary of "Black Friday"-- The Edmonton, AB F4 Tornado

Posted At: July 31, 2007 @ 12:52 PM
Posted By: Reed Timmer
Related Categories: Tornadoes

Fig. 1. F-4 tornado near Refinery Row - Edmonton, AB at ~3:30 pm MDT.

Fig. 2. Violent F4 tornado a few minutes after the above photo was taken.

Fig. 3. Tornado at peak intensity moving through Refinery Row.

On this date 20 years ago, July 31, 1987, an F-4 tornado ripped through the southeastern side of Edmonton Alberta between 3:00 and 4:00 pm MDT.  Sadly, 27 people lost their lives because of this violent tornado with hundreds more injured, hence this day was named "Black Friday".   The tornado touched down 25 km southwest of Edmonton in Leduc County, and was on the ground for over an hour, creating a 40 km long path of total devastation and $330 million in property damage.  The following is a time line of events as this tornado emergency unfolded:

    1:40 pm MDT:  Severe thunderstorm watch issued for the City of Edmonton and Leduc, Parkland, and     Strathcona Counties.

    2:45 pm:  Severe thunderstorm warning issued for the area.

    2:52 pm:  Weather Radio Canada emergency tone activated for Edmonton Transmitter.

    2:59 pm:  Tornado reported to weather office by citizen of Leduc County, 25 km south of Edmonton.

    3:04 pm:  Tornado warning issued.

    3:25 pm:  F2-F3 tornado strikes Mill Woods, on the southeast side of Edmonton.

    3:30 pm:  F-4 tornado tears through Refinery Row, killing 12 and injuring many more.

    4:25 pm:  F3-F2 tornado dissipates after extensively damaging Evergreen Trailer Park.

Here are some pictures of the tornado at various stages of its life cycle:

Related Links:

Entry Comments

20th Anniversary of Posted By caleb | July 31, 2007 @ 1:33 PM #


20th Anniversary of Posted By Corey | July 31, 2007 @ 1:43 PM #

That's awful that it struck the industrial district. You have to wonder if any injuries and/or fatalities were indirectly caused by improper responses or ignorance to the danger by factory staff.

Does EC have a record of touchdowns? Has this year been anomalous?

20th Anniversary of Posted By Mike | July 31, 2007 @ 2:06 PM #

Does anyone know when and what channels the black friday specials are on, i know global has one at 6:30 mountain time.

20th Anniversary of Posted By brandon | July 31, 2007 @ 2:24 PM #

its amazing that beast passed directly between fully operational oil and chemical refineries...insane! things coulda been alot grandparents have a farm north of edmonton and there were spilnters of wood, insulation, papers and even a washing machine that ended up in thier pasture. unreal...

20th Anniversary of Posted By Kenny | July 31, 2007 @ 2:28 PM #

Mike, there's some specials on ch 2 and the weather network is doing one during Weather News.Yes that was a beast. Thanks Reed for putting up my little black friday logo!

20th Anniversary of Posted By AJ | July 31, 2007 @ 2:48 PM #

Whoa, that's freaky! Old time tornado pics always seem to send a chill thru me, as opposed to newer ones. Very cool!

20th Anniversary of Posted By Gerb131 | July 31, 2007 @ 3:13 PM #

Looks very similar to the Andover Ks tornado that just missed Tinker AFB. Those were both monsters.

20th Anniversary of Posted By Dale | July 31, 2007 @ 3:17 PM #

yes it was a a very bad day gang..

20th Anniversary of Posted By Tim | July 31, 2007 @ 4:32 PM #

Southern MB just got under a Severe T-storm watch (dances)

20th Anniversary of Posted By Carrie | July 31, 2007 @ 4:50 PM #

Holy smoke, just as I started reading this a storm just blew in and everything got dark. How freaky is that?

And cold, the temp dropped bigtime.

20th Anniversary of Posted By SKgirl | July 31, 2007 @ 5:11 PM #

Crazy pics, I didn't even know that happened (seeing as I was only 3 lol)...
Speaking of storms, we got 2 mini ones during the night (just pourdowns and a lot of noise), and at the moment we have a Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued!! *clears my memory card*

20th Anniversary of Posted By Kain_Dragoon | July 31, 2007 @ 5:19 PM #

Thats why theres so many of us in Edmonton obsessed with the weather. Once your in something like that it gets in your blood. I'm sure Reed would understand :)

20th Anniversary of Posted By Jason W. | July 31, 2007 @ 5:26 PM #

For some reason I can't get the live chat to work. I was on there ealier. Is it down?

20th Anniversary of Posted By SKgirl | July 31, 2007 @ 5:27 PM #

Make that a Severe Thunderstorm Warning now!! quickly developing storms are about an hour away and moving straight our direction! *keeps my eyes out to the sky*

20th Anniversary of Posted By Skgirl | July 31, 2007 @ 5:30 PM #

OK i don't have to look very far, the cloud is right beside us already!! I'll take a pic to show you guys how huge it is, and check out the radar!!!

20th Anniversary of Posted By Tim | July 31, 2007 @ 5:46 PM #

Confirmed Tornado in SK yesterday.. up north of .. north battleford (that's a weird town name haha)

20th Anniversary of Posted By Paul | July 31, 2007 @ 6:05 PM #

The destruction that tornado left on east side of edmonton was unreal. 50,000 barrel steel tanks at one refinery moved 100s of feet. 50 ton overhead cranes moved. Destroyed cars along the Sherwood Park freeway. Laidlaw took a big hit. They all huddled inside thier building. There was not much left of that.

I will never forget it.

20th Anniversary of Posted By Mike | July 31, 2007 @ 10:09 PM #

Edmonton got a little storm today, sorta like a little reminder of black friday. guess God was doing a little 20 annivers special :D

20th Anniversary of Posted By Heidi | July 31, 2007 @ 11:06 PM #

Nice job putting all of this together, Reed.

20th Anniversary of Posted By mikeO | August 2, 2007 @ 5:02 AM #

Thanks for posting that event Reed, we can sometimes get complacent and forget those who are directly affected by such terrible storms. Well done mate. Have posted the info in Australia thanks to you.


20th Anniversary of Posted By REEDTIMMERISGAY | August 3, 2007 @ 7:57 AM #

Reed Timmer's mom called and she wants her car and camcorder back. She also said that Reed needs to stay home this weekend and babysit his little brother, who has downs syndrome and cant be left alone while mom is away filming scat pron.

20th Anniversary of Posted By Lian | August 4, 2007 @ 7:23 PM #

I'm currently in Edmonton visiting family. On July 31st 2007, last week, while remembering the 20th anniversary of Black Friday, there was another storm. We were called into the house because we thought that the storm was going to become a tornado. I was really terrified. Was anybody there when it happend last week? It was quite strange because the storm occured on the same day as Black friday at around the same wasn't a huge storm but it was a scary little reminder of that day in 1987 when mother nature unleashed her fury. :(

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