The history of EF5 tornadoes in the U.S. - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

The history of EF5 tornadoes in the U.S.

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Map of EF5 tornadoes since 1950. Map of EF5 tornadoes since 1950.
Photo of the EF5 tornado in Sayler Park in 1974. Photo of the EF5 tornado in Sayler Park in 1974.
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

EF5 tornadoes are a very rare occurrence in U.S. History.  

Before Monday's EF5 tornado in Oklahoma, there had only been 58 in the United States since 1950, when reliable records began.  That number is now up to 59 since the National Weather Service in Oklahoma revised their estimate of the strength of Monday's killer tornado.  

The New Castle – Moore tornado was estimated to have maximum winds of 210 mph, making it an EF5.

In the FOX19 viewing area there has only  been one tornado of that strength. On April 3, 1974 Sayler Park was Devastated by an F5 tornado during the famous Super Outbreak. The Sayler Park tornado covered 21 miles in 23 minutes for an average speed of 54.8 mph. It killed 3 people and injured 210. 

Monday's New Castle – Moore tornado was on the ground for 50 minutes and covered 17 miles creeping along at 20.4 mph.  This is one reason the damage was so extensive. By traveling slowly the winds would batter a location for a longer period of time and do more damage. 

The map shows the location of all  F/EF5 tornadoes since 1950 in the United States. They are listed below. 

State with the most F/EF5s - Alabama - 7
Month With the Most F/EF5s - April - 20; May - 20
Day with the most F/EF5s - April 3, 1974 - 7
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#       DATE                    LOCATION
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No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down in 2012

58      May 24, 2011        El Reno/Piedmont OK
57      May 22, 2011        Joplin MO
56      Apr 27, 2011         Rainsville/Sylvania AL
55      Apr 27, 2011         Preston MS
54      Apr 27, 2011         Hackleburg/Phil Campbell AL
53      Apr 27, 2011         Smithville MS

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down 2009 - 2010

52      May 25, 2008        Parkersburg IA
51      May 4, 2007          Greensburg KS

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down 2000 - 2006

50      May 3, 1999          Bridge Creek/Moore OK
49      Apr 16, 1998         Waynesboro TN
48      Apr 8, 1998           Oak Grove/Pleasant Grove AL
47      May 27, 1997        Jarrell TX
46      Jul 18, 1996          Oakfield WI

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down 1993 - 1995

45       June 16, 1992       Chandler MN
44       Apr 26, 1991        Andover KS
43       Aug 28, 1990        Plainfield IL
42       Mar 13, 1990        Goessel KS
41      Mar 13, 1990         Hesston KS

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down 1986 -1989

40      May 31, 1985        Niles OH
39      Jun 7, 1984            Barneveld WI

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down in 1983

38      Apr 2, 1982           Broken Bow OK

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down 1978 - 1981

37      Apr 4, 1977           Birmingham AL
36      Jun 13, 1976          Jordan IA
35      Apr 19, 1976         Bownwood TX
34      Mar 26, 1976        Spiro OK

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down in 1975

33      Apr 3, 1974          Guin AL
32      Apr 3, 1974          Tanner AL
31      Apr 3, 1974          Mt. Hope AL
30      Apr 3, 1974          Sayler Park OH
29      Apr 3, 1974          Brandenburg KY
28      Apr 3, 1974          Xenia OH 
27      Apr 3, 1974          Daisy Hill IN 
26       May 6, 1973           Valley Mills TX

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down in 1972

25      Feb 21, 1971           Delhi LA
24      May 11, 1970          Lubbock TX

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down in 1969

23      Jun 13, 1968           Tracy MN
22      May 15, 1968         Maynard IA
21      May 15, 1968         Charles City IA
20     Apr 23, 1968           Gallipolis OH

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down in 1967

19      Oct 14, 1966           Belmond IA
18      Jun 8, 1966             Topeka KS
17      Mar 3, 1966            Jackson MS
16      May 8, 1965            Gregory SD
15      May 5, 1964            Bradshaw NE
14      Apr 3, 1964            Wichita Falls TX

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down 1961 - 1963

13      May 5, 1960             Prague OK

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down in 1959

12      Jun 4, 1958              Menomonie WI
11      Dec 18, 1957           Murphysboro IL
10      Jun 20, 1957            Fargo ND
9       May 20, 1957           Ruskin Heights MO
8       Apr 3, 1956              Grand Rapids MI
7       May 25, 1955            Udall KS
6       May 25, 1955            Blackwell OK

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down in 1954

5        Dec 5, 1953            Vicksburg MS
4        Jun 27, 1953            Adair IA
3        Jun 8, 1953              Flint MI
2        May 29, 1953           Ft. Rice ND
1        May 11, 1953           Waco TX

No EF5 Tornadoes Touched Down 1950 - 1952

The official database of tornado touchdowns goes back only to 1950, but we know of thousands of tornadoes before that. The candidates for designation as an EF5 tornado back to 1880 are listed below.

In many cases there may not be enough information to make a good determination.  Rural areas with few buildings would get little press and construction technology was different then in both cases it is possible no conclusion may be possible. This research will take plenty of hands on research in local libraries and historical societies and many years to complete.

 

Date        Location (Fatalities)                    
1880s
04/24/1880 Christian Co. IL (6 - 11)           
06/12/1881 Nodaway Co., MO (2)                       
06/17/1882 Grinell, IA (68)                    
08/21/1883 Rochester, MN (37)                         
04/01/1884 Oakville, IN (8)                       
08/28/1884 Howard, SD (4)                     

1890s
06/15/1892 Faribault-Freeborn-Steel Co. MN (12)        
05/22/1893 Darlington, WI (3)
07/06/1893 Cherokee - Buena Vista (71)
09/21/1894 Northern IA, southern MN (14)
05/01/1895 Sedgwick Co., Kansas (8 – 11)
05/03/1895 Sioux Co., IA (9 – 15)
05/15/1896 Sherman, TX (73)
05/17/1896 Nemaha, NE (25)
05/25/1896 Oakland Co. MI (47)
05/18/1898 Marathon Co., WI (12)
06/12/1899 St. Croix Co. - New Richmond, WI (117)

1900s
05/10/05 Snyder, Oklahoma (97)
06/05/05 Colling, Michigan (5)
04/23/08 Pender, Nebraska (3)
06/05/08 Carleton, Nebraska (11)

1910s
06/15/12 Creighton, Missouri (50)
06/11/15 Mullinville, Kansas (0)
05/25/17 Sedgwick, Kansas (23)
05/21/18 Dennison, Iowa (4)
06/22/19 Fergus Falls, Minnesota (57)

1920s
03/11/23 Pinson, Tennessee (20)
05/14/23 Big Spring, Texas (23)
03/18/25 Missouri-Illinois-Indiana (695)
04/12/27 Rock Springs, Texas (74)
05/07/27 McPherson, Kansas  (10)
04/10/29 Sneed, Arkansas (23)

1930s
05/22/33 Tryon, Nebraska (8)
04/05/36 Tupelo, Mississippi (216)
04/26/38 Oshkosh, Nebraska  (3)
06/10/38 Clyde, Texas (14)
04/14/39 Vici, Oklahoma-Kiowa, Kansas (7)

1940s
03/16/42 Lacon, Illinois (7)
04/29/42 Oberlin, Kansas(15)
06/17/44 Summit, South Dakota (8)
04/12/45 Antlers, Oklahoma (69)
04/09/47 Woodward, Oklahoma (181)
05/31/47 Leedey, Oklahoma (7)

 

 

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