List of F5 and EF5 tornadoes

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The Chandler, Minnesota F5 tornado of June 16, 1992

Among the most violent known meteorological events are tornadoes. Each year, more than 2,000 tornadoes occur worldwide, with the vast majority occurring in the United States and Europe.[1][2] In order to assess the intensity of these events, meteorologist Ted Fujita devised a method to estimate maximum winds within the storm based on damage caused; this became known as the Fujita scale. At the top end of the scale, which ranks from 0 to 5, are F5 tornadoes. These storms were estimated to have had winds in excess of 261 mph (420 km/h).[3][nb 1] Following two particularly devastating tornadoes in 1997 and 1999, engineers questioned the reliability of the scale. Ultimately, a new scale was devised that took into account 28 different damage indicators; this became known as the Enhanced Fujita scale.[4] With building designs taken more into account, winds in an EF5 tornado were estimated to be in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h).[5]

Since 1950, there have been 59 officially rated F5 and EF5 tornadoes in the United States and 1 F5 in Canada. Additionally, the works of tornado expert Thomas P. Grazulis revealed the existence of several dozen more between 1880 and 1995. Grazulis also put into question the ratings of several currently rated F5 tornadoes. Outside the United States and Canada, seven tornadoes have been rated F5: two in France, Germany, and Italy and one in Russia. Several other tornadoes are also documented as possibly attaining this status.

Since structures are completely destroyed in both cases, the identification and assignment of scale between an EF4 tornado and an EF5 is often very difficult.[6]

List of events[edit]

F5 damage in Bridge Creek, Oklahoma from May 3, 1999

The tornadoes on this list have been officially rated F5 by an official government source. Unless otherwise noted, the tornadoes on this list have been rated F5 by the National Weather Service (NWS), as shown in the archives of the Storm Prediction Center and National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).[7][8]

Prior to 1950, assessments of F5 tornadoes are mostly based on the works of Thomas Grazulis. Between 1880 and 1950, the NCDC accepted 38 of his classifications as F5s. In addition to the accepted ones, he rated a further 25 during the same period.[8][9] From 1950–1970 tornadoes were assessed retrospectively, primarily using information recorded in government databases, and newspaper photographs and descriptions. Beginning in 1971, tornadoes were rated by the NWS using on-site damage surveys.[10]

For United States tornadoes as of February 1, 2007, the Fujita scale has been recalibrated to more accurately match tornado speeds with their damage and to augment and refine damage descriptors. The new system is called the Enhanced Fujita scale. No earlier tornadoes will be reclassified, and no new tornadoes in the United States will be rated F5. France and Canada later adopted the EF-scale in years following.

In all, 51 tornadoes have been officially rated F5 since 1950: 50 in the United States and 1 in Canada. The works of Grazulis also revealed 16 more F5s between 1950 and 1995, with four later being accepted by the NCDC.[8] Since the implementation of the EF-scale, there have been 9 officially rated EF5 tornadoes in the United States.

     – Official F5/EF5; undisputed
     – Rated F5/EF5, or mentioned as a possible F5/EF5 by tornado expert Thomas P. Grazulis
     – Listed as an F5/EF5 on the 2000 NCDC tornado climatology memo
     – Official F5/EF5, but rating is disputed; event may not have been F5/EF5
     – Officially ranked below F5/EF5, but rating is disputed; event may have been F5/EF5

Before 1900[edit]

Officially and unofficially rated F5 tornadoes prior to 1900
DayYearLocationFatalitiesNotes
June 291764Woldegk, Germany1This tornado was among the strongest ever recorded with damage assessed at the highest level of the TORRO scale (T11). The rating was assigned based on several surveys by German scientist Gottlob Burchard Genzmer.[11][12]
April 231800Hainichen, Germany0Homes were completely destroyed, and large swaths of forest were leveled with trees debarked.[11]
August 191845Montville, Seine-Maritime, France70This extremely violent tornado was rated T10/11.[13] Several large, stone-built mills were leveled and partly swept clean. One of the mills was a four-story structure that likely collapsed. Debris was carried 25 mi (40 km).[14]
April 241880West Prairie, Illinois6Homes were leveled and farms vanished.[8][9]
June 121881Hopkins, Missouri21881 Hopkins tornado – Two farms were completely swept away.[8][9]
June 151881Renville County, Minnesota201881 Minnesota tornado outbreak - According to Grazulis, this tornado was "probably" an F5. Extreme damage occurred in Renville County where five farms were completely swept away.[6]
June 171882Grinnell, Iowa6516 farms were blown away and the town of Grinnell was devastated. Debris was carried 100 mi (160 km). Caused 68 fatalities according to Grazulis.[8][9]
August 211883Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota371883 Rochester tornado – 10 farms outside the town were leveled, and some homes were swept away. A metal railroad bridge was completely destroyed.[6][9][15]
April 11884Oakville, Indiana8Among contemporary meteorologists, this was considered one of the most intense tornadoes observed up to that time.[6] Parts of Oakville "vanished", with house debris scattered for miles.[8][9]
June 151892FaribaultFreebornSteele County, Minnesota121892 Southern Minnesota tornado – Entire farms were obliterated, and house timbers were embedded into the ground 3 mi (4.8 km) away from the foundations.[9]
May 221893Willow Springs, Wisconsin3Two farm complexes were completely swept away.[8][9]
July 61893Pomeroy, Iowa71Well-built homes were swept away in four counties[9] with F5 damage in the town of Pomeroy.[6] Grass was scoured from the ground, and a metal bridge was torn from its supports. A well pump and 40 feet (12 m) of pipe were pulled out of the ground.[16]
September 211894Kossuth County, Iowa43Five farms and a home were swept away, leaving little trace.[8][9]
May 11895Harvey County, Kansas8Farms "entirely vanished", with debris carried for miles.[8][9]
May 31895Sioux County, Iowa9Farms were swept away, with debris carried for miles.[9]
May 151896Sherman, Texas73May 1896 tornado outbreak sequence – This was one of the most intense tornadoes of the 19th century according to Grazulis.[6][8] "Extraordinary" damage occurred to farms and 20 homes that were completely swept away.[9] An iron-beam bridge was torn apart and scattered,[17][18] trees were reduced to debarked stumps, and grass was scoured from the ground.[19] Reliable reports said that numerous bodies were carried hundreds of yards.[6]
May 171896NemahaBrown County, KansasNebraska25May 1896 tornado outbreak sequence – An opera house in Seneca was swept away, along with some farms. Entire farms were reportedly swept clean of debris, leaving the areas "bare as the prairie".[9]
May 251896OrtonvilleOakwood, Michigan47May 1896 tornado outbreak sequence – Houses and farms were leveled and swept away, with debris carried up to 12 mi (19 km) away. Extreme debarking and shredding of vegetation occurred.[8][9][20]
May 181898Marathon County, Wisconsin1212 farms were flattened.[9]
June 111899Salix, Iowa5Impacted several farms, including one where a "fine new residence" was swept completely away.[6][8]
June 121899St. Croix CountyNew Richmond, Wisconsin117New Richmond tornado – This tornado devastated New Richmond, leveling or sweeping away many homes and businesses.[9] A large section of the town was reduced to nothing but scattered debris and house foundations. Numerous trees were completely debarked and shorn of their branches.[21] A 3,000-pound (1,361 kg) safe was carried a full block.[9]

1900–1949[edit]

Officially and unofficially rated F5 tornadoes between 1900 and 1949
DayYearLocationFatalitiesNotes
May 101905Snyder, Oklahoma97Snyder, Oklahoma tornado – The town of Snyder was devastated, with many structures swept away.[8][9]
June 51905Colling, Michigan5Three farms were "wiped out of existence", with nothing but "bits of kindling" left on the foundations.[9]
June 51906Houston County, Minnesota4A farm was completely leveled.[6][8]
April 231908CumingThurston County, Nebraska31908 Dixie tornado outbreak – A well-built two-story home was swept away.[8][9]
May 121908FremontPage County, Iowa0Five farms had all buildings swept away, and lumber was scattered for miles.[8][9]
June 51908Fillmore County, Nebraska11Farms vanished, with little left to indicate farmsteads ever existed at some locations.[8][9]
April 201912Kingfisher County, Oklahoma2Entire farms were swept away.[6][8]
April 271912KiowaCanadian County, Oklahoma15This tornado is not listed by Grazulis or any other sources, and is therefore a possible typographical error in the memo.[8]
June 151912Creighton, Missouri5Two large homes were completely swept away[9]
March 231913Omaha, Nebraska113March 1913 tornado outbreak sequence – Photo analysis by Grazulis revealed possible F5 damage with many empty foundations throughout Omaha, though it is uncertain if this was a result of the tornado or cleanup efforts following the event. An F4 rating was assigned due to the uncertainty.[9][6]
June 111915Kiowa County, Kansas0One entire farm was swept completely away.[8][9]
May 251917AndaleSedgwick, Kansas23May–June 1917 tornado outbreak sequence – Many structures were swept away. The F5 rating is widely accepted.[6][8][9]
June 51917Near Topeka, Kansas9This intense, large tornado was very similar to a later F5 that hit Downtown Topeka on June 8, 1966, though the 1917 tornado missed downtown.[6] Homes and farms were swept completely away outside of town. Trees were debarked, and heavy farm machinery was carried for miles.[6][8]
May 211918CrawfordGreene County, Iowa6At least two farms were swept away, and house foundations were left bare. Debris was scattered for miles.[8][9]
June 221919Fergus Falls, Minnesota591919 Fergus Falls tornado – A three-block-wide swath was leveled, with some homes swept away. Several summer homes were swept away into Lake Alice, and a train station was swept away as well.[8][9][22]
March 281920West Liberty, IndianaVan Wert, Ohio171920 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak – Farms were leveled and swept away in Indiana and Ohio with possible F5 damage. Some homes had even their floors dislodged and moved some distance.[23][6]
April 201920Clay County, MississippiMarion County, AlabamaLawrence County, Alabama88[6]April 1920 tornado outbreak – This was a large, long-tracked tornado like the April 27, 2011, EF5 tornado and also affected the same areas near Hackleburg, Alabama.[6][9] Many homes were swept away and entire forests were leveled along a 130-mile (210 km) path length.[24] Large boulders were picked up and thrown, one of which was found 11 mi (18 km) away from where it originated. Vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards.[24]
July 221920FrobisherAlameda, Saskatchewan4"Splendid homes" were swept away.[9][25]
April 151921Harrison County, TexasPikeHempstead County, Arkansas62This tornado tracked for 105 mi (169 km) and reached a peak width of 1.1 mi (1.8 km). Many homes were leveled, some of which were swept away and scattered across fields. A large concrete fireplace was shifted 3 ft (1.00 yd), and a vehicle was thrown 200 yd (600 ft) and partially buried into the soil.[26] Farms and plantations were completely devastated. The event probably contained multiple tornadoes[6] and caused 59 fatalities according to Grazulis.[6][8]
March 111923Pinson, Tennessee20An entire section of the town was swept away.[8][9]
May 141923Big Spring, Texas23A large home and farms were swept away.[9]
September 211924Clark CountyTaylor County, Wisconsin18Twenty farms were destroyed, some obliterated. Entire wall of a home was carried for 14 mi (23 km).[9]
March 181925MissouriIllinoisIndiana695Tri-State Tornado – This was the deadliest and longest-tracked single tornado in U.S. history. Thousands of structures were destroyed, with hundreds of homes swept away along the path, especially in Murphysboro and West Frankfort, Illinois. Railroad tracks were ripped from the ground, and a large multi-ton coal tipple was blown over and rolled. Deep ground scouring was noted in several areas as well. The F5 rating is widely accepted.[8][9][27][28]
June 31925PottawattamieHarrison County, Iowa0Buildings "vanished". This tornado took nearly the same path as the next one, below.
June 31925PottawattamieHarrison County, Iowa1Parts of two farms and some homes swept away, but they may have been hit by both tornadoes.[9]
April 121927Rocksprings, Texas74This massive tornado swept away or leveled more than 90% of the town.[6][9]
May 71927BarberMcPherson County, Kansas10Many farms were destroyed and some were swept completely away. The F5 rating is widely accepted.[8][9]
April 101929Sneed, Arkansas23This tornado is considered the only F5 on record in Arkansas.[6] It destroyed the Sneed community, reduced homes to "splinters", and made a "clean sweep" of the area. Huge trees were snapped or torn apart.[9][29]
July 241930TrevisoUdine, Italy22This was an extremely powerful tornado, rated T10/11. A large stone monastery was partially leveled to the ground.[13]
July 201931Lublin, Poland6This tornado is officially rated F4; however, the Polish Weather Service estimated winds at 246 to 324 mph (396 to 521 km/h), potentially ranking it as an F5.[11]
May 221933Tryon, Nebraska8Two farms were swept away.[8][9]
July 11935Benson, Saskatchewan1Several structures were leveled.[9][25]
April 51936Tupelo, Mississippi216Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak – This tornado leveled and swept away many large and well-constructed houses.[6][9] A concrete war monument was toppled and broken, with nearby brick gate posts snapped off at the base. Granulated debris was scattered for miles east of the city. Pine needles were reportedly driven into tree trunks as well.[30][31]
April 261938Oshkosh, Nebraska3A school disintegrated, and two farms were swept away.[8][9]
June 101938Clyde, Texas14Nine homes in a subdivision were swept away.[9]
April 141939Woodward County, OklahomaBarber County, Kansas7Homes and entire farms were swept away, and cars were carried for hundreds of yards.[6][8][9]
June 181939HennepinAnoka County, Minnesota9Homes were swept away in Champlin and Anoka.[6][9] A car was tossed 300 yd (900 ft) and smashed to pieces. As the tornado crossed the Mississippi River, witnesses reported that so much water was sucked into the air that the riverbed was briefly exposed, and that the flow of water was stopped until the tornado reached the opposite bank.[6][6][8][32][33]
March 161942Peoria CountyMarshall County, Illinois8March 1942 tornado outbreak – Many homes were swept away in the town of Lacon, Illinois, and a farmhouse sustained F5 damage.[6][8][9]
April 291942Oberlin, Kansas15Three farms were obliterated, with all buildings and several inches of topsoil swept away. Debris from homes was granulated into splinters "no larger than match sticks."[8][9][34]
June 171944Summit, South Dakota8Farms were swept away with no visible debris left.[9]
June 221944Grant County, WisconsinStephenson County, Illinois9This long-tracked tornado destroyed many homes in both states.[6][8]
April 121945Antlers, Oklahoma69600 buildings were destroyed, and some areas were swept clean of all debris. The F5 rating is widely accepted.[8][9][35]
June 171946Windsor, Ontario171946 Windsor-Tecumseh, Ontario tornado – Officially rated F4; however, one home had a portion of its concrete block foundation swept away, indicating borderline F5 damage.[36]
August 201946Klodzko Slaskie, Poland0Officially rated F4; however, report indicates potential F5 damage.[11]
April 91947Glazier/Higgins, TexasWoodward, Oklahoma1811947 Glazier-Higgins-Woodward tornadoes – Several towns were partially or totally destroyed. Most structures in Glazier were swept away, where shrubbery was debarked, ground scouring occurred, and vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards. In Higgins, a a 4½ ton lathe was ripped from its anchors and broken in half.[37][38] A 20-ton boiler tank in Woodward was thrown a block and a half. The F5 rating is widely accepted.[6][8][9][39]
April 291947Worth, Missouri14Most of Worth was destroyed. Half of a brick building remained standing in the village. Considered to be a possible F5 by Grazulis.[6]
May 311947Leedey, Oklahoma6This tornado reportedly left more intense damage than the previous event did in Woodward. Many structures were swept away, leaving no debris or grass in some areas.[9] Several inches of topsoil were removed as well. The F5 rating is widely accepted.[6]
May 211949Palestine, Illinois4A restaurant was leveled, and cars in the parking lot were thrown up to 300 yd (900 ft) away from where they originated.[6][8]

1950–1999[edit]

Officially and unofficially rated F5 tornadoes between 1950 and 1999[nb 2]
DayYearLocationFatalitiesNotes
May 181951Olney, Texas2Many homes in town were destroyed, some of which were swept away with very little debris left.[9]
March 211952Byhalia, MississippiMoscow, Tennessee17March 1952 Southern United States tornado outbreak – Officially rated F4 in tornado databases; however, the National Climatic Data Center lists this as an F5 event in a Tech Memo reporting all known F5 tornadoes.[8][40] The only possible F5 damage was to a concrete block structure that may or may not have been steel reinforced.[41]
May 221952DouglasLeavenworth County, Kansas0Home of a bank president was reportedly leveled with possible F5 damage.[6]
May 111953Waco, Texas1141953 Waco tornado outbreak – Many large, multi-story buildings in downtown Waco were completely leveled, along with homes both north and south of Waco.[6][9] First officially-ranked F5 tornado in the U.S.[7]
May 291953Fort Rice, North Dakota2A large church was leveled and pews were jammed 4 ft (1.2 m) into the ground. Car parts were carried for 0.5 mi (0.80 km). Rating disputed.[6]
June 81953Flint, Michigan116Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence – Large sections of neighborhoods in North Flint were swept completely away, and cycloidal ground scouring occurred.[6][8][9][42]
June 81953Cygnet, Ohio18Flint–Worcester tornado outbreak sequence – Possible but unverifiable F5 damage occurred near Cygnet where homes were swept completely away.[6] A steel-and-concrete bridge was destroyed as the tornado passed near Jerry City.[9][43]
June 91953Worcester, Massachusetts94Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence – Many strong structures with numerous interior walls[6] were leveled, and entire blocks of homes were swept cleanly away. The large, brick Assumption College sustained severe damage, and its upper stories were completely destroyed.[6] A large, multi-ton storage tank was carried over a road, and trees along the path were debarked as well.[44][45] Debris from this tornado was found in the Atlantic Ocean.[9] The tornado was rated F5 by Grazulis in a later publication.[46]
June 271953Adair, Iowa1Four farms were destroyed, with virtually nothing left of one of them. Heavy farm machinery was thrown hundreds of feet, and boards were driven into trees.[9]
December 51953Vicksburg, Mississippi381953 Vicksburg, Mississippi tornado outbreak – Many buildings were leveled in downtown Vicksburg. The F5 rating is disputed by Grazulis as destroyed structures were frail.[9]
May 11954CrowellVernon, TexasSnyder, Oklahoma0Vehicles were thrown more than 100 yd (300 ft),[9] and three farms were entirely swept away.[6]
May 251955Blackwell, Oklahoma201955 Great Plains tornado outbreak – Many homes and businesses were swept away in town.[6][9]
May 251955Udall, Kansas801955 Great Plains tornado outbreak – Many homes and businesses were swept away in town, and photographs indicated that numerous trees were debarked. Vehicles were thrown and stripped down to their frames, a large water tower was blown over and mangled,[47] and beams were broken at a school building.[6][9][48][49]
July 21955Walcott, North Dakota2Eleven farms were completely leveled or swept away. One farm appeared to show potential F5 damage, where a home was swept completely away.[6]
April 31956HudsonvilleGrand Rapids, Michigan18April 1956 Hudsonville-Standale tornado – Many homes were swept completely away, leaving bare foundations behind.[6][9] Extensive wind-rowing of debris was observed, and vehicles were tossed hundreds of yards as well. One home that was swept away had its tile flooring scoured from the foundation.[6][9][50][51]
May 201957Ruskin Heights, Missouri44May 1957 Central Plains tornado outbreak – Entire rows of homes were swept away. A steel-reinforced school was partially leveled, and many shops and businesses sustained F5 damage. F4 damage occurred in both Kansas and Missouri, but the F5 damage was in Ruskin Heights and Hickman Mills.[9][52]
May 211957Fremont, Missouri7May 1957 Central Plains tornado outbreak – Possible F5 damage could not be verified due to poor quality of home construction.[6]
June 161957Robecco Pavese–Valle Scuropasso, Italy0Many large stone buildings were flattened. Officially rated F5 with damage estimated at T10 on the TORRO Scale; however, rating is uncertain and it may have been a high-end F4.[11]
June 201957Fargo, North Dakota101957 Fargo tornado – Many homes were leveled, with some swept completely away.[6] Part of the Golden Ridge subdivision was swept away, with the debris scattered long distances into nearby fields.[53] Fujita reportedly called this one of the most intense tornadoes he surveyed.[9]
December 181957Sunfield, Illinois1December 1957 tornado outbreak sequence – The entire Sunfield community "vanished".[6][9]
June 41958MenomonieColfax, Wisconsin211958 Colfax, Wisconsin tornado outbreak – Homes were swept away. A car was wrapped around the side of a steel bridge that collapsed in the tornado. Rating disputed.[6][9][54]
June 101958El Dorado, Kansas15Reports indicated near-F5-level damage to homes.[6] A car was thrown 100 yd (300 ft), but damage photographs were inconclusive as to whether F5 structural damage occurred.[9]
May 51960Prague, Oklahoma5May 1960 tornado outbreak sequence – Homes were swept away, and heavy oil tanks were thrown long distances. Hillsides were stripped of all vegetation and several inches of topsoil.[9]
May 191960Wamego, Kansas0Rated F5 by Grazulis as two farms were swept away.[6][9]
May 201960Niechobrz, Poland4Officially rated high-end F4 with homes completely destroyed. Report on tornado noted potential F5 damage.[11]
May 301961CusterValley County, Nebraska0All buildings and machinery were swept away from a farm. Widely accepted as an F5 tornado, including within the NCDC Technical Memorandum; however, it is listed as an F4 in the official databases.[6][8][9]
April 31964Wichita Falls, Texas7Homes were swept away, and a boxcar was thrown 100 yd (300 ft). A car was thrown a block and a half.[8][9][55]
April 121964Near Lawrence, Kansas0Produced possible F5 damage according to Grazulis. Farms were leveled and a truck was thrown 300 yd (270 m).[6][9]
May 51964Bradshaw, Nebraska4Farms were swept away.[8][9]
April 111965Midway, Indiana141965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak – This was the first of two violent tornadoes to hit the Dunlap area, north of Goshen.[6] Homes were swept away, and vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards. The Midway trailer park was completely obliterated, with much debris swept away. An airplane wing was found 35 miles (56 km) away in Michigan.[9] This tornado was famously photographed as a double tornado.[6]
April 111965Rainbow Lake, Indiana51965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak – This tornado developed after the first Dunlap tornado (previous event). Near-F5-level damage occurred to homes that were swept away.[6]
April 111965Dunlap, Indiana361965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak – This was the second violent tornado to strike Dunlap[6] within 90 minutes.[8] Rated F5 by Grazulis and Fujita, it is widely considered to be an F5 in older sources.[9] A well-built truck stop was leveled and many permanent homes were swept away in two subdivisions.[6]
April 111965LebanonSheridan, Indiana281965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak – This is listed as an F5 in the NCDC memorandum. Vehicles were thrown up 100 yd (300 ft).[6][8]
April 111965Toledo, Ohio181965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak – Homes were completely swept away with borderline-F5 damage in North Toledo. Boats and buses were thrown long distances.[6]
April 111965PittsfieldStrongsville, Ohio181965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak – Rated F5 by Grazulis and Fujita.[9] This is widely considered to be F5 in older reports. Homes were cleanly swept away in Strongsville and Pittsfield, and Pittsfield was completely destroyed.[6] Only a concrete war monument remained standing in Pittsfield, where homes "vanished".[56]
May 81965Primrose, Nebraska4Early-May 1965 tornado outbreak sequence - Widely accepted as an F5,[8] and reported to have been a double tornado as it hit Primrose.[57] 90% of Primrose was demolished,[9] and cars were carried for 400 yd (1,200 ft). A truck body was carried and rolled for 2 mi (3.2 km).[6] Homes were swept from their foundations as well.[58][59]
May 81965Gregory, South Dakota0Early-May 1965 tornado outbreak sequence - Many farms were destroyed, including three that were swept completely away.[6][9]
March 31966Jackson, Mississippi571966 Candlestick Park tornado – Homes were swept away[6][9] and brick buildings were leveled.[60] Pavement was scoured from roads and cars were thrown more than half a mile from where they originated.[61] The newly built Candlestick Park shopping center was leveled and concrete masonry blocks were scattered for long distances.[6] Steel girders were "twisted like wet noodles" at a glass plant.[62]
June 81966Topeka, Kansas161966 Topeka tornado – Many homes were swept away, and vehicles were thrown long distances. Grass was scoured from the ground as well.[6][9][63][64]
October 141966Belmond, Iowa6Disputed F5 rating, ranked F4 by Grazulis.[6] A house was swept away on the outskirts of town. However, the home was likely poorly anchored as debris was deposited in a neat pile near the foundation, and nearby homes only showed slight damage.[9][65]
June 241967Palluel, France6Homes and other structures were swept away or leveled in and near Palluel.[11]
April 231968WheelersburgGallipolis, Ohio71968 Wheelersburg, Ohio tornado outbreak - Homes were swept away,[6][9] with only their foundations left in some cases. A large metal electrical transmission tower was ripped off at the base and thrown.[66] The F5 rating is disputed as structures swept away were not anchored properly.[9]
April 231968Falmouth, Kentucky61968 Wheelersburg, Ohio tornado outbreak - Mentioned as a possible F5 by Grazulis.[9]
May 151968Charles City, Iowa13May 1968 tornado outbreak – Many homes were swept away in town. Farms were swept away as well. Very intense multiple vortices were observed based upon ground damage patterns.[6] Cycloidal ground scouring occurred where the multiple vortices were noted.[9]
May 151968Oelwein-Maynard, Iowa5May 1968 tornado outbreak – Homes were swept completely away in both towns.[9]
June 131968Tracy, Minnesota91968 Tracy tornado – 111 homes homes were destroyed in town, and farms were swept away. A heavy boxcar was thrown more than a full block, and two others were thrown 300 yd (900 ft). A steel I-beam was carried for two miles on a piece of roof.[9] Extensive ground scouring occurred outside of town.[67]
January 11970Bulahdelah, New South Wales0Bulahdelah tornado – Left a damage path 21 kilometres (13 mi) long and 1–1.6 km (0.6–1 mi) wide through the Bulahdelah State Forest. According to reports, it threw a tractor weighing 2 tonnes (4,400 lb) 100 m (328 ft) through the air, depositing it upside down. It is estimated that the tornado destroyed over one million trees.[68]
May 111970Lubbock, Texas261970 Lubbock tornado – A high-rise building suffered structural deformation and homes were swept away. A 13 t (13,000 kg) metal fertilizer tank was thrown nearly 1 mi (1.6 km) through the air, and large oil tanks were carried for over 300 yd (900 ft).[6][9][69]
February 211971Delhi, Louisiana47February 1971 Mississippi Valley tornado outbreak – Only official F5 in Louisiana history, but the rating is questioned by Grazulis, who assigned an F4 rating.[6] Homes were completely leveled east of Delhi and bodies were thrown long distances into nearby swamps.[9]
April 271971Gosser Ridge, Kentucky2Most buildings on a farm were swept away. Listed as a "questionable" F5 in the NCDC Tech Memo. Was F4 according to Grazulis and official records.[6][8]
May 61973Valley Mills, Texas0Rating applied by wind engineers. A pickup truck was carried .5 mi (0.80 km) through the air. Another was carried for 200 yd (600 ft).[9]
January 101973San Justo, Argentina54San Justo tornado – Was never officially rated, but is widely considered to have been an F5.[70] Homes reportedly vanished with little or no trace, and vehicles were thrown hundreds of meters from where they originated. Large factories were completely leveled and grass was scoured from the ground. A vehicle motor was found embedded into a concrete wall.[71]
April 31974Daisy Hill, Indiana6Super Outbreak – Homes were swept completely away. Entire farms were leveled.[9]
April 31974Xenia, Ohio32Super Outbreak – Entire rows of brick homes were swept away.[9] Very intense damage was reported to steel-reinforced schools.[72]
April 31974Brandenburg, Kentucky31Super Outbreak – Multiple well-built homes were swept away, including one that sustained total collapse of its poured concrete walk-out basement wall. Grass was scoured from the ground as well, brick buildings in downtown Brandenburg were leveled, and low-lying shrubs next to leveled homes were uprooted and stripped.[9][73] Multiple vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards and stripped down to their frames. Trees were also completely debarked.[6][74]
April 31974Sayler Park (West Cincinnati), Ohio3Super Outbreak – Homes were swept away, and boats were thrown long distances. A large floating restaurant barge was lifted, ripped from its moorings, and flipped upside-down by the tornado.[9][75]
April 31974Mt. HopeTannerHarvest, Alabama28Super Outbreak – A large swath of trees was leveled, with dirt found to have been dug up and plastered to the bark.[6][9] Numerous homes were swept away and scattered, with extensive wind-rowing of debris noted.[76] Pavement was scoured from roads, and large metal high-tension towers were ripped off at the base and thrown, one of which was never found.[77] Shrubbery was debarked as well.[78]
April 31974TannerHazel Green, Alabama22Super Outbreak – Officially listed as an F5, but was rated F4 by Grazulis and Ted Fujita. Crossed into Tennessee and did F4 damage in both states,[6] though the supposed F5 damage only occurred in Alabama, where numerous homes were swept away and extensive wind-rowing of debris occurred.[79]
April 31974Guin, Alabama28Super Outbreak – This was ranked one of the strongest Alabama tornadoes on record; F5 damage was reported along much of the path. Numerous homes were swept away, and in some cases their foundations were dislodged and swept away as well.[9][80] Many homes were obliterated and scattered across fields, and photographs showed intense wind-rowing from suction vortices.[81] Thousands of trees in the Bankhead National Forest were snapped or debarked, and the path of damage was visible from aerial satellites.[6] An entire lot in Guin was swept clean of all debris[6] and a large industrial building was obliterated.[80]
March 261976Spiro, Oklahoma2Frame homes were swept away,[9] and 134,000-pound coal cars were tossed. Rating disputed[6][82]
April 191976Brownwood, Texas0Homes were swept away. Several teenagers were caught in the open and were picked up and thrown 1,000 yd (0.91 km) but survived. Rating disputed.[6]
June 131976Jordan, Iowa0Homes were swept away.[6] This tornado was mentioned by Fujita as one of the most intense he surveyed. Well-built farms reportedly vanished without a trace.[72]
April 41977Birmingham, Alabama22April 1977 Birmingham tornado – Many homes were swept away, some of which had their cinder block walk-out basement walls swept away as well. Trees were debarked and two dump trucks were thrown through the air.[6][83]
April 21982Broken Bow, Oklahoma0A house was swept away. Only carpet tacks were left on the empty foundation. The F5 rating is disputed because the home may have not been anchored properly.[6]
June 71984Barneveld, Wisconsin9Barneveld, Wisconsin tornado outbreak – A cul-de-sac of newly built homes was swept away, and vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards.[6]
June 91984Ivanovo, Central Federal District, Soviet Union921984 Soviet Union tornado outbreak – An extremely intense multiple vortex tornado[84] threw a crane 220 yd (200 m), threw multi-ton water tanks hundreds of yards, tore asphalt from roads,[85] destroyed and threw trees long distances,[86] and swept away steel-reinforced buildings with little debris left.[87] Tornado was exceptionally long-lived, remaining on the ground for roughly 100 mi (160 km) over the course of two hours. At least 92 fatalities were confirmed, though the actually toll was likely higher.[11]
June 91984Kostroma, Central Federal District, Soviet Union01984 Soviet Union tornado outbreak – Officially rated F4, but survey mentions possible F5 damage. Trees were ripped from the ground and thrown long distances. A 350-ton industrial crane was blown over.[87]
May 311985Niles, OhioWheatland, Pennsylvania181985 United States-Canadian tornado outbreak – This tornado caused F5 damage along much of its path through Niles and Wheatland. A shopping center in Niles was obliterated, with F5 damage and several deaths.[6] Steel girders at the center were twisted and buckled. Well-built homes were swept away, and heavy fuel storage tanks were ripped from their anchors and thrown hundreds of feet. Pavement was scoured from a parking lot, and a steel-frame trucking plant was obliterated. Aluminum parts from the plant were found wedged into the asphalt parking lot.[6][9]
July 311987Edmonton, Alberta28Edmonton Tornado – Heavy trailers and oil tanks were tossed, and large factories were leveled. This tornado has been under scrutiny by Environment Canada in recent years, as to whether or not it could be considered for an F5 rating.[88] If done this would make it the earliest such tornado since records have been kept, next to the 2007 Elie, Manitoba, tornado.
March 131990Hesston, Kansas1March 1990 Central US tornado outbreak – Many homes and businesses were swept away in town.[9]
March 131990Goessel, Kansas1March 1990 Central US tornado outbreak – Homes were swept away,[9] but the F5 rating was assigned due to very intense cycloidal ground scouring.[89] Considered by some sources to be one of the strongest tornadoes ever surveyed at the time, though little detailed information about the damage is available.[9][90]
August 281990Plainfield, Illinois291990 Plainfield tornado – Caused some of the most intense vegetative damage Fujita saw in his career.[9] A mature corn crop was scoured from the ground, leaving nothing but bare soil behind. Several inches of topsoil were blown away as well. A 20-ton tractor trailer was tossed from a road and thrown more than half a mile.[91] The F5 rating is based solely upon the extreme ground scouring; areas in Plainfield sustained F4 damage, though the ground scouring was much less intense than where the corn crop was obliterated.[9][91]
April 261991Andover, Kansas171991 Andover, Kansas tornado outbreak – Many well-built homes were swept away, leaving bare foundations behind, and grass was scoured from the ground.[9] Extensive wind-rowing of debris occurred as well. Trees and small twigs were completely stripped of their bark.[6] Vehicles were thrown up to 3/4 of a mile from where they originated, and were mangled beyond recognition.[92]
April 261991Red Rock, Oklahoma01991 Andover, Kansas tornado outbreak – Mobile Doppler radar used by storm chasers indicated wind speeds in the range of the F5 threshold, with winds up to 286 mph (460 km/h). Pavement and ground scouring occurred, and a large oil rig was toppled.[6][9]
June 161992Chandler, Minnesota1Mid-June 1992 tornado outbreak – Multiple homes were swept away, and vehicles were thrown and stripped down to their frames.[9][93]
June 81995Kellerville, Texas0Project VORTEX assessed tornado to be F5; one home was so obliterated that the National Weather Service survey likely missed it. Intense pavement and ground scouring occurred, with only bare soil left in some areas.[9][94]
July 181996Oakfield, Wisconsin01996 Oakfield tornado – Well-built homes were swept away, including one where rebar anchors were bent over at a 90% angle. Vehicles were thrown up to 400 yd (1,200 ft) through the air and mangled beyond recognition. Crops were scoured to 1-inch stubble.[9][95]
May 271997Jarrell, Texas271997 Central Texas tornado outbreak – Produced some of the most extreme damage ever documented.[9] An entire subdivision of well-built homes was swept completely away with no debris remaining. Pavement was torn from roads, and a large swath of ground was scoured out to a depth of 18 in (0.46 m). Vehicles were torn apart and scattered across fields, and a recycling plant was obliterated.[9][96]
April 81998Oak GrovePleasant Grove, Alabama32April 1998 Birmingham tornado – Many homes were swept away along the path.[9][97][98]
April 161998Wayne County, Tennessee31998 Nashville tornado outbreak – Originally considered part of a very long-tracked F5 tornado but was later determined to have been the first in a series of three separate, violent tornadoes. Multiple homes were reduced to their foundations. Although officially rated an F4, a re-analysis conducted in 2013 by the NWS Office in Nashville noted that the damage in Wayne County may warrant EF5; however, no tornadoes are rated using the enhanced scale that occurred prior to February 2007.[99]
April 161998Lawrence County, Tennessee01998 Nashville tornado outbreak – This tornado produced extreme damage at ground level.[9] Many large and well-built homes were swept away, and vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards. A swath of grass 200 ft (67 yd) wide was scoured from the ground, with nothing but bare soil and clumps of dirt remaining.[9][100]
May 31999Bridge CreekMoore, Oklahoma361999 Bridge Creek – Moore tornado – Mobile radar recorded winds up to 301 mph (484 km/h), which is the highest wind speed ever measured on Earth. Many homes were swept completely away, some of which were well-bolted to their foundations. Severe ground and pavement scouring occurred, and vehicles were thrown up to 440 yards away from where they originated. An airplane wing was carried for several miles, and a 36,000 lb freight car was thrown 3/4 of a mile.[9][101][102]
May 31999Cimarron CityMulhallPerry, Oklahoma2Cimarron City–Mulhall–Perry, Oklahoma tornado – Officially rated high-end F4. Tornado reached its greatest intensity while over mostly open terrain and the strongest winds may not have impacted structures. Town of Mulhall was impacted by only the outer edge of the circulation but still sustained F4 damage. Storm chasers suggested that the tornado may have been as strong as, or stronger than, the Bridge Creek–Moore tornado.[citation needed]

2000–2014[edit]

Officially and unofficially rated F5/EF5 tornadoes from 2000 to 2014[nb 2]
DayYearLocationFatalitiesNotes
May 42007Greensburg, Kansas11May 2007 tornado outbreak – This tornado destroyed 90% of the town, including seven well-built homes with anchor bolts that were swept away. Vehicles were thrown hundreds of feet, and a large water tower was toppled and mangled.[103]
June 222007Elie, Manitoba0Elie, Manitoba tornado – Two homes were swept away, including one that was well-bolted to its foundation. A few of the bolts themselves were snapped off. A van was thrown several hundred yards.[104] Only officially-rated F5 tornado in Canada.[105] Last tornado to be rated F5 due to Environment Canada utilizing the Enhanced Fujita Scale on April 1, 2013.
May 252008ParkersburgNew Hartford, Iowa9Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence – The tornado swept away well-built homes, leaving a large swath of finely-granulated debris. 17 homes were assessed to have sustained EF5 damage, two of which had no debris left within 200 yards of the foundations. Some homes had their anchor bolts pulled out of the foundation perimeter. A concrete walk-out basement wall was pushed over at one home, and the concrete floor was cracked. A large industrial building was completely destroyed, with metal girders twisted and snapped at their bases and the foundation pushed clean of debris.[106][107]
April 272011Smithville, Mississippi23April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak – Numerous well-built brick homes were swept away, including one that had part of its concrete slab foundation pulled up and dislodged slightly. The ground was deeply scoured outside of town, and an SUV was thrown half a mile into the top of a water tower. A large brick funeral home was reduced to a bare slab, and numerous trees and low shrubbery were debarked and shredded.[108][109][110]
April 272011HackleburgPhil Campbell, Alabama722011 Hackleburg – Phil Campbell, Alabama tornado – This was the deadliest tornado in Alabama state history. Many homes were swept away, some of which were large and well-built. Ground and pavement scouring occurred, trees were completely debarked, and vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards. A restaurant was obliterated, and a small portion of its foundation slab buckled.[111]
April 272011PhiladelphiaPreston, Mississippi3April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak – Was rated EF5 based upon extreme ground scouring. The tornado dug a two-foot-deep trench into a pasture and scoured pavement from roads. A tied-down mobile home was lofted and carried 300 yards through the air. Brick homes were swept away, and vehicles were tossed hundreds of yards and wrapped around trees. Entire trees were debarked and thrown long distances.[112]
April 272011TuscaloosaBirmingham, Alabama642011 Tuscaloosa – Birmingham tornado – Disagreement as to final ranking; officially rated high-end EF4, but one survey team awarded EF5 damage. Large section of an apartment building was swept completely away. A 34-tonne (74,957 lb) railroad trestle support structure was thrown 100 ft (30 m) up a hill, and a 35.8-tonne (78,925 lb) coal car was thrown 391 ft (119 m).[113][114]
April 272011RainsvilleSylvania, Alabama25April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak – Many homes were swept away, some of which had their concrete porches torn away and shattered. An 800-pound (363 kg) safe was ripped from its anchors and thrown 600 ft (183 m), and its door was ripped from its frame. Ground scouring occurred, and sidewalk pavement was pulled up. A pickup truck was tossed 250 yd (750 ft) and torn apart. An underground storm shelter was heaved slightly out of the ground, and pavement was scoured from roads.[114][115]
May 222011Joplin, Missouri1582011 Joplin tornado – Many homes, business, and industrial buildings were swept away, and large vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards. A large hospital was so severely damaged that it was structurally compromised and was rebuilt elsewhere in Joplin. Reinforced concrete porches were deformed and tossed, and 300-pound (136.08 kg) concrete parking stops anchored with rebar were ripped from parking lots and tossed well over 100 ft (30 m).[116] Ground and pavement scouring occurred, and heavy manhole covers were removed from roads as well.[117] On June 10, 2013, an engineering study found no evidence of EF5 structural damage in Joplin due to the poor quality of construction of many buildings. However, the EF5 rating stood as the National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri, stated that survey teams found only a very small area of EF5 damage and that it could have easily been missed in the survey.[118]
May 242011El RenoPiedmont, Oklahoma9May 21–26, 2011 tornado outbreak sequence – Mobile radar recorded winds over 200 mph (320 km/h). Many homes were swept away, trees were completely debarked, and extensive ground scouring occurred. At the Cactus 117 oil rig, a 1,900,000-pound (861,830 kg) oil derrick was blown over and rolled three times. Nearby, low-lying shrubbery was completely debarked. Cars were thrown long distances and wrapped around trees, one of which was thrown 780 yards and had its body ripped from the frame.[119] Additionally, a 20,000-pound (9,072 kg) oil tanker truck was thrown a mile.[120][121]
May 242011ChickashaBlanchardNewcastle, Oklahoma1May 21–26, 2011 tornado outbreak sequence – Officially rated high-end EF4; however, most extreme damage was borderline EF5. Well-built homes were swept away, pavement was scoured from a road, and vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards.[113][122][123]
May 242011WashingtonGoldsby, Oklahoma0May 21–26, 2011 tornado outbreak sequence – Officially a high-end EF4, but rating is disputed.[120] NCDC lists the tornado as having borderline-EF5 windspeeds, with winds estimated at 200 mph (320 km/h).[124] Large and well-built homes were swept completely away, severe ground scouring occurred, and vehicles were thrown hundreds of yards.[125][126]
May 202013Moore, Oklahoma242013 Moore tornado – Many homes were swept away, including 10 that were well-built and bolted to their foundations.[127] An elementary school was almost completely leveled and sustained EF5 damage, ground scouring occurred, and two 10-ton propane tanks were thrown more than half a mile. Wind rowing of debris was noted, and an oil tank was thrown a full mile from a production site, while another was never found.[128][129]
May 312013El Reno, Oklahoma82013 El Reno tornado – Largest tornado on record at 2.6 miles (4.2 km) wide. Was initially rated EF5 based solely on mobile Doppler radar measurements, which recorded winds up to 295 mph (470 km/h). However, the most significant structural damage was rated EF3, as the tornado did not strike any buildings when the EF5 winds were recorded. Rating was eventually downgraded to EF3 because of this, though the practicality of the downgrade has been disputed by some meteorologists.[130]
DayYearLocationFatalitiesNotes

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The winds estimated by the Fujita Scale are estimated values and have not been verified scientifically.[3]
  2. ^ a b All official F5 tornadoes in the United States are based off the Storm Prediction Center's list of F5 and EF5 tornadoes.[7]

References[edit]

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