On the 16th
June 1992, a devastating Tornado ravaged elements of southwest Minnesota (MN). Normally
known as the Chandler-Lake Wilson, MN Tornado.
This Tornado destroyed
more than seventy five homes with another ninety homes, ten businesses, a
church + a school suffered damaged.
Fifty million dollars in damage was caused, forty people suffered injuries and one person was killed by the Tornado.
Based upon a comprehensive
damage assessment by the National Weather Service, it’s assessed this F5/EF-5
Tornado had winds in excess of two hundred and sixty miles per hour as it swept
through the residential area of Chandler, MN.
Fun fact for you all! This was the only
F5/EF-5 to strike in the United States in 1992.
Wilson Tornado touched down shortly after 5:00pm initially near Leota, MN. The
Tornado obliterated a two house farmstead just east of Leota as it strengthened
and churned its way toward Chandler and Lake Wilson.
Suffice to say
the Tornado reached its greatest size and strength as it headed over the hill
and directly south of Chandler, churning its way into the residential area of
west Chandler at 5:18pm approximately.
The enormous Tornado
was on the ground for well over an hour, travelling around thirty five miles
across southwest MN, from northwest Nobles County, through Murray County and
into southeast Lyon County.
for you all! The Tornado had a maximum width of three-quarters of a mile wide
in the area of Chandler-Lake Wilson area.
The Tornado was a part of a major severe weather event that swept across the northern Plains that week. You can read more on that here.
Clearer version of the above video can be found below.
Find more of our articles on Tornadoes
that have struck the state of Minnesota here.
Tornado swept through the southeastern side of Springfield, IL near Jerome1.
The parent thunderstorm produced a wind gust of ninety eight miles per hour at
Capital Airport, which was on the north side of the town.
1: A diagram of the Tornadoes path can be found below.
were killed and more than fifty people were injured by the Tornado. Damage to
property was estimated at three million dollars – twenty five homes were
destroyed and one hundred and seventy five others were badly damaged.
The Illinois State Register stated the following the day after the Tornado: “This Tornado ended the myth that Springfield was Tornado-proof because it was in a bowl”. Newspaper clippings relating to the Tornado can be found here.
43 years ago today! Just let number sink in! That’s a very long time.
This day won’t be forgotten by many people who live in the Illinois counties of DuPage and Cook County during 1976 summer.
It had started
as a normal day on the 13th June in the Chicago Metro area. Suffice
to safe the region had been experiencing a very warm period with a high of
ninety four degrees recorded the previous day.
temperatures lingering in the lower to middle eighty’s, little would be known
in a few minutes after 5:00pm, bedlam was about ensue/strike southern DuPage
and southwestern Cook Counties.
Tornado formed across the Lemont, Illinois area at approxminetly 5:18pm, just
north of the downtown area. From that point onwards, the Tornado began taking a
rather unpredictable track…
…First heading southeast through the
eastern sections of the town.
grew significantly causing extensive damage at the Hillcrest subdivision of the
area. The Tornado then headed in a northerly direction, then northwest where it
took the roof off an Argonne National Laboratory reactor.
Moving on, the
Tornado then crossed I-55555 where it caused more damage before it finally
In the wake of the Tornado, two people died and twenty three people were injured. The track of the Tornado was eight miles long – width of up to eight hundred yards. That’s massive!
Total damage costs approached thirteen million dollars. After all the damage was surveyed, the final rating of the Tornado was an F4/EF-4.
Today marks the fifty third anniversary of one of the most
destructive and deadly Tornadoes in Kansas history.
The enormous Tornado that struck Topeka, Kansas on the 8th June 1966 killed seventeen people, injured over five hundred people and caused over two hundred million dollars in damage1.
1: At the time, highest in
American history. With modern-day inflation taken into consideration, the
Tornado still ranks as one of the costliest on record. Estimated at around one
point eight billion dollars.
WITH THAT BEING SAID, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ACTUAL TORNADO
The Tornado formed at around
7:00pm west of Auburn in southwest Shawnee County, cut a twenty two mile long
path, at times half a mile wide, across the heart of the city.
Total destruction happened
along an eight block section in the center of Topeka. Every building on the
campus of Washburn University was either destroyed or heavily damaged – ten million
dollars in damage, ALONE.
Across the city, almost eight
hundred homes were completely destroyed with nearly three thousand damaged. The
Capitol Dome sustained damage from the flying debris, as did other buildings in
The devastation caused by this Tornado led to it being classified as an F5/EF-5 – with winds estimated at over two hundred and fifty miles per hour.
The Tornado held a
northeastern pace at approxmintanly thirty five miles per hour, however
weakened after leaving the downtown area,
It finally dissipated just
east of Billard Airport on the city’s northeast side having been on the ground
for about half an hour.
Power and utilities in many
parts of the city were out for weeks, and hundreds were left homeless.
As it entered the southwest
part of the city, the enormous Tornado roared across Burnetts Mound…
…Ending a longstanding Indian that the Mound would deflect any Tornadoes and spare the city.
Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck the state of Kansas here.
The above feature photo was captured by Tim Marshall. Provided with permission. This historic Tornado happened six years ago today.
The maximum width of the Tornado was two point six miles wide!
On the 31st
May 2013, a powerful, long-track Tornado developed southwest of El Reno, Oklahoma
(OK). This remarkably wide Tornado took a difficult path, changing in both
speed and direction rapidly.
You can find out more about the Tornado’s
movement on a minute-by-minute basis here.
The Tornado damaged many homes as well as a few businesses near El Reno, OK. Furthermore, significant sub-vortices destroyed crops in a number of fields in the area. Eight people were killed in the Tornado, all in vehicles…
three severe storm researchers who were killed east of U.S. Highway 81 as the
Tornado overtook their position. We will have an article on those incredibly
talented and well-respected researchers coming out later tonight.
number of people were killed whilst attempting to escape the Tornado near U.S.
Highway 81. Finally, two people were killed along 1-40 while waiting for the
Tornado to pass. Suffice to say the monetary damages were estimated.
It’s safe to suggest this Tornado was well “sampled” by two separate mobile research radar teams – bullet point listed below.
of Oklahoma’s RaXPol radar
for Severe Weather Research’s Doppler on Wheels
Both radars captured measured winds in the Tornado of more than two hundred miles per hour.
radar data shows winds of at least two hundred and ninety five miles per hour
very close to the surface. The intense winds were present in a very small
sub-vortices within the larger Tornado circulation.
An analysis of
the high resolution radar data combined with the results of the ground damage
survey illustrates that none of these intense sub-vortices impacted any
structures. Despite the measured wind speeds…
could not find any damage that would support a rating higher than EF-3 based
upon the damage indicators used with the EF scale. The maximum Tornado width
was two point six miles.
We didn’t particularly want to make this a wordy article, however we wanted to give this Tornado a detailed introduction. Now you’ve read about it…
…In the videos below, relive the EF-3 El Reno, OK Tornado that struck on the 31st May 2013.
This tornadic event happened five years ago yesterday.
We remember this Tornado for the video that emerged afterwards! A handful of supercell thunderstorms formed in eastern Montana and moved into the northwest region of North Dakota (ND) late in the afternoon on the 26th May 2014.
storms produced significant hail and lots of rain. However in the early
evening, reports were of rotating wall clouds and potential funnel clouds were received
from numerous locations in McKenzie County, ND.
An EF-2 Tornado
touched down six miles south of the city of Watford, and caused significant
damage to an RV park that was serving as a semi-permanent housing facility1
for oil workers.
campers, serving as homes, were completely destroyed and two more were damaged
by this Tornado. Other damaged included a snapped wooden power line pole, vehicles
and fences – wooden/metal.
One vehicle was
thrown sixty feet and flipped onto its roof, with a trailer parked next to its initial
location also flipped and completely destroyed. Thankfully, no one was killed,
however nine people were injured.
particularly want to make this a wordy article, however we wanted to give this
Tornado a detailed introduction. Now you’ve read about it…
…In the videos below, relive the EF-2 Watford City, ND Tornado that struck on the 26th May 2014.
Yesterday and today marks the fifty
first anniversary of the outbreak.
The May 15th
-16th 1968 Tornado outbreak was a significant and deadly
event. The outbreak of Tornadoes affected the states listed below.
This outbreak produced thirty nine Tornadoes from 3:28pm on the 15th May till 2:50am on the 16th May. This included two F5/EF-5 Tornadoes in Iowa1.
1: The first
F5/EF-5 Tornado swept through five counties and sixty five miles. It affected
Charles City just before 5:00pm. This particular Tornado destroyed much of the
area. Damage figures were estimated up to thirty million dollars in Charles
City alone whilst one point five million dollars in damage was recorded
elsewhere. This F5/EF-5 killed thirteen people and injured almost four hundred
and sixty people.
featured photo of this article is that of the F5/EF-5 that struck Charles City –
however the photo was captured two miles southwest of the city by Floyd County
The second F5/EF-5
Tornado affected Fayette County at around 4:57pm. It destroyed or damaged
nearly a thousand homes. The hardest hit areas were Oelwein and Maynard where
homes were completely swept away from their foundations. Five people were
killed by this F5/EF-5 whilst one hundred and sixty were injured.
These were two
of four F5/EF-5 Tornadoes that struck the United States during the year of 1968
– the other two; southwestern Ohio on the 23rd April and Minnesota
on the 13th June. The next and last official F5/EF-5 Tornado that
touched down in Iowa was in Jordan on the 13th June 1976.
The thirty nine
Tornadoes spawned during this outbreak killed seventy two people and caused twelve
hundred injuries. You can find more details on the outbreak here.
On the 13th May 1980, A F3/EF3 Tornado struck the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Tornado first touched down at 4:00pm eight miles of the city limits, it steadly moved eastward through downtown Kalamazoo.
dissipated east of the city at around 4:25pm. So essentially, the Tornado was
on the ground for twenty five minutes.Twenty five minutes
had passed by, however the devastation left in the wake of this Tornado was substantial.
Five people died, seventy nine injured and over fifty million dollars in property damage. William Milliken walked through the area hours later, and suggested the following: “It reminds me of a bombed
recommend you read the Kalamazoo public library’s dedicated webpage on the
Tornado, click here
to take a read…
…We didn’t particularly want to make this a wordy article, however we wanted to give this Tornado a substantial introduction.
Now you’ve read about it, now relive the Kalamazoo, Michigan Tornado of May 13th 1980 thru the lens of a camera in the videos below.
Find an incredible gallery of photos of damage caused by this Tornado here.
This Tornado was one of many that struck during the Red River Valley Tornado
outbreak of the 10th April 1979…
will be producing a separate article on this outbreak in due course. You can
find more out on the Wichita Falls, Texas (TX) storm itself here.
F4/EF-4 Tornado that struck Wichita Falls, TX formed several miles southwest of
the city in Archer County, travelling over mostly open land.
the Tornado turned east-northeast, it entered Wichita County – damaging a
handful of rural homes, string of high voltage towers.
into the city of Wichita Falls, the Tornado first struck Memorial Stadium and
McNiel Junior High School, severely damaging both buildings (#1 on the damage
path diagram below).
The Tornado’s formation and its movement towards the stadium and high school was captured on camera by Wolfgang Lange from the front of his apartment complex (#2 on the damage path diagram) – see in the photos below.
capturing the last photo of the Tornado, Lange retreated to the complex’s
laundry room and hid between heavy commercial washers and dryers. Luckily, he only
suffered minor injuries.
Northeast of Lange’s apartment complex, on the first street of houses, a man by the name of Robert Molet also captured the Tornado on camera as it approached (#3 on the damage path diagram) – see in the photos below.
Lange’s view, as you can see in the above photos, Molet did not have an unhindered
view of the Tornado – did not immediately recognise the F4/EF-4 wedge.
stood in his backyard driveway and captured the destruction of the above
mentioned apartment complex and the beginning of his neighbourhood being destroyed.
carried on taking photos until the wind blew him into his garage. Although, his
house was completely destroyed, Molet escaped with only minor injuries –
protecting him from the worst of the winds and debris.
first deaths caused by Tornado were recorded at the already mentioned apartment
complex and adjoining housing area.
east-northeast, the Tornado severely damaged commercial buildings along
Southwest Parkway, including total devastation of the Southwest National Bank Building
except its vault (#4 on the damage path diagram).
of Southwest Parkway, the F4/EF-4 wedge destroyed many homes in the Western Hills
(DR). Further eastward, many houses in the Faith Village were destroyed, Ben
Milam Elementary School was severely damaged (#6 on the damage path diagram).
The Tornado was captured on camera from the south of the city by Pat Blacklock – see in the photos below (#5 on the damage path diagram).
As you can see in the last few photos above,
the gust front/strong west winds to the south of the Tornado can be seen
producing waves on Lake Wichita – kicking up spray from the lake.
As the F4/EF-4 wedge crossed Kemp Boulevard, a number of commercial business were destroyed – resulting in several deaths. The Tornado’s most destructive winds missed the Sikes Senter Shopping Mall to the south, but a handful of stores were damaged.
the above mentioned shopping mall, the Tornado crossed a greenbelt area, “skirted”
Midwestern State University on the south side – severely damaging more housing
From the Ligon Coliseum of the University, Professor Joe Henderson captured the Tornado on camera (#7 on the damage path diagram) – see in the photos below.
The F4/EF-4 wedge was also captured on camera by Troy Glover from the roof of the Bethania hospital (#8 on the damage path diagram) – see in the photo below.
number of people tried to outrun the Tornado as it crossed the south side of
the city by getting in vehicles and driving east of Southwest Parkway – north on
US Highway 281 and east on US Highway 287.
Tornado blew many of those vehicles off the above mentioned highways, resulting
in numerous deaths.
F4/EF-4 wedge took the lives of forty two people in Wichita Falls, twenty five
deaths were vehicle related and sixteen of the twenty five deaths got in vehicles
to outrun the Tornado.
leaving the east side of the city, the Tornado destroyed the Sun Valley housing
area, the Sunnyside Heights Mobile Home Park and several large commercial
businesses including the Levi Strauss Plant – iconic jean maker.
of Wichita Falls, the Tornado trekked into Clay County. Not only did it enter a
different county, it changed its appearance.
As seen in the photos below, captured by Winston Wells, the Tornado became multivortex (#10 on the damage path diagram). At one time, the F4/EF-4 wedge displayed as many as five satellite vortices.
this stage of its life, the Tornado did extensive damage just south of Dean and
near Byars, destroying a significant number of rural homes, but thankfully
causing no deaths.
The grief and devastation caused by this Tornado is almost unthinkable
particular type of Tornado event is unheard of! A violent Tornado tearing
through an eight mile section of a city.
addition to the forty two deaths caused directly by the F4/EF-4 wedge, three
more people died of heart attacks/illnesses during the stress of the Tornado’s
life. The number of reported injuries approached almost eighteen hundred
however additional injuries were never recorded.
In 1979 dollars, total property damage
in the city was estimated at four hundred million.
three thousand homes were destroyed and another were damaged. One thousand
apartment units/condominiums were destroyed and another one hundred and thirty
Around one hundred and forty mobile homes were destroyed, two schools were obliterated and eleven others suffered significant damage. Over one hundred commercial businesses were destroyed, some of which were large businesses/manufacturing – including Levi.
That concludes our in-depth overview of the Tornado. Now, relive the Tornado in videos below.
It was a terrible Tuesday! On the 5th May 1964, a historic, destructive and deadly Tornado event affected a number of counties within central and eastern Nebraska.
Two particularly damaging/significant Tornadoes touched down, one was rated an F5/EF-5 and the other F4.
It’s suffice to say, the above mentioned F5/EF-5 Tornado travelled nearly seventy miles from eastern Adams County to northwestern Butler County is the last F5/EF-5 Tornado recorded in Nebraska. With that being said, let’s get into an overview of the Tornado event.
For some residents in central/eastern Nebraska, 5th May 1964, started out like any other day. However, by sunset, it would be a day of total destruction. During the afternoon, severed thunderstorms developed and quickly pushed northeast.
of these storms produced an F4/EF-4 Tornado touched down initially in
southeastern Greeley County and destroyed much of Wolbach and caused several injuries
– thankfully and fortunately no one died.
It’s safe to say, the biggest and most destructive Tornado was yet to come. By 5:00pm, a Tornado touched down just southeast of Hastings and developed into an F5/EF-5. Two people were killed by this Tornado a farm three miles northwest of Bradshaw…
…There were also numerous injuries,
including fifteen people near Shelby.
several towns along the way which were spared a direct hit, including Hampton,
Bradshaw, Benedict, Stromsburg and Shelby. Suffice to say there was complete
destruction of all farmsteads in the direct path.
It was a significant and powerful Tornado that completely destroyed at least a dozen of these farms within the first thirty miles of its track. The Tornado width was one quarter of a mile wide, sometimes two – three separate damaging funnels extended from the same cloud.
preceded, accompanied and followed the Tornado touching down. The Tornado
lifted near Bellwood in Butler County, the Tornado briefly touched the ground a
few times in the next forty miles.
Find a poster about the Tornado, produced by the National Weather Service (NWS) in the link below.