This record breaking Tornadic event happened ninety four years ago today.

The Tri-State Tornado is at the moment in time the U.S. record holder for several elements – listed below.

  • Longest Tornado track – two hundred and nineteen miles (219)*
  • Most deaths in a single Tornado – six hundred and ninety five (695)
  • Most injuries in a single Tornado – two thousand and twenty seven (2027)

*The track was originally two hundred and eighteen miles – study by Johns et al. showed seventeen more miles – according to Gabe Garfield.

The below quote from the NWS explains the Tri-State Tornado brilliantly.

“On March 18, 1925, the Great Tri-State Tornado tore across Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Southwest Indiana. With its rapid movement, monstrous size, and long track, the tornado took hundreds of lives and injured thousands. By all means, the Tri-State Tornado was a rare event—an event that few people will ever experience in their lifetime.”

National Weather Service – Paducah, KY

Whilst this Tornadic event happened before modern time, this particular Tornado is considered to be a F5/EF-5 – on the Fujita/Enhanced Fujita Scale rating.

This deadly Tornado swept through three states – reason why it’s called Tri-State – tearing through thirteen counties. These counties include: Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

The Tri-State Tornado tore through nine towns and numerous smaller villages – significant damage was caused of course.

It’s safe to suggest that track of this Tornado has been lost – due to growth of landscape and human development.

The map (pictured to the left) was produced by Wilson and Changnon in 1971. The illustration to the left seems to provide the most accurate track of this Tornado.

Photo credit: Wilson and Changnon

Find a re-created (digitised) copy of above map below – this visualisation was produced by U.S Tornadoes’ James Hyde.

Photo credit: James Hyde

We’re going to leave it there! However, we’re going to point you in the direction of some incredible material on the Tri-State Tornado – links can be found below.

More links coming soon!

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