The Top Ten US Killer Tornadoes

The United States gets about 1000 recorded tornadoes every year. Today, only a few are killers, but that has not always been so. About 200 US tornadoes have killed 18 or more people. Of those, about 150 occurred in the 70 year period between 1879 and 1949. There have been about 45 tornadoes since 1950 that have killed 18 or more people. In the 1950s, there were 18 tornadoes that killed 18 or more people. In the 1960s, there were 12 tornadoes that killed 18 or more people. In the 1970s,there were 11 tornadoes that killed 18 or more people. And in the 1980s, there were only 2 tornadoes that killed more than 18 people. In spite of an ever-burgeoning population, death figures continue to go down as improved forecasting, detection, communications, and public awareness increase. To read more about each of the "Top Ten US Killer Tornadoes," click on the event numbers or locations in the table below.


Rank State(s) Date Time Dead Injured F-Scale Town(s)
1 MO-IL-IN March 18, 1925 1:01PM 695 2027 F5 Murphysboro,Gorham, DeSoto
2 LA-MS May 7, 1840 1:45 PM 317 109 F? Nachez
3 MO-IL May 27, 1896 6:30PM 255 1000 F4 St. Louis, East St. Louis
4 MS April 5, 1936 8:55 PM 216 700 F5 Tupelo
5 GA April 6, 1936 8:27 AM 203 1600 F4 Gainesville
6 TX-OK-KS April 9, 1947 6:05 PM 181 970 F5 Glazier, Higgins, Woodward
7 LA-MS April 24, 1908 11:45AM 143 770 F4 Amite, Pine, Purvis
8 WI June 12, 1899 5:40PM 117 200 F5 New Richmond
9 MI June 8, 1953 8:30 PM 115 844 F5 Flint
10 TX May 11, 1953 4:10PM 114 597 F5 Waco

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The Top Ten Tornado Statistics Page
The Top Ten Worst Tornado-Related Disasters in Schools




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