F5 Tornadoes – The List

The F5 tornado is one of nature’s most awesome powers. Its winds scream at over 200 mph and can make entire neighborhoods literally vanish. On May 3, 1999, an F5 devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma. A Doppler On Wheels (DOW) mobile radar unit measured a wind speed of 318 mph a few hundred feet above the surface, equating to roughly 280 mph at ground level. These are the strongest wind speeds ever recorded on this planet. This is the raw power of a tornado. These are just the tornadoes that are either confirmed or strongly suspected of being F5 twisters. The further back in time you, the harder it is to confirm the true intensity and most of the tornadoes prior to the 1950’s are based entirely on damage analysis conducted by contemporary researchers. This list is undoubtedly incomplete.

The F5s:

Langleyville, Christian County, Illinois – April 24, 1880 – 6 fatalities

Hopkins, Nodaway County, Missouri – June 12, 1881 – 2 fatalities

Grinnell, Poweshiek County, Iowa – June 17, 1882 – 68 fatalities

Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota – August 21, 1883 – 37 fatalities

Oakville, Delaware County, Indiana – April 1, 1884 – 8 fatalities

Easton, Faribault County, Minnesota – June 15, 1892 – 12 fatalities

Darlington, Lafayette County, Wisconsin – May 22, 1893 – 3 fatalities

Pomeroy, Calhoun County, Iowa – July 6, 1893 – 71 fatalities

Plum Creek, Kossuth County, Iowa – September 21, 1894 – 14 fatalities

Halstead, Harvey County, Kansas – May 1, 1895 – 11 fatalities

Carmel, Sioux County, Iowa – May 3, 1895 – 15 fatalities

Sherman, Grayson County, Texas – May 15, 1896 – 73 fatalities

Seneca, Nemaha County, Kansas – May 17, 1896 – 25 fatalities

Ortonville, Oakland County, Michigan – May 25, 1896 – 47 fatalities

Rietbrock, Marathon County, Wisconsin – May 18, 1898 – 12 fatalities

New Richmond, St. Croix County, Wisconsin – June 12, 1899 – 117 fatalities

Snyder, Kiowa County, Oklahoma – May 10, 1905 – 97 fatalities

Shabbona, Sanilac County, Michigan – June 5, 1905 – 5 fatalities

Pender, Thurston County, Nebraska – April 23, 1908 – 3 fatalities

Carleton, Thayer County, Nebraska – June 5, 1908 – 11 fatalities

Creighton, Bates County, Missouri – June 15, 1912 – 5 fatalities

Mullinville, Kiowa County, Kansas – June 11, 1915 – 0 fatalities

Sedgwick, Sedgwick County, Kansas – May 25, 1917 – 23 fatalities

Carroll, Carroll County, Iowa – May 21, 1918 – 4 fatalities

Fergus Falls, Otter Tail County, Minnesota – June 22, 1919 – 57 fatalities

Waco, Franklin County, Alabama – April 20, 1920 – 88 fatalities

Alameda, Division One, Saskatchewan – July 22, 1920 – 4 fatalities

Pinson, Madison County, Tennessee – March 11, 1923 – 20 fatalities

Colorado City, Mitchell County, Texas – May 14, 1923 – 23 fatalities

Thorp, Clark County, Wisconsin – September 21, 1924 – 18 fatalities

Murphysboro, Jackson County, Illinois – March 18, 1925 – 695 fatalities

Yorkshire, Harrison County, Iowa – June 3, 1925 – 1 fatality

Rocksprings, Edwards County, Texas – April 12, 1927 – 74 fatalities

Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas – May 7, 1927 – 10 fatalities

Sneed, Jackson County, Arkansas – April 10, 1929 – 23 fatalities

Tryon, McPherson County, Nebraska – May 22, 1933 – 8 fatalities

Tupelo, Lee County, Mississippi – April 5, 1936 – 233 fatalities

Oshkosh, Garden County, Nebraska – April 26, 1938 – 3 fatalities

Clyde, Callahan County, Texas – June 10, 1938 – 14 fatalities

Capron, Woods County, Oklahoma – April 14, 1939 – 7 fatalities

Anoka, Anoka County, Minnesota – June 18, 1939 – 9 fatalities

Lacon, Marshall County, Illinois – March 16, 1942 – 7 fatalities

Crowell, Foard County, Texas – April 28, 1942 – 11 fatalities

Oberlin, Decatur County, Kansas – April 29, 1942 – 15 fatalities

Wilmot, Roberts County, South Dakota – June 17, 1944 – 8 fatalities

Antlers, Pushmataha County, Oklahoma – April 12, 1945 – 69 fatalities

Woodward, Woodward County, Oklahoma – April 9, 1947 – 181 fatalities

Leedey, Dewey County, Oklahoma – May 31, 1947 – 6 fatalities

Waco, McLennan County, Texas – May 11, 1953 – 114 fatalities

Fort Rice, Morton County, North Dakota – May 29, 1953 – 2 fatalities

Beecher, Genesee County, Michigan – June 8, 1953 – 116 fatalities

Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts – June 9, 1953 – 94 fatalities*

Anita, Cass County, Iowa – June 27, 1953 – 1 fatality

Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi – December 5, 1953 – 38 fatalities

Vernon, Wilbarger County, Texas – May 1, 1954 – 0 fatalities*

Blackwell, Kay County, Oklahoma – May 25, 1955 – 20 fatalities

Udall, Cowley County, Kansas – May 25, 1955 – 82 fatalities

Hudsonville, Ottawa County, Michigan – April 3, 1956 – 18 fatalities

Ruskin Heights, Jackson County, Missouri – May 20, 1957 – 44 fatalities

Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota – June 20, 1957 – 10 fatalities

Sunfield, Perry County, Illinois – December 18, 1957 – 1 fatality

Colfax, Dunn County, Wisconsin – June 4, 1958 – 21 fatalities

El Dorado, Butler County, Kansas – June 10, 1958 – 15 fatalities*

Prague, Lincoln County, Oklahoma – May 5, 1960 – 5 fatalities

Rossville, Shawnee County, Kansas – May 19, 1960 – 0 fatalities*

Gates, Custer County, Nebraska – May 30, 1961 – 0 fatalities*

Wichita Falls, Wichita County, Texas – April 3, 1964 – 7 fatalities

Bradshaw, York County, Nebraska – May 5, 1964 – 2 fatalities

Dunlap, Elkhart County, Indiana – April 11, 1965 – 36 fatalities

Pittsfield, Lorain County, Ohio – April 11, 1965 – 18 fatalities

Colome, Tripp County, South Dakota – May 8, 1965 – 0 fatalities

Primrose, Boone County, Nebraska – May 8, 1965 – 4 fatalities*

Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi – March 3, 1966 – 58 fatalities

Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas – June 8, 1966 – 16 fatalities

Belmond, Wright County, Iowa – October 14, 1966 – 6 fatalities

Wheelersburg, Scioto County, Ohio – April 23, 1968 – 7 fatalities

Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa – May 15, 1968 – 13 fatalities

Oelwein, Fayette County, Iowa – May 15, 1968 – 5 fatalities

Tracy, Lyon County, Minnesota – June 13, 1968 – 9 fatalities

Bulahdelah, Gloucester County, New South Wales – January 1, 1970 – 0 fatalities*

Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas – May 11, 1970 – 26 fatalities

Inverness, Sunflower County, Mississippi – February 21, 1971 – 47 fatalities

San Justo, Santa Fe Province, Argentina – January 10, 1973 – 57 fatalities*

Valley Mills, McLennan County, Texas – May 6, 1973 – 0 fatalities

Depauw, Harrison County, Indiana – April 3, 1974 – 6 fatalities

Xenia, Greene County, Ohio – April 3, 1974 – 36 fatalities

Brandenburg, Meade County, Kentucky – April 3, 1974 – 31 fatalities

Sayler Park, Hamilton County, Ohio – April 3, 1974 – 3 fatalities

Tanner, Limestone County, Alabama – April 3, 1974 – 28 fatalities

Harvest, Madison County Alabama – April 3, 1974 – 22 fatalities*

Guin, Marion County, Alabama – April 3, 1974 – 30 fatalities

Spiro, Le Flore County, Oklahoma – March 26, 1976 – 2 fatalities

Brownwood, Brown County, Texas – April 19, 1976 – 0 fatalities

Jordan, Boone County, Iowa – June 13, 1976 – 0 fatalities

Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama – April 4, 1977 – 22 fatalities

Broken Bow, McCurtain County, Oklahoma – April 2, 1982 – 0 fatalities

Barneveld, Iowa County, Wisconsin – June 8, 1984 – 9 fatalities

Ivanovo, Ivanovskaya, Russia – June 9, 1984 – 92 fatalities*

Wheatland, Mercer County, Pennsylvania – May 31, 1985 – 18 fatalities

Hesston, Harvey County, Kansas – March 13, 1990 – 1 fatality

Goessel, Marion County, Kansas – March 13, 1990 – 1 fatality

Plainfield, Will County, Illinois – August 28, 1990 – 29 fatalities

Andover, Butler County, Kansas – April 26, 1991 – 17 fatalities

Red Rock, Noble County, Oklahoma – April 26, 1991 – 0 fatalities*

Chandler, Murray County, Minnesota – June 16, 1992 – 1 fatality

Kellerville, Wheeler County, Texas – June 8, 1995 – 0 fatalities*

Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin – July 18, 1996 – 0 fatalities

Jarrell, Travis County, Texas – May 27, 1997 – 27 fatalities

Edgewater, Jefferson County, Alabama – April 8, 1998 – 32 fatalities

Deerfield, Lawrence County, Tennessee – April 16, 1998 – 3 fatalities

Moore, Cleveland County, Oklahoma – May 3, 1999 – 36 fatalities

Franklin, Crawford County, Kansas – May 4, 2003 – 4 fatalities*

Greensburg, Kiowa County, Kansas – May 4, 2007 – 11 fatalities

Elie, Division Ten, Manitoba – June 22, 2007 – 0 fatalities

Parkersburg, Butler County, Iowa – May 25, 2008 – 9 fatalities

Prince Chapel, Kemper County, Mississippi – April 27, 2011 – 3 fatalities

Hackleburg, Marion County, Alabama – April 27, 2011 – 72 fatalities

Smithville, Monroe County, Mississippi – April 27, 2011 – 23 fatalities

Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama – April 27, 2011 – 64 fatalities*

Rainsville, DeKalb County, Alabama – April 27, 2011 – 25 fatalities

Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri – May 22, 2011 – 161 fatalities

El Reno, Canadian County, Oklahoma – May 24, 2011 – 9 fatalities

Blanchard, McClain County, Oklahoma – May 24, 2011 – 1 fatality*

Dibble, McClain County, Oklahoma – May 24, 2011 – 0 fatalities* 

Moore, Cleveland County, Oklahoma – May 20, 2013 – 24 fatalities

El Reno, Canadian County, Oklahoma – May 31, 2013 – 8 fatalities 

*indicates unofficial tornado. Note that all tornadoes prior to 1950 are unofficial, though not denoted as such here

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4 Responses to F5 Tornadoes – The List

  1. Raymond says:

    What happened to your stories of the above tornadoes?

  2. Raymond says:

    Eric, if I’ve already asked this question, please delete this. I was wondering about some historical tornadoes; 1920 Peggs, Oklahoma, 1905 Marquette, Kansas and 1911 Antlers, North Dakota. Would these be possible continders for F5 status?

    Raymond

    • Sorry I’m not very active in the comments section here. The consensus of researchers on all three of those was that they were F4 events. I do have a fairly long list of possible F5s that I do keep up with but haven’t published yet. I have embraced some autonomy in adding members to this list that a feel were underrated, but it’s something I take very seriously and look for multiple corroborating professional sources before adding any unofficial member to this list.

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