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, Illinois – April 24, 1880 – 6 fatalities

Hopkins, Missouri – June 12, 1881 – 2 fatalities

Grinnell, Iowa – June 17, 1882 – 68 fatalities

Rochester, Minnesota – August 21, 1883 – 37 fatalities

Oakville, Indiana – April 1, 1884 – 8 fatalities

Easton, Minnesota – June 15, 1892 – 12 fatalities

Darlington, Wisconsin – May 22, 1893 – 3 fatalities

Pomeroy, Iowa – July 6, 1893 – 71 fatalities

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

Halstead, Kansas – May 1, 1895 – 11 fatalities

Carmel, Iowa – May 3, 1895 – 15 fatalities

Sherman, Texas – May 15, 1896 – 73 fatalities

Seneca, Kansas – May 17, 1896 – 25 fatalities

Ortonville, Michigan – May 25, 1896 – 47 fatalities

Rietbrock, Wisconsin – May 18, 1898 – 12 fatalities

New Richmond, Wisconsin – June 12, 1899 – 117 fatalities

Snyder, Oklahoma – May 10, 1905 – 97 fatalities

Shabbona, Michigan – June 5, 1905 – 5 fatalities

Pender, Nebraska – April 23, 1908 – 3 fatalities

Carleton, Nebraska – June 5, 1908 – 11 fatalities

Creighton, Missouri – June 15, 1912 – 5 fatalities

Mullinville, Kansas – June 11, 1915 – 0 fatalities

Sedgwick, Kansas – May 25, 1917 – 23 fatalities

Carroll, Iowa – May 21, 1918 – 4 fatalities

Fergus Falls, Minnesota – June 22, 1919 – 57 fatalities

Waco, Alabama – April 20, 1920 – 88 fatalities

Alameda, Saskatchewan – July 22, 1920 – 4 fatalities

Pinson, Tennessee – March 11, 1923 – 20 fatalities

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

Thorp, Wisconsin – September 21, 1924 – 18 fatalities

Murphysboro, Illinois – March 18, 1925 – 695 fatalities

Yorkshire, Iowa – June 3, 1925 – 1 fatality

Rocksprings, Texas – April 12, 1927 – 74 fatalities

Hutchinson, Kansas – May 7, 1927 – 10 fatalities

Sneed, Arkansas – April 10, 1929 – 23 fatalities

Tryon, Nebraska – May 22, 1933 – 8 fatalities

Tupelo, Mississippi – April 5, 1936 – 233 fatalities

Oshkosh, Nebraska – April 26, 1938 – 3 fatalities

Clyde, Texas – June 10, 1938 – 14 fatalities

Capron, Oklahoma – April 14, 1939 – 7 fatalities

Anoka, Minnesota – June 18, 1939 – 9 fatalities

Lacon, Illinois – March 16, 1942 – 7 fatalities

Crowell, Texas – April 28, 1942 – 11 fatalities

Oberlin, Kansas – April 29, 1942 – 15 fatalities

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

Antlers, Oklahoma – April 12, 1945 – 69 fatalities

Woodward, Oklahoma – April 9, 1947 – 181 fatalities

Leedey, Oklahoma – May 31, 1947 – 6 fatalities

Waco, Texas – May 11, 1953 – 114 fatalities

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

Beecher, Michigan – June 8, 1953 – 116 fatalities

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

Adair, Iowa – June 27, 1953 – 1 fatality

Vicksburg, Mississippi – December 5, 1953 – 38 fatalities

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

Blackwell, Oklahoma – May 25, 1955 – 20 fatalities

Udall, Kansas – May 25, 1955 – 82 fatalities

Hudsonville, Michigan – April 3, 1956 – 18 fatalities

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

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

Sunfield, Illinois – December 18, 1957 – 1 fatality

Colfax, Wisconsin – June 4, 1958 – 21 fatalities

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

Prague, Oklahoma – May 5, 1960 – 5 fatalities

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

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

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

Bradshaw, Nebraska – May 5, 1964 – 2 fatalities

Dunlap, Indiana – April 11, 1965 – 36 fatalities

Pittsfield, Ohio – April 11, 1965 – 18 fatalities

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

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

Jackson, Mississippi – March 3, 1966 – 58 fatalities

Topeka, Kansas – June 8, 1966 – 16 fatalities

Belmond, Iowa – October 14, 1966 – 6 fatalities

Wheelersburg, Ohio – April 23, 1968 – 7 fatalities

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

Oelwein, Iowa – May 15, 1968 – 5 fatalities

Tracy, Minnesota – June 13, 1968 – 9 fatalities

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

Lubbock, Texas – May 11, 1970 – 26 fatalities

Inverness, Mississippi – February 21, 1971 – 47 fatalities

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

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

Depauw, Indiana – April 3, 1974 – 6 fatalities

Xenia, Ohio – April 3, 1974 – 36 fatalities

Brandenburg, Kentucky – April 3, 1974 – 31 fatalities

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

Tanner, Alabama – April 3, 1974 – 28 fatalities

Hazel Green, Alabama – April 3, 1974 – 22 fatalities*

Guin, Alabama – April 3, 1974 – 30 fatalities

Spiro, Oklahoma – March 26, 1976 – 2 fatalities

Brownwood, Texas – April 19, 1976 – 0 fatalities

Jordan, Iowa – June 13, 1976 – 0 fatalities

Birmingham, Alabama – April 4, 1977 – 22 fatalities

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

Barneveld, Wisconsin – June 8, 1984 – 9 fatalities

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

Wheatland, Pennsylvania – May 31, 1985 – 18 fatalities

Hesston, Kansas – March 13, 1990 – 1 fatality

Goessel, Kansas – March 13, 1990 – 1 fatality

Plainfield, Illinois – August 28, 1990 – 29 fatalities

Andover, Kansas – April 26, 1991 – 17 fatalities

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

Chandler, Minnesota – June 16, 1992 – 1 fatality

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

Oakfield, Wisconsin – July 18, 1996 – 0 fatalities

Jarrell, Texas – May 27, 1997 – 27 fatalities

Oak Grove, Alabama – April 8, 1998 – 32 fatalities

Deerfield, Tennessee – April 16, 1998 – 3 fatalities

Moore, Oklahoma – May 3, 1999 – 36 fatalities

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

Greensburg, Kansas – May 4, 2007 – 11 fatalities

Elie, Manitoba – June 22, 2007 – 0 fatalities

Parkersburg, Iowa – May 25, 2008 – 9 fatalities

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

Hackleburg, Alabama – April 27, 2011 – 72 fatalities

Smithville, Mississippi – April 27, 2011 – 23 fatalities

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

Rainsville, Alabama – April 27, 2011 – 25 fatalities

Joplin, Missouri – May 22, 2011 – 161 fatalities

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

Moore, Oklahoma – May 20, 2013 – 24 fatalities

El Reno, 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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