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Did you know that the United States has on average 1200 tornadoes every year? This is more tornadoes than any other country in the world.

Here are the top 7 deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history.


On May 22 2011, an EF5 tornado, which is considered to be in the same class as the most powerful tornadoes, struck Joplin, Missouri. The Joplin tornado had winds estimated to reach 400 Km/h.
It left 160 people dead, and over 1,100 injured.

The cost in damages were enormous, costing in-between 2.8 to 3 billion dollars, making this tornado the single most expensive tornado in U.S. history.

3 quarters of Joplin had been damaged, with over 7000 houses completely destroyed, and another 850 damaged.


On April 9th 1947, an F5 tornado swept through 3 states, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. It is believed to have been an entire family of 8 to 9 other tornadoes.

It left 181 dead, with 970 injured, with most of these coming from Oklahoma, where the tornado was at its worst.

Estimated damage cost when considering current value is around $700 million.

#5 & #4 actually go together, because while they were 2 separate tornadoes, they happened only 1 day apart and from the same family of tornadoes. It's named the 1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak.

On April 5th & 6th 1936, at least 12 tornadoes landed in the Southern United States. The fifth and fourth deadliest tornadoes happened in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Gainesville, Georgia though.

The total death count from these 2 tornadoes is 419. 203 from Gainesville, and 216 from Tupelo. The actual death count is estimated to be higher, but newspapers back then only included the deaths of white people.


On May 27th 1896, a massive outbreak of tornadoes hit St. Louis. There were 14 confirmed tornadoes, 4 of them being F4s.
The third most deadly tornado in U.S. history landed in St.Louis, Missouri. It left a 1 mile wide trail of destruction, killing 137 people on its way to East St.Louis, Illinois, where another 118 lost their lives.

The official death count is 255, with estimates going over 400.


On May 7th 1840, a tornado landed in Natchez, Mississippi. It moved directly along with the Mississippi River, eventually getting to the riverport of Natchez Landing.

Most of the deaths were on the river, mainly due to flatboats sinking, along with their passengers. The official death count is 317, but similar to what was stated earlier, they didn't include slave lives back then, so actual death count may be much higher.


The deadliest tornado in U.S. history happened on March 18th, 1925. This tornado was part of an outbreak, and it alone spanned 3 states giving it the name "Tri-State Tornado."

It left the longest known trail of destruction in the world, spanning 151 to 235 miles, or 243 to 378 kilometers. It went from Ellington, Missouri to southwest illinois, then finally to Petersburg, Indiana.

It alone killed 695 people, with the majority of the deaths coming from Illinois and destroyed 15,000 homes.

And those are the 7 deadliest tornadoes in recorded US history!

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Source: Wikipedia & Google Image Search
tornado, how tornadoes happen

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