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Tri-state Tornado, The Deadliest Tornado in History

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Tornados cause many deaths and injuries every year. “On average, tornados cause 70 deaths and 1,500 injuries in the United States every year.” (Rudolph 19). The deadliest tornado in United States history is the Tri-state tornado of 1925. The tornado struck before modern technology was available to record the actual strength of the tornado, but it is accepted that the tornado would have been recorded as an F5 if it were to happen now (Hyde). The Tri-State tornado started in southern Missouri and headed toward Illinois. The tornado had a diameter larger than a mile and was on the ground for over 3 hours and killed 695 people ( The average speed of the tornado was around 63 mph(Hyde). All these factors combined made this tornado the deadliest one in history.

The weather surrounding the tornado is also interesting. Gorham, Illinois was completely destroyed by the tornado, but their weather was very unusual for a tornado to come through. They recalled the morning as being dark from cloud cover, rainy, and little wind. Normally tornados come after a partly sunny and windy morning and then turns into storms later in the afternoon(Hyde). Robert Maddox and colleagues made a plan and looked at the weather that happened on that day to see how the tornado could form when its deadliest place had unfavorable conditions. How the tornado was made is because it ran along a triple point. When a warm front, occluded, and cold front meet in a low pressure system a tornado can be made easily (Hyde). The tornado was unexpected, but costly and deadly. The amount of damages caused by the Tri-State tornado were around $17 million ( The amount of time and the area covered by the Tri-State tornado is truly devastating. It was so powerful and delivered such damage. Time has finally hidden the traces of the tornado, but it can be hard to realize there is the potential for so much damage. The amount of damage is more than what we have had in recent history. The tornado in Joplin, MO was hard for so many to comprehend. People believed it was the worst tornado yet, but it pailed in comparison. the Joplin Tornado stayed pretty well confined to one area and it did not last anywhere near 3 hours. To realize the devastation there was mild in comparison to another makes one hope we never see one like that again.

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Tri-State Tornado, the Deadliest Tornado in History. (2018, September 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 25, 2022, from
“Tri-State Tornado, the Deadliest Tornado in History.” GradesFixer, 27 Sept. 2018,
Tri-State Tornado, the Deadliest Tornado in History. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Jun. 2022].
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