Worst Twisters In U.S. History

The following is a list of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in recent U.S. history.

One of the worst storm systems recorded struck seven states in 1884, killing more than 800 people.


  • May 31, 1985: 90 killed in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario.
  • April 3-4, 1974: More than 300 killed in "super outbreak" of 148 tornadoes in 11 Midwest states.
  • Feb. 21, 1971: 110 killed in Mississippi Delta region.
  • April 11, 1965: 271 killed in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • May 25, 1955: 115 killed in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • June 9, 1953: 90 killed in Worcester, Mass., area.
  • June 8, 1953: 142 killed in Michigan and Ohio.
  • May 11, 1953: 114 killed in Waco, Texas, area.
  • March 21, 1952: 208 killed in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas.
  • April 9, 1947: 169 killed in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
  • June 23, 1944: 150 killed in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland.
  • April 6, 1936: 203 killed at Gainesville, Ga.
  • April 5, 1936: 216 killed at Tupelo, Miss.
  • March 21, 1932: 268 killed in Alabama.
  • March 18, 1925: 689 killed in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
  • May 18, 1902: 114 killed at Goliad, Texas.
  • May 27, 1896: 300 killed in Missouri and Illinois.
  • Feb. 19, 1884: More than 800 killed in Mississippi, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana.
  • May 6, 1840: 317 killed in Natchez, Miss.

Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Weather Service), The Tornado Project, World Almanac, Associated Press reports.