1925 Miami tornado
The 1925 Miami tornado was a strong tornado that struck Dade County, Florida, on April 5, 1925. It remains the deadliest tornado to affect the south Florida county, and it is estimated to have been the most intense tornado to strike the Miami area. The tornado caused five deaths and produced damage totals that were estimated near $200–300,000 (1925 USD). 35 people were also hospitalized because of injuries. The tornado remains the only tornado to cause multiple fatalities in Dade County. It is estimated that the tornado may have produced F3 damage based on photographs taken after the passage of the thunderstorm.
The exact path and strength of the tornado are uncertain, since it occurred prior to modern records which began in 1950. The first tornadoes to directly receive damage ratings on the Fujita scale occurred in 1971. The 1925 tornado was first reported in its formative stage over the Everglades near Hialeah, where several golfers noted a funnel cloud around 1:00 p.m. Hail was reported with the parent thunderstorm prior to the sighting of the funnel cloud. The slow movement of the storm was accompanied by a large amount of people outside during the Sunday afternoon, which led to a considerable amount of reports; several reports originated from passing motorists. The vortex touched down around 1:15 p.m., and the tornado was described as a "very slender" funnel that frequently lifted from the ground for brief periods. The debris swirling around the rotation was compared to smoke from "burning oil." Later, the slow moving tornado passed over a dairy farm, killing one person and injuring 20 people. Losses from the farm reached $100,000. The tornado eventually intensified and destroyed numerous properties northwest and north of the city of Miami, causing at least three deaths. Some residents successfully attempted to flee in automobiles, though the cars were wrecked and some were thrown for distances. The tornado became rain wrapped, weakened, and dissipated over the northern portion of Biscayne Bay, though it destroyed some power poles along the eastern half of its damage path. Hail associated with the storm was measured to three inches (7.6 cm) in diameter, damaging automobiles and residences' roofs. The damage path was less than 100 yards (0.05 miles) in width, and the funnel was visible for nearly one hour. The thunderstorm also affected the communities of Ojus, Little River, Biscayne Park, and Lemon City. In total, the tornado demolished nearly 50 residences.
|F#||Location||County||Time (UST)||Path length||Damage|
|F3 (estimated)||Vicinity of Hialeah to Biscayne Bay||Dade||Around 1815||Unknown||Five fatalities were related directly to the tornado or injuries from flying debris. The tornado destroyed the state's largest dairy farm west of Miami, while the thunderstorm that spawned the tornado affected the region from Homestead to Fort Lauderdale. Hundreds of people were homeless after the storm, and several residences were destroyed at Biscayne Park. One person died when a restaurant was destroyed, while the stove was thrown 100 yards (0.05 miles).|
- Gray, Richard W. (1925). "The Tornado of April 5, 1925, near Miami, Fla." (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
- Gregoria, Dan. "WFO Miami, Florida severe weather climatology" (PDF). National Weather Service. Archived from the original on September 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
- Lushine, James B. "Summary of Severe Weather Outbreak in South Florida: February 2, 1998". National Weather Service Miami, Florida office. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
- Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: Chronology and Analysis of Events. Environmental Films.
- United Press (1925). "Three Perish, Heavy Damage in Tornado Near Miama, Florida". The Portsmouth Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-06-02.[dead link]
- The Associated Press (1925). "Florida Tornado Takes Toll of 4 Lives on Sunday". The La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved 2008-06-02.[dead link]