1881 Minnesota tornado outbreak

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1881 Minnesota tornado outbreak
NewUlm1881.jpg
Damage to New Ulm after the tornado
Type Tornado outbreak
Duration July 15–16, 1881
Tornadoes confirmed ≥ 6
Max rating1 F4 tornado
Duration of tornado outbreak2 4 hours
Casualties 24 deaths, ≥ 123 injuries

1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

2Time from first tornado to last tornado

The 1881 Minnesota tornado outbreak was a deadly tornado outbreak that struck southern Minnesota on July 15–16, 1881. At least six tornadoes touched down between 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm CST, killing 24 people and injuring at least 123.[1] The deadliest tornado of the outbreak, an F4 that killed 20 people in and near New Ulm, was likely a tornado family that may have caused F5 damage to rural farmsteads. Six people died in New Ulm, where people from nearby settlements had congregated to avoid Native American attacks.[1][discuss]

Confirmed tornadoes[edit]

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
F?
Confirmed
F0
Confirmed
F1
Confirmed
F2
Confirmed
F3
Confirmed
F4
Confirmed
F5
≥ 6 ? ? ? 3 1 2 0

July 15 event[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Minnesota
F4 SE of Ortonville to N of Appleton Lac Qui Parle, Big Stone, Swift 2000 30 miles (48 km) 4 deaths – This long-lived, violent tornado may have first developed across the Minnesota–South Dakota state line in South Dakota.[1] It caused damage to six farms southeast of Odessa, but with no deaths. It leveled numerous farms near Odessa and Correll before killing four people in and near Fairfield in Swift County.[1]
F4 W of Bird Island to S of New Ulm Renville, Sibley, Nicollet, Brown 2130 40 miles (64 km) 20 deaths – An "extremely violent" tornado family, likely of F5 intensity, devastated farms and the west side of New Ulm.[1] The tornado struck five farms in Wellington Township, obliterating every building on each of them and causing two deaths. The tornado killed five additional people in Cairo Township, all in one family.[1] On the Minnesota River, the tornado razed nine homes in West Newton, where five more people died. Observers reported two parallel damage swaths nearby, indicating two or more tornadoes in the area and possible reformation into a distinct event.[1] Next, the tornado veered sharply to the left as it entered the west side of New Ulm, destroying that section of town, demolishing 47 structures, and killing six people. The town was hard hit, with 247 buildings damaged or destroyed. Six of the fatalities occurred in the town itself.[1][2]
F2 S of Sleepy Eye Brown, Watonwan 2250 8 miles (13 km) A tornado leveled barns and snapped or uprooted trees.[1]
F2 N of Winnebago Blue Earth, Faribault 0000 5 miles (8.0 km) A tornado hit and destroyed 12 farm buildings, including three or more barns.[1]
F3 S of Mountain Lake to W of Odin Cottonwood, Watonwan 0010 8 miles (13 km) A tornado touched down near Mountain Lake, eliminating cattle and nearly leveling a farm; only a wall remained on the foundation. The tornado also tore off roofs from four other farmhouses.[1]
Sources: Grazulis[1]

July 16[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Minnesota
F2 Unknown Redwood unknown unknown A tornado hit "Boys Lake," sweeping away a farmhouse, a stable, and outbuildings.[1]
Sources: Grazulis[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Grazulis 1993, p. 612
  2. ^ Seely 2006, p. 183

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]