Tornadoes of 1982

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tornadoes of 1982
1982 United States tornado map.png
Map of all recorded tornadoes in the United States during 1982
Timespan January–December 1982
Maximum rated tornado F5 tornado
Tornadoes in U.S. 1,047[1]
Damage (U.S.) >$100 million
Fatalities (U.S.) 64[2]
Fatalities (worldwide) >64

This page documents the tornadoes and tornado outbreaks of 1982, primarily in the United States. Most tornadoes form in the U.S., although some events may take place internationally. Tornado statistics for older years like this often appear significantly lower than modern years due to fewer reports or confirmed tornadoes.


Numbers for 1982 were slightly above average, both in terms of number of tornadoes and number of fatalities. Probably the most notable tornado events of the year was the April 2–3 tornado outbreak resulting in 29 fatalities primarily in Texas and Oklahoma and the May 29 Marion, Illinois tornado which killed ten people.


Confirmed tornado total for the entire year 1982 in the United States.

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 374 421 187 58 6 1 1047


Throughout January, 18 tornadoes were confirmed across the United States. This is above the annual average of 15.[3]

January 3–4[edit]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
1 5 4 1 0 0

In early January, a major winter storm affected nearly the entire Contiguous United States, including widespread blizzard conditions in the Midwest.[4] At least 39 people were killed in non-tornadic events as over 1 foot (30 cm) of snow and 85 mph (137 km/h) winds battered areas from Colorado to Wisconsin. Press reports stated that the storm was the worst sine 1947 in Milwaukee. Four plane crashes that killed ten people were blamed on the storm. Heavy rains produced by thunderstorms in Georgia resulted in flash flooding, killing one person. Severe floods in California, leaving entire homes under water, forced aerial rescues in Sebastopol.[5]

Along the southern edge of the storm, an early season tornado outbreak took place across the Gulf Coast. The first tornado was an F3 that killed one person and injured 17 others in Newton County, Mississippi,[6] becoming the first killer January tornado since 1978.[3] Sixty structures were damaged or destroyed by the tornado, leaving $2 million in losses.[7] Four F2 tornadoes touched down across Alabama during the course of the outbreak.[6] In Clanton, Alabama, two of these tornadoes struck the town an hour apart, forcing rescuers to seek shelter before the arrival of the second.[7] Overall, 11 tornadoes touched down, leaving one person dead, 34 injured and $4.3 million in losses.[6][8]


In the Contiguous United States, only one tornado touched down during the month of February, marking a record low value that would not be matched until 2010. However, two additional tornadoes took place in Honolulu, Hawaii, both of which were rated F2.[3][9] Nearly 24 homes sustained damage from one of these tornadoes.[10]


There were 60 tornadoes confirmed in the US in March and six fatalities. Two were killed on March 15 from an F3 storm in Kansas and Missouri. Three others were killed this same day in Oklahoma and Kansas from the outbreak which produced 24 tornadoes, maximum F3 rated. One was killed in Illinois on March 30. A March 18 tornado was rated F4 in Texas and Oklahoma.

March 13–17[edit]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
3 12 11 7 0 0

March 18–20[edit]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
2 2 4 0 1 0

March 28–31[edit]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
2 6 3 0 0 0


There were 150 tornadoes confirmed in the US in April.

April 2–3[edit]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
8 26 14 11 3 1

A major outbreak on April 2–3 resulted in over sixty tornadoes and 29 fatalities. Three tornadoes were rated F4, and one F5 near Broken Bow, Oklahoma (no fatalities) although rating is disputed. One F4 tornado in Paris, Texas resulted in 10 fatalities and 170 injuries.

April 14–17[edit]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
13 7 7 0 0 0

April 19–20[edit]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
4 8 4 0 0 0

April 25–27[edit]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
5 13 7 6 0 0


There were 329 tornadoes confirmed in the US in May and 14 fatalities. At the time, this set a record for the most tornadoes during the month of May.[3] Two were killed in Oklahoma on May 11 from an F3 tornado. On May 29 an F4 tornado killed ten in Marion, Illinois. Between May 9 and June 2, at least one tornado touched down each day across the United States in a prolonged tornado outbreak sequence, encompassing four separate storm systems. On May 20, two separate outbreaks took place simultaneously.

May 5–7[edit]

May 9–20[edit]

Altus, Oklahoma tornado May 11, 1982

May 20–23[edit]

May 24–28[edit]

May 28–June 2[edit]

The Marion, Illinois tornado outbreak was a small, yet severe series of tornadoes within a larger outbreak that affected southern portions of the Midwestern United States on May 29, 1982. Tornadoes touched down in the states of Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana, with Marion, Illinois being the hardest hit. Ten fatalities occurred there after the town took a direct hit from an F4 tornado. The outbreak also produced a F3 tornado affecting the Conant, Illinois area and several weaker tornadoes in the surrounding area.

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 2 2 0 2 1 0 7


There were 196 tornadoes confirmed in the US in June, resulting in four fatalities.

June 2–4[edit]

June 5–6[edit]

June 8–10[edit]

June 10–18[edit]

On June 15, there were 7 tornadoes confirmed in Michigan (one as high as F3) causing one fatality and 6 injuries. The one fatality occurred in Jackson County and three of the injuries occurred in Saginaw County.

June 18–22[edit]

June 28–29[edit]


There were 95 tornadoes confirmed in the US in July.


There were 34 tornadoes confirmed in the US in August.


There were 38 tornadoes confirmed in the US in September, resulting in two fatalities.


There were 9 tornadoes confirmed in the US in October.


There were 19 tornadoes confirmed in the US in November.


There were 96 tornadoes confirmed in the US in December, resulting in seven fatalities. Four were killed by tornadoes in Illinois and Arkansas. On December 24, three more were killed in Arkansas and Missouri during the 1982 Christmas tornado outbreak. One tornado on Christmas Eve was rated F4 that traveled from Arkansas to Missouri. At the time, the number of tornadoes in the month vastly exceeded the previous record of 61 set in 1967. Arkansas and Missouri both experienced the highest number of December tornadoes on record, with 46 and 30 touching down in the respective states.[3] This value was later eclipsed in 2002 when 97 tornadoes were confirmed.

See also[edit]


  • Grazulis, Thomas P. (November 1990). Significant Tornadoes 1880–1989. 2. St. Johnsbury, Vermont: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. ISBN 1-879362-02-3. 
  1. ^ "U.S. Annual Tornado Maps (1952 - 2011): 1982 Tornadoes". Storm Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Tornadoes in 1982". Tornado History Project. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Edward W. Ferguson, Joseph T. Schaefer, Steven J. Weiss, Larry F. Wilson and Frederick P. Ostby (August 1983). "Tornado 1982: A Near-Record Year" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. American Meteorological Society. 111 (8): 1665–1678. Bibcode:1983MWRv..111.1665F. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1983)111<1665:TANRY>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ Associated Press (January 4, 1982). "30 Die As Blizzard, Ice, Tornadoes Hit U.S.". Tolede Blade. p. 5. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ United Press International (January 5, 1982). "40 killed in nation". Bangor Daily News. p. 5. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Tornadoes in January 1982". National Climatic Data Center. Tornado History Project. 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Grazulis, p. 628
  8. ^ "Storm Events Database". National Climatic Data Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Tornadoes of February 1982". National Climatic Data Center. Tornado History Project. 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  10. ^ Unattributed (February 13, 1982). "Students trapped in volcano". Lewiston Morning Tribune. p. 2A. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 

External links[edit]