Tornadoes of 1985

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Tornadoes of 1985
Niles Park Plaza 1985 tornado.jpg
F5 damage to a shopping center from Niles/Wheatland tornado.
TimespanJanuary–December 1985
Maximum rated tornadoF5 tornado
Tornadoes in U.S.684[1]
Damage (U.S.)unknown
Fatalities (U.S.)94[2]
Fatalities (worldwide)>94

This page documents the tornadoes and tornado outbreaks of 1985, 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.


The tornado season of 1985 saw very little action in the winter months, and even the spring wasn't particularly notable until the massive May 31 outbreak, one of the most intense and deadliest in modern American history, which saw 43 tornadoes kill 88 people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, Canada. All eight of 1985's F4 tornadoes and the one F5 tornado happened during this outbreak.


Confirmed tornado total for the entire year 1985 in the United States.

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 308 259 79 29 10 1 684


There were 2 tornadoes confirmed in the US in January.


There were 7 tornadoes confirmed in the US in February.


There were 38 tornadoes confirmed in the US in March. On March 11, an F2 tornado hit Hollister, California causing no injuries and on March 17, an F3 tornado killed two in Sarasota County, Florida.


There were 134 tornadoes confirmed in the US in April. On April 21, an F3 tornado in Texas resulted in three fatalities.


There were 182 tornadoes confirmed in the US in May.

May 31[edit]

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 4 12 7 12 8 1

The 1985 United States-Canadian tornado outbreak was a major tornado outbreak that occurred in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, on May 31, 1985. Forty-four tornadoes were counted including 14 in Ontario. It is the largest and most intense tornado outbreak ever to hit this region. Ninety people were killed and nine tornadoes were F4 or stronger, including the F5 Niles-Wheatland tornado.

Areas with the most devastation and deaths were Wheatland, Atlantic, and Albion PA. Yourga Trucking in Wheatland was hit beyond recognition in addition to the Amish community in Atlantic. Wheatland had 310 injuries and 18 fatalities, and Atlantic had 125 and 16.


There were 82 tornadoes confirmed in the US in June. On June 8, tornadoes killed two in Wisconsin and one in Michigan.


There were 51 tornadoes confirmed in the US in July.


There were 108 tornadoes confirmed in the US in August. On August 16, an F3 Tornado spawned by Hurricane Danny, struck Waco, Tennessee and produced a damage path of 500 yards wide making the tornado the largest hurricane spawned tornado.


There were 40 tornadoes confirmed in the US in September.


There were 18 tornadoes confirmed in the US in October.


There were 19 tornadoes confirmed in the US in November. On November 18, an F3 tornado killed three in Arkansas.


There were 3 tornadoes confirmed in the US in December.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. Annual Tornado Maps (1952 - 2011): 1985 Tornadoes". Storm Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "Tornadoes in 1985". Tornado History Project. Retrieved May 16, 2015.

External links[edit]