Tornadoes of 1990

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Tornadoes of 1990
March 1990 Hesston Kansas tornado.jpg
Hesston, Kansas F5 tornado
Timespan January–December 1990
Maximum rated tornado F5 tornado
Tornadoes in U.S. 1,133[1]
Damage (U.S.) unknown
Fatalities (U.S.) 53[2]
Fatalities (worldwide) >53

This page documents the tornadoes and tornado outbreaks of 1990, 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, however by the 1990s tornado statistics were coming closer to the numbers we see today.


1990 saw some unusual and powerful tornadoes and tornado outbreaks. On March 13 not one, but two F5 tornadoes struck Kansas, both coming from the same supercell. This was the only day since the 1974 Super Outbreak to have more than one F5 on the same day until the 2011 Super Outbreak, when four EF5 tornadoes touched down on April 27. In June, a strong outbreak struck the upper midwest United States and in late August a powerful F5 tornado struck the city of Plainfield, Illinois, resulting in significant loss of life and damage.


Confirmed tornado total for the entire year 1990 in the United States.

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 537 385 155 41 12 3 1133


There were 11 tornadoes confirmed in the US in January.


There were 57 tornadoes confirmed in the US in February.


There were 86 tornadoes confirmed in the US in March. Two were rated F5

March 11–13[edit]

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 12 25 13 10 2 2

The March 1990 Central US tornado outbreak produced at least 64 tornadoes across the region including 4 violent tornadoes; two of which were rated F5 that touched down north and east of Wichita, Kansas in which the most publicized tornado of this outbreak struck Hesston. In Nebraska, several strong tornadoes touched down across the southern and central portion of the state including an F4 that traveled for over 125 miles. 2 people were killed in the outbreak in Kansas both from the F5 tornadoes.


There were 108 tornadoes confirmed in the US in April.


There were 243 tornadoes confirmed in the US in May. On May 14, nine people were injured by tornadoes in Texas and Kansas with the strongest being an F3 tornado in Anson, Texas.


There were 329 tornadoes confirmed in the US in June.

June 2–3[edit]

FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 16 21 17 5 7 0

This outbreak occurred in southern Illinois, central and southern Indiana, southwestern Ohio, and northern Kentucky on June 2 and June 3. By the end of the outbreak during the early morning hours on June 3, 66 tornadoes had struck the Ohio River Valley, including seven of F4 intensity, resulting in nine deaths. One F4 tornado trekked 106 miles (171 km) from southeastern Illinois into southern Indiana, killing one person.

Thirty-seven tornadoes occurred in Indiana, a record for a single day. It eclipsed the previous record of 21 set during the 1974 Super Outbreak. In addition, twelve tornadoes struck Illinois.


There were 106 tornadoes confirmed in the US in July.


There were 60 tornadoes confirmed in the U.S. in August. A tornado occurred in a suburb of Shanghai in association with Typhoon Abe.[3]

August 28[edit]

The 1990 Plainfield tornado was a devastating tornado that occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 28, 1990. The violent tornado killed 29 people and injured 350. It is the only F5 tornado ever recorded in August and the only F5 tornado to ever strike the Chicago area.

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 4 4 2 1 0 1 12


There were 45 tornadoes confirmed in the US in September.


There were 35 tornadoes confirmed in the US in October. On October 18, a tornado outbreak in the Eastern United States produced four F3 tornadoes in Union County, North Carolina, King William County, Virginia, Orange County, Virginia and Somerset County, New Jersey causing one fatality and 76 injuries.


There were 18 tornadoes confirmed in the US in November.


There were 35 tornadoes confirmed in the US in December. Two tornadoes in Mississippi killed two people on December 21.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. Annual Tornado Maps (1952 - 2011): 1990 Tornadoes". Storm Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Tornadoes in 1990". Tornado History Project. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ Tropical Cyclones in 1990 (PDF) (Report). Hong Kong: Royal Observatory. February 1992. Retrieved June 2, 2015. 

External links[edit]