Tornado outbreak of May 1927

The tornado outbreak of May 1927 occurred between May 7–9 in the Midwestern and Southern United States, producing numerous strong tornadoes and killing at least 217 people.[1]

Tornado outbreak of May 1927
TypeTornado outbreak
DurationMay 7–9, 1927
≥ 34
Max. rating1F5 tornado
Fatalities≥ 217 deaths, ≥ 1,156 injuries
Areas affectedMidwestern United States, Southern United States
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

Confirmed tornadoes

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
? ? ? 17 8 8 1 ≥ 34
List of known tornadoes during the tornado outbreak of May 7–9, 1927[1][nb 1]
F# Location County / Parish State Start
Date Time (UTC) Path length Max width Summary
F5 SW of Aetna to SSW of McPherson Comanche, Barber, Kingman, Reno, McPherson KS May 7 0000 95 miles (153 km) 3,520 yd (3,220 m) 10 deaths – This intense, long-lived tornado family consisted of at least two tornadoes, the first touchdown of which may have occurred in Oklahoma. Both tornadoes were of immense size, up to 2 mi (3.2 km) wide at times, but their visibility allowed many people to seek shelter.[2] The tornadoes struck over one hundred farms, some of which were obliterated. Four deaths occurred southeast of Medicine Lodge, and another person died west of Kingman.[2] The tornado family also impacted the eastern side of Hutchinson, where three deaths and $750,000 in damages occurred.[nb 2] Two final deaths took place near McPherson before the tornadoes dissipated. Three hundred people were injured along the entire path,[2] and total losses reached $1.3 million.[3]
F3 W of North Platte to E of Hershey Lincoln NE May 8 1215 15 miles (24 km) 100 yd (91 m)[3] A narrow tornado struck eight farms, four of which incurred F3-level damage. Three people were injured, and losses totaled $45,000.[4] Operationally, this and the succeeding event were considered a single tornado with a total path length of 34 mi (55 km),[3] but a reanalysis by Thomas P. Grazulis split them into two distinct tornadoes.[4]
F3 W and NW of Stapleton Lincoln NE May 8 1600 18 miles (29 km) This tornado, the second to strike Nebraska on May 8, wrecked at least three homes on ranches. One person was injured, and damages totaled $50,000.[4]
F2 Near Calumet to near Sutherland O'Brien IA May 8 0200 6 miles (9.7 km) One injury
F4 Near Macks Creek to near Olean Camden, Miller MO May 8 0200 35 miles (56 km) 4 deaths, thirty-three injuries – Major damage in the western part of Eldon. Damage in Olean may have been the dissipation of the tornado.[1]
F4 NW of Jefferson City to S of Benton City Cole, Boone, Callaway, Audrain MO May 8 0315 40 miles (64 km) 6 deaths, thirty injuries – A well-built home with a concrete basement was pulled over west of New Bloomfield.
F3 NW of Ava Douglas MO May 8 0400 9 miles (14 km) 2 deaths, thirty injuries – Nine homes were destroyed, and two men were killed.
F4 Nevada Collin TX May 9 0825 15 miles (24 km) 19 deaths, one hundred injuries – Formed southwest of Nevada, and impacted the western half of town. The tornado formed so close to town that no roar was heard to warn residents. There may have been more than two hundred injuries; the injured were placed in several nearby hospitals. Further down its path, the roar allowed people in the path to take shelter.[1]
F4 NW of Greenville to near Wolfe City Hunt TX May 9 0900 15 miles (24 km) 6 deaths, twenty injuries – Developed from the previous storm. Twenty farms were hit.[1]
F4 Garland Dallas TX u May 9 0910 1 mile (1.6 km) 15 deaths, forty injuries – A brief but extremely destructive tornado moved through Garland. Moved from southwest to northeast of town with a highly erratic path, at one point turning 180°. Most casualties occurred in a five-block area.[1]
F2 NW of Holland to Beckette Mountain Faulkner AR May 9 1900 12 miles (19 km) A home and a barn were damaged
F3 Hickory Township Schuyler, Fulton IL May 9 2010 12 miles (19 km) One death, twelve injuries – Moved parallel to and north of the Illinois River. Five farm homes were damaged, and one boy was killed.[1]
F2 Shreveport Caddo LA May 9 2025 1 mile (1.6 km) Cut a block-wide damage path through part of Shreveport, doing minimal F2 damage. No injuries reported.[1]
F2 Near Eden Peoria IL May 9 2030 Farm house had roof torn off and carried 14 mi (0.40 km) away. No injuries.[1]
F2 Scott to Lonoke Pulaski, Lonoke AR May 9 2030 15 miles (24 km) Seven injuries; many rural homes were damaged.
F3 W of Carlisle to Birdeye Lonoke, Prairie, Woodruff, St. Francis, Cross AR May 9 2030 65 miles (105 km) 8 deaths, sixty-nine injuries – Likely a tornado family. Many houses were leveled on a long track.[1]
F4 Imboden to Poplar Bluff, MO Lawrence (AR), Randolph (AR), Ripley (MO), Butler (MO) AR, MO May 9 2035 60 miles (97 km) 98 deaths, three hundred injuries – Produced F4 damage in rural Arkansas before devastating the larger town of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The tornado took three minutes to pass through the town, killing eighty-three, twenty-one alone at the Melbourne Hotel. Thirty-one square blocks were obliterated.[1]
F4 Hoxie Lawrence AR May 9 2050 5 miles (8.0 km) 11 deaths, two hundred injuries – A short-tracked tornado devastated the town of Hoxie. One hundred buildings were destroyed, including a new high school, killing two students.[1]
F2 NE of Kingsland to NW of Randall Cleveland, Lincoln AR May 9 2110 28 miles (45 km)DANG ID BE TERRIFIED

9 deaths, twenty-four injuries – All fatalities occurred near Toledo and Randall. The tornado seemed to become more intense toward the end of its path.[1]
F2 N of Kingston Madison AR May 9 2115 Four injuries in a home near Kingston.
F2 Bethesda Independence AR May 9 2120 Six homes were damaged at Bethesda.
F2 Norphlet Union AR May 9 2130 2 miles (3.2 km) One death, thirty-five injuries – All buildings in Norphlet were damaged.
F3 SW of Egypt to NW of Fontaine Craighead, Lawrence, Greene AR May 9 2150 27 miles (43 km) 12 deaths, eight injuries – Mother and five children killed near Egypt, three people killed in postmaster's home near Fontaine (known then as Lanieve).
F4 SW to NE of Strong Union AR May 9 2220 6 miles (9.7 km) 24 deaths, seventy-two injuries – Most of town of Strong was leveled, many prominent citizens killed or injured
F2 NW of Long Grove to SE of DeWitt Scott, Clinton IA May 9 2220 10 miles (16 km) Several farms had buildings damaged
F3 E of Morrisonville to NE of Decatur Christian, Macon IL May 9 2225 45 miles (72 km) One death, 116 injuries – Near F4 intensity in Christian County as dozens were injured on farms. Widened and weakened in Decatur area.[1]
F2 N to NE of Owaneco Christian IL May 9 2230 5 miles (8.0 km) Several barns destroyed
F2 E of Clarence Natchitoches LA May 9 2230 3 miles (4.8 km) One death, ten injuries – One woman killed in a tenant house
F3 SW of Chittyville to NE of West Frankfort Williamson IL May 9 2255 16 miles (26 km) Twenty-one injuries; many homes lost roofs in Chittyville (known then as Centerville) and West Frankfort
F2 SW to NE of Calvin Winn LA May 9 0030 8 miles (13 km) Tornado damaged unoccupied buildings
F2 NW of Joppa, IL, to E of Samoth McCracken (KY), Massac (IL) KY, IL May 9 1830 10 miles (16 km) 6 deaths, twenty injuries – man killed aboard towboat on Ohio River, several towns hit
F2 Renick to SW of Evansville Randolph, Monroe MO May 9 0127 10 miles (16 km) Several farm houses and barns destroyed
F2 W to NE of Walker Ottawa MI May 9 Several barns destroyed
F2 Loomis to Beaverton Isabella, Clare, Gladwin MI May 9 10 miles (16 km) Forty farms damaged

See also



  1. ^ All dates are based on the local time zone where the tornado touched down; however, all times are in Coordinated Universal Time for consistency.
  2. ^ All losses are in 1927 USD unless otherwise stated.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Grazulis, Thomas P. (July 1993). Significant Tornadoes, 1680–1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, Vermont: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. pp. 202–4. ISBN 1-879362-03-1.
  2. ^ a b c Grazulis 1993, p. 808
  3. ^ a b c U.S. Weather Bureau (May 1927). "Severe Local Storms, May, 1927" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. 55 (5). Washington, D.C.: American Meteorological Society: 247. Bibcode:1927MWRv...55..247.. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1927)55<247:SLSM>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved 18 August 2019.  
  4. ^ a b c Grazulis 1993, p. 809


  • National Historical Company (1882), "34: Tornadoes", The History of Nodaway County, Missouri, National Historical Company, pp. 502–11

40°33′23″N 94°58′18″W / 40.5564°N 94.9716°W / 40.5564; -94.9716