Tornado outbreak of June 1881

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Tornado outbreak of June 1881
Type Tornado outbreak
Duration June 11–12, 1881
Tornadoes confirmed ≥ 11
Max rating1 F4 tornado
Duration of tornado outbreak2 ~28 hours
Damage Unknown
Areas affected West North Central States

1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

2Time from first tornado to last tornado

The Tornado outbreak of June 1881 was a tornado outbreak that occurred on June 11–12, 1881. It affected the West North Central States of the Midwestern United States and produced numerous strong tornadoes, killing at least 20 people, primarily in parts of Kansas and Missouri. One of the strongest tornadoes in the outbreak was an F4—possibly an F5—that hit near Hopkins, Missouri, in Nodaway County. In all, the outbreak killed at least 20 people and injured at least 141.[1]

Confirmed tornadoes[edit]

≥ 11 ? ? ? 2 4 5 0

June 11[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
F2 SW of Goodell Wright 2100 unknown A tornado struck north of the "Hickory Grove" cemetery near Belmond, in the northeast edge of Wright County, displacing a home from its foundation and leveling a barn. Local residents reported that 15 cattle died.[2] An F5 tornado hit the Belmond area on October 14, 1966.[3]
F3 E of Britt to E of Miller Hancock 2200 10 miles (16 km) 1 death – A tornado razed 15 structures in a frontier outpost 4 mi (6.4 km) northwest of Garner.[2] Nearby, the tornado leveled homes and barns. According to reports, winds lofted a clock for 2 mi (3.2 km), and several people sustained severe injuries.[2] The tornado killed one person who had stepped outside to check the weather.
F4 S of Norwalk to E of Colfax Warren, Polk, Jasper 2215 30 miles (48 km) 2 deaths – This violent tornado just missed Des Moines and Avon, sweeping away two homes. Only the basements remained, and two people died—one in each home.[2] As the tornado traversed the Des Moines River, it hurled water 100 feet (30.5 m) into the air. The tornado destroyed or injured 11 more homes near Colfax before dissipating.[2]
F3 NW of Winnebago to Danville Township Martin, Faribault, Blue Earth 0000 25 miles (40 km) 2 deaths – This strong tornado leveled three farmhouses near Lura Township. A couple died in one of the destroyed houses.[1] Another tornado, estimated to have been an F2, hit the same area near Winnebago on July 15.[4]
Source: Grazulis[1]

June 12[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
F3 NW of Mulvane to NE of Douglass Sedgwick, Butler 2200 17 miles (27 km) This tornado struck two homes just north of Mulvane, both of which were razed. The tornado obliterated another home northwest of Douglass as an onlooker watched from nearby.[2] The snakelike funnel resembled "water being sprayed from a huge hose."[2]
F2 W of Belle Plaine to S of Mulvane Sumner, Cowley 2200 13 miles (21 km) A tornado leveled five barns and one farmhouse.[2]
F4 S of Seely to Floral to NE of Wilmot Cowley 2230 17 miles (27 km) 3 deaths – This disastrous tornado destroyed the community of Floral, where two people died and many homes were called "leveled."[2] However, residents sought shelter as the storm neared, reducing the death toll. One other person died on a farm outside Floral, and 28 other homes were razed along the path.[2]
F4 NW of Olivet to N of Richter Osage, Franklin 2245 25 miles (40 km) 5 deaths – This tornado narrowly missed 100 farms along the Marais des Cygnes River, but still leveled 50 homes and barns in its path.[2] From northwest of Melvern to north of Quenemo, the tornado obliterated farmhouses, dispersing debris for several miles.[2]
F4 W of Burlington Junction to W of Hopkins Nodaway 2230 15 miles (24 km) 2 deaths – This large and extremely intense multiple-vortex tornado obliterated a pair of farms near Hopkins and may have caused F5 damage in the area.[2]
F4 S of Fillmore to King City area Andrew, Gentry 2250 35 miles (56 km) 5 deaths – This powerful tornado produced F4 damage north of Flag Springs. The tornado razed 80 structures, many of which were homes and barns, and killed numerous livestock in its path.[2]
F3 N of Adair to N of Casey Guthrie 0100 10 miles (16 km) This was probably an F4 tornado that obliterated all structures on free farms, one of which had its farmhouse swept away, with debris strewn for up to .5 mi (0.80 km).[2] The funnel dissipated as it approached the Raccoon River. An F5 tornado hit near Adair on June 27, 1953.[3]
Source: Grazulis[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Grazulis 1993, pp. 611–2
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Grazulis 1993, p. 611
  3. ^ a b "Iowa F5/EF5 Tornadoes". La Crosse, Wisconsin: National Weather Service. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Grazulis 1993, p. 612


  • Grazulis, Thomas (1993), Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events, St. Johnsbury, Vermont: Environmental Films, ISBN 1-879362-03-1 
  • National Historical Company (1882), "34: Tornadoes", The History of Nodaway County, Missouri, National Historical Company, pp. 502–11 

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