This Day in Weather History ~ 1st May 2002

A tornado outbreak that caused 36 fatalities and over $1 Billion in damage.

This Day in Weather History ~ 1st May 2002
Photo by Nikolas Noonan / Unsplash

Eyewitnesses reported the sighting of four tornadoes on the ground simultaneously in the Greenville, Illinois, area on May 1, 2002.

The event was part of a large tornado outbreak that impacted various states in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States. On that particular day, there were 81 confirmed tornadoes, of which 22 were classified as strong (F2 or higher) or violent (F4 or F5).

Observers reported multiple tornadoes on the ground simultaneously in the Greenville area. The National Weather Service later confirmed that four tornadoes had indeed touched down in the area, with the strongest one classified as an F4 tornado.

Within the F4 tornado that struck, wind speeds reached 260 mph (418 km/h), the path was almost a mile wide, and the touchdown distance was 20 miles. Buildings, homes, and vehicles were damaged, resulting in one death and several injuries.

In total, 36 people were killed and over 600 injured in the tornado outbreak. It was one of the deadliest outbreaks in the United States in recent years and caused over $1 billion in property damage.

Please support our mission by signing up for the StormHour newsletter