List of tornadoes in New York state

New York isn't thought of as tornado-prone, but our state has recorded more than 400 twisters since the official record began in 1950. Twelve of them have caused loss of life. New York has averaged about nine tornadoes a year since the mid-1990s, when technological improvements and greater public awareness led to better detection of the storms. Click here to view these incidents on a map.

Footnotes to data
[1] Intensity reflects the tornado’s rating on the Enhanced Fujita, or EF, scale.
Intensity   Wind speed    Damage type
EF-0 65-85 mph Light. Roof shingles lost, gutters ripped off, tree branches broken.
EF-1 86-110 mph Moderate. Roofs stripped, mobile homes overturned.
EF-2 111-135 mph Considerable. Homes shifted on foundations, mobile home destroyed, large trees snapped, cars lifted.
EF-3 136-165 mph Severe. Homes’ second stories destroyed, large buildings badly damaged, cars tossed.
EF-4 166-200 mph Devastating. Homes leveled, cars thrown, small penetrating missiles generated.
EF-5 200+ mph Incredible. Houses swept away, cars thrown hundreds of feet, high rises structurally deformed.
[2] The deadliest tornado listed here claimed the lives of nine elementary school students in Newburgh, Orange County in November 1989. Their deaths are officially attributed to the collapse of a school wall as the tornado struck the school, but many experts argued the collapse was due to a strong downburst, not tornadic winds.
[3] Prior to 1996, the National Weather Service assigned a dollar range when it estimated property damage from a tornado. An entry of “0” means no estimate was provided.
[4] When more than one county is listed, the first is the county where the tornado initially touched down. The others are in order of the tornado’s progression.
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