October Tornadoes
South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas

Data from January, 1950 - December, 2010

(View our 'Main Tornado Page' for maps for each month of the year, including statewide maps of Nebraska and Kansas.)

Notes about the data: All data from 1950-2009 was collected and assimilated into GIS format by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK. This data can be found at http://spc.noaa.gov/gis/svrgis/ The data for the year 2010 was collected and assimilated into GIS by the National Weather Service office in Hastings, NE. The Fujita Scale (F-Scale) rating began in 1971, and the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-Scale) began February 1, 2007; Tornadoes prior to 1971 were later assigned an F-scale rating based on damage accounts and records. The tornado descriptions are primarily based on information in StormData and from the National Climatic Data Center, and is supplemented by information in 'Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991,' by Thomas P. Grazulis. The maps below illustrate the tornado touchdown points and tornado tracks. The tornado rating is based on the highest rating given the tornado along its path and is not necessarily at its highest rating at the initial touchdown point. For example, a track and tornado touchdown point with an EF3 rating may have started as an EF0 at the touchdown point and grew in intensity towards the middle or end of the track. The touchdown point represented on the map is the center of the triangle, not at the base (point) of the triangle. Tornado tracks are illustrated by the start and end points of the tornado, which on the map appear linear, versus an actual path the tornado may have taken along its lifespan. Not all tornadoes have tracks due to the length of the track.  If the track length was incredibly small (For example, a brief touchdown or less than a few miles long), it was not plotted.  

For Geographic Reference Click the Map!


Tornado Descriptions EF2 or Greater

  • F3/EF3:
    -October 9, 2001
    Hamilton/Polk Counties. Just before 6 pm CDT, the most damaging tornado of the day developed near the Polk/Hamilton county line, and tracked northeast across western Polk County, leaving a path of destructions in its wake. Storm chaser reports reveal that the tornado frequently became multi-vortex in nature. A home was completely ripped from its foundation and blown into nearby trees three miles north of Polk, NE. Along its 18 mile path it damaged 20 pivots, and every farm in its path sustained damage to homes, outbuildings and grain bins. The tornado lifted southwest of Silver Creek.
    -October 29, 1956
    Furnas County. A tornado skipped northeast from five miles northeast of Wilsonville , NE to the south edge of Smithfield, NE. There was damage to a farm house 15 miles south southwest of Elwood, NE. Barns were destroyed one mile south of Smithfield, and northeast of Wilsonville. Two people were injured as they were running to a cave while their home was being unroofed.
  • F2/EF2:
    -October 9, 2001
    Merrick County. A tornado ripped up a farmstead in northern Merrick county. It tore a roof from a home, destroyed two large metal outbuildings and damaged a half-dozen vhicles. The tornado moved north and destroyed a barn on the Nance and Merrick county line, and narrowly missed a home.
    -October 31, 2000
    Dawson County. A Halloween tornado moved across central and northern Dawson County and crossed into southern Custer County. The tornado, which was spawned by a large supercell thunderstorm, was on the ground in Dawson County for about 14 miles and had a max width of 200 yards. Most of the tornado's path was over open country, but one farm in northern Dawson County did receive extensive damage. Part of the roof of the house was blown away and a barn was flattened.  Pivots and buildings along the path were damaged.
    -October 16, 1998
    Phelps County. An unusual October severe weather outbreak spawned a tornado which tore across parts of Phelps and western Buffalo Counties. The tornado set down a few miles southwest of Loomis, NE and rapidly moved northeast. Along its path in Phelps County, grain bins were damaged, power poles snapped and a roof was torn from a storage building. One farm northeast of Loomis sustained major damage. Both the house and barn were a total loss. Once the storm crossed the Platte River, the tornado hit a trailer house just west of Elm Creek, NE and deposited the shattered remains about 200 feet north of its original location. The tornado continued to move to the north and shortly dissipated.
    -October 17, 1994
    Phelps County. A tornado moved across the western and northern parts of Holdrege, NE. The roof of one business was removed. One residence was destroyed, and three others were damaged. At the golf course, the clubhouse roof damaged, while the maintenance building and two golf cart sheds were destroyed. Sixty golf carts were damaged.
    -October 9, 1973
    Hall County. A tornado went through Alda, NE on a path tracking from southwest to northeast. The tornado damaged 30 to 35 homes, and campers and mobile homes were destroyed. Damage was also done to trees, automobiles, businesses, and utilities were disrupted.



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