YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Today marks the anniversary of the May 31, 1985 tornado outbreak. This outbreak is the benchmark for our area when you think of severe weather in modern weather history.
Even 38 years later, we have not experienced any weather that comes close to comparing to it.
A look at the 1985 Tornado Outbreak
The outbreak produced 43 tornadoes!
This outbreak was the deadliest tornado outbreak of the 1980s, according to the National Weather Service. It killed 89 people. It also injured more than 1,000 people across the southeast Great Lakes and Ontario, Canada.
The estimated cost is around $600 million in property damage!
The outbreak produced some of the longest-tracked tornadoes in our region in recorded history. It also produced the farthest east F-5 tornado on record within the United States.
The F-5 (The EF Scale used to be the “F” scale) rolled across Trumbull County in Ohio and pushed into Mercer County in Pennsylvania.
The outbreak started in the afternoon on May 31, 1985. Multiple storms developed and exploded into dangerous rotating mesocyclones (rotating storms). These storms would prove to be deadly as they killed 89 people as they ripped through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, Canada.
There were multiple cities and locations hit by this storm around eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Some towns that were hit included Newton Falls, Niles, Hubbard and Wheatland, Pa. Parts of northern/northeastern Columbiana County also received damage from a tornado as this outbreak ripped through.
You can see some of the news stories that were produced after the tornado outbreak took place below: