CLEVELAND - Tornadoes can strike any state of the union, any hour of the day and any day of the year. Most Ohio tornadoes occur in May, June and July. While winter tornadoes are not common in Ohio, they have happened on several occasions.
Here's a newspaper article from Feb. 14, 1854:
"To-day, about 4 o'clock, P. M., the town of Harrison, (twenty miles northwest of Cincinnati) was visited by a fearful and destructive tornado, tearing down dwellings, stables, &c. The course of the current of air was nearly from southwest to northeast, and the width of its track was about one hundred yards. A thunder shower came on from about N.W., with indications of a heavy rain which was realized. Probably ten or fifteen minutes after the commencement of the rain, the tornado came down the White Water Hills, northwest of town, and about west of GOODLEY'S Mill, and struck the town in the direction of the Presbyterian Church, and crossing the pike near the east end of the town. It left in its track such destruction and desolation as we have never before seen. Houses, stables, fences, trees and out-buildings were prostrated, and in many cases blown into the adjoining lots. We were on the ground in a few minutes after the destruction, and gathered up in a hasty manner the items of destruction and loss. There are of course many omissions in the individual losses. A young man by the name of WM. PRUDEN, had his leg broken, and IRONAS HOMAN was dangerously wounded, and several others are more or less injured; but no lives lost. It is a miracle, too, for several houses and shops were entirely blown down."
Looking back at tornado history for Ohio's 88 counties, we find winter tornadoes occurring in several counties:
On January 11, 1980, a weak F-0 tornado touched down in Wood County, near TOledo. On February 25, 1956, an EF-2 twister touched down in Butler County in Southern Ohio injuring 5 people. Another tornado also dropped near Cincinnati on that day.
On February 22, 1971, tornadoes touched down in Fayette and Franklin Counties, near Columbus. The Franklin County twister was rated a strong F-3 on the Fujita Damage Scale with winds above 150 mph. It injured 7 residents.
On Feb. 10 1959, a strong F-3 tornado in Highland County injured 6 people.
Closer to home on March 10, 1986, a strong tornado touched down in Huron County, killing 1 person and injuring 10 others. On March 11, 1955, a major F-3 twister destroyed several buildings, killing 1 person and injuring 6 near Youngstown. On that same day, a weaker tornado did damage in Tuscarawas County. Another tornado dropped down out of a severe thunderstorm in Mahoning County on February, 16, 1976.
One of the strongest tornadoes of 1992 occurred on February 18, 1992 in Northwest Ohio. A thunderstorm spawned an unusually strong F4 tornado for so far north for the time of the year in southern Van Wert County in Ohio. The tornado touched down just west of US Route 127 and traveled northeastward for about 3 miles. One house was completely leveled and 9 others experienced severe damage. 6 people were injured.
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A confirmed tornado touched down near Denver International Airport Tuesday afternoon, sending travelers on the concourse, on planes and in the terminal scrambling to get into tornado shelters.
The National Weather Service says at least six tornadoes touched down in Ohio during violent midweek storms.