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Severe Thunderstorm Threat From the Central Plains to the Northeast; Extreme HeatRisk for the East Coast

Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible from the central Plains to the Northeast through this evening. Widespread damaging winds are the primary threat but hail and a tornado or two is also possible. Extremely dangerous heat continues across the Eastern U.S. Warm overnight low temperatures will provide little to no relief. Read More >

Overview

Tuesday, June 3,1980 marked one of the most unique tornado events to ever impact Nebraska, if not the entire United States. It is arguably an unparalleled event in meteorological history. This tornado outbreak provided the basis for a book and television movie, as well as tornado and engineering research.

During the early evening hours, a massive supercell thunderstorm complex developed just north-northwest of Grand Island. This complex moved very slowly southeast through the area at around 10 MPH. Over a period of just under 3 hours, this storm complex would produce multiple tornadoes in and around the city of Grand Island. 


This many slow-moving, damaging tornadoes affecting such a small-but-populated geographic area makes it an one-of-a-kind event, but what made it even more unique was the fact that 3 of the 7 tornadoes were anti-cyclonic!  

Five people lost their lives as a result of these tornadoes, with around 200 people injured. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed, with a total damage of nearly 300 million dollars (in 1980 dollars).


This is the only known photo of the tornadoes from June 3, 1980. This is Tornado #2 (left) and #3 (right), looking north
from North Johnson Drive, or roughly Webb & Faidley.
Photo was taken about 9 p.m. by Rod Gartner.

 

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