40th Anniversary of the Topeka Tornado

Mike Smith

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Topeka, Kansas, F-5 tornado. It killed 22. At the time, it was the costliest tornado in world history.

The NWS path map is available at: crh.noaa.gov/Image/top/events/toptor/path.jpg

Their 00Z surface chart is accompanies this post. At 18Z, the surface low was near P28. It moved northeast during the day. [attachmentid=367]Both the Topeka tornado (which was in the SW part of the city at 00Z) and the Manhattan, KS F-3 which occurred at 2245Z, were "warm front" storms.

There is very good information at:

Thanks for the links. I lived in Topeka 1979-1989 at the foot of Burnett's Mound and as a teenager, always biked up the mound. There's a cross on the NE side of the mound that's a small memorial to the 22 killled by the tornado. Several folks I knew growing up were survivors and their stories of that day were one of those things that got me interested in severe weather. The neighborhood I lived in pretty much got wiped out by the storm.

The storm I believe also took a chunk out of the capital's dome and when they replaced it, the copper wasn't aged like the rest of the dome and didn't have the greenish tint that the rest of the dome had (I can't remember, but I think they had to chemically age the replacement section's copper cladding).