1925 Miami tornado
The 1925 Miami tornado was a strong tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

 that struck Dade County
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

, Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 on April 5, 1925. It remains the deadliest tornado to affect the south Florida county, and it is estimated to have been the most intense tornado to strike the Miami
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

 area. The tornado caused five deaths and produced damage totals that were estimated near $200–300,000 (1925 USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

). 35 people were also hospitalized because of injuries. The tornado remains the only tornado to cause multiple fatalities in Dade County. It is estimated that the tornado may have produced F3 damage based on photographs taken after the passage of the thunderstorm.


The exact path and strength of the tornado is uncertain, since it occurred prior to modern records which began in 1950. The first tornadoes to directly receive damage ratings on the Fujita scale
Fujita scale
The Fujita scale , or Fujita-Pearson scale, is a scale for rating tornado intensity, based primarily on the damage tornadoes inflict on human-built structures and vegetation...

 occurred in 1971. The 1925 tornado was first reported in its formative stage over the Everglades
The Everglades are subtropical wetlands in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, comprising the southern half of a large watershed. The system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, which discharges into the vast but shallow Lake Okeechobee...

 near Hialeah
Hialeah, Florida
Hialeah is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 226,419. As of 2009, the population estimate by the U. S...

, where several golfers noted a funnel cloud
Funnel cloud
A funnel cloud is a funnel-shaped cloud of condensed water droplets, associated with a rotating column of wind and extending from the base of a cloud but not reaching the ground or a water surface. A funnel cloud is usually visible as a cone-shaped or needle like protuberance from the main cloud...

 around 1:00 p.m. Hail
Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hail stone. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between and in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms...

 was reported with the parent thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

 prior to the sighting of the funnel cloud. The slow movement of the storm was accompanied by a large amount of people outside during the Sunday afternoon, which led to a considerable amount of reports; several reports originated from passing motorists. The vortex touched down around 1:15 p.m., and the tornado was described as a "very slender" funnel that frequently lifted from the ground for brief periods. The debris swirling around the rotation was compared to smoke from "burning oil." Later, the slow moving tornado passed over a dairy farm, killing one person and injuring 20 people. Losses from the farm reached $100,000. The tornado eventually intensified and destroyed numerous properties northwest and north of the city of Miami, causing at least three deaths. Some residents successfully attempted to flee in automobiles, though the cars were wrecked and some were thrown for distances. The tornado became rain wrapped, weakened, and dissipated over the northern portion of Biscayne Bay
Biscayne Bay
Biscayne Bay is a lagoon that is approximately 35 miles long and up to 8 miles wide located on the Atlantic coast of South Florida, United States. It is usually divided for purposes of discussion and analysis into three parts: North Bay, Central Bay, and South Bay. Its area is...

, though it destroyed some power poles along the eastern half of its damage path. Hail associated with the storm was measured to three inches (7.6 cm) in diameter, damaging automobiles and residences' roofs. The damage path was less than 100 yards (0.05 miles) in width, and the funnel was visible for nearly one hour. The thunderstorm also affected the communities of Ojus
Ojus, Florida
Ojus is a census-designated place and formerly incorporated town in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population was 16,642 at the 2000 census. Ojus borders Aventura to the east, I-95 to the west, North Miami Beach to the south and Broward County to the north...

, Little River
West Little River, Florida
West Little River is a census-designated place in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population was 34,699 at the 2010 census.-Geography:West Little River is located at...

, Biscayne Park
Biscayne Park, Florida
Biscayne Park is a village in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population was 3,269 at the 2000 census. Biscayne Park was developed in the 1920's by Arthur Griffing. The area was annexed by the city of Miami in 1925 but with the arrival of the Great Depression Miami gave up...

, and Lemon City. In total, the tornado demolished nearly 50 residences.

Confirmed tornadoes

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