The South Dakota Tornado Outbreak of August 28, 1884

On August 28, 1884, a deadly localized tornado outbreak would unfold across portions of eastern South Dakota. One of these twisters would become the second earliest photographed in history. There are sharp discrepancies over which tornado that day was photographed, and there is no detailed summary of the event in its entirety. In this article, I attempt to solve both of these longstanding unknowns.

Spencer, SD F4 Tornado – May 30, 1998

The Spencer, SD F4 tornado of May 30, 1998 was 1 of 5 tornadoes produced by one supercell that tracked about 30 miles. This destructive tornado had a path length of 14 miles and hit the small town of Spencer (population at the time of 320) destroying most of its 190 buildings. 6 people were killed and 150 were injured. The tornado was estimated to reach a width of a mile.

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