1884 Howard, South Dakota tornado
Photograph of the Howard tornado of August 28, 1884, by F.N. Robinson
FormedAugust 28, 1884
Areas affectednear Howard, South Dakota

The 1884 Howard, South Dakota tornado was a large tornado that occurred on August 28, 1884, near Howard, South Dakota, which was then part of the Dakota Territory.


It demolished one farm, located south of Bridgewater, South Dakota. Four people were killed there and two injured. It was one of an outbreak of four very strong tornadoes in the area that day. Contemporary records and survivors' recollections indicate that the storms were F3 or F4 on the Fujita scale,[1][2] but cannot currently be verified.

This was one of the first tornadoes of which there is a photograph.[3] The photographer was F. N. Robinson, who observed the tornado from a street in the town of Howard, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) east of the storm track.[1]

There was also another photographer from Huron, South Dakota who took multiple photographs of the same tornado an hour earlier. However, they were lost or destroyed during the engraving process.

See also


  1. ^ a b Snow, John T. (1984). "Early Tornado Photographs". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 65 (4): 360–364. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1984)065<0360:ETP>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0477.
  2. ^ Grazulis, Thomas P. (July 1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991. A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. pp. 630–632. ISBN 1-879362-03-1.
  3. ^ "Oldest Known Photo of a Tornado - August 28, 1884". National Weather Service Forecast Office, Peachtree City, Georgia. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009.