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The 1997 Miami tornado that looked like a poster from an apocalyptic film

Thursday, May 12th 2022, 4:30 am - On this day in weather history, an F1 tornado touched down in Miami, Florida.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Monday, May 12, 1997, a tornado touched down in Miami, Fla. The tornado lasted from 1:53 p.m. – 2:08 p.m., causing 12 injuries and $525,000 worth of damages.

The twister garnered the names the 1997 Miami Tornado and the Great Miami Tornado because it looked like a scene out of a dystopian or apocalypse movie.

Tornado miami *"Tornado becomes a waterspout east of downtown Miami 1997." Courtesy of Timmy27/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0*

The tornado touched down around Silver Bluff Estates and then travelled right through Downtown Miami. Somehow, the twister missed the city's skyscrapers.

The funnel crossed the MacArthur and Venetian causeways, briefly touching a cruise ship. It momentary lifted from the water before touching down again in Miami Beach.

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Tornadoes are not too rare in South Florida, but most are small and not nearly as haunting as this one.

The Great Miami Tornado was classified as an F1 on the Fujita scale. On paper, the low rating would conflict with the tornado's nickname, but the unbelievable coverage explains it all.

To learn more about the 1997 Miami Tornado, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: "Tornado becomes a waterspout east of downtown Miami 1997." Courtesy of Timmy27/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

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