New York sees an average of seven tornadoes every year. Those storms are more common in other areas of the state, but that doesn't mean they don't hit in Central New York.

As we continue our look at the history of tornadoes in Central New York, we move on to Onondaga County - which includes areas like Syracuse, LaFayette, and Baldwinsville. Onondaga County isn't a high-risk area for tornadoes, but the county does still see a few - with an average of one a year.

According to data collected by Homefacts, there have been 28 tornadoes to hit Onondaga County from 1950 to 2014. Five deaths have occurred from these storms hitting the county, and another ten people have been injured.

Compared to tornadoes in Oneida and Herkimer Counties, Onondaga County falls right in the middle - It has had more tornadoes than Herkimer County, but not as many as Oneida County.

The busiest year for tornadoes in Onondaga County was 1993 - In which five tornadoes touched down. Luckily, these were weaker storms with a rating of F0 or F1. Even though most of the tornadoes that hit this county are weaker, there have been reports of F3 and F2 tornadoes. Here's the list of these wicked storms that have hit the area and their strength, according to Homefacts:

Sept. 9, 1960 - F1
June 11, 1963 - F0
July 1, 1967 - F0
June 2, 1969 - F0
Sept. 18, 1977 - F2
Sept. 8, 1981 - F1
May 2, 1983 - F3
May 2, 1983 - F3
July 13, 1986 - F1
Nov. 16, 1989 - F0
Aug. 28, 1990 - F0
Apr. 30, 1991 - F1
July 31, 1992 - F1
May 15, 1993 - F1
June 15, 1993 - F0
July 29, 1993 - F0
July 29, 1993 - F0
Aug. 24, 1993 - F1
May 26, 1994 - F0
Aug. 31, 1995 - F0
Sept. 24, 2001 - F0
July 28, 2002 - F1
Apr. 18, 2004 - F0
July 29, 2006 - F0
May 16, 2009 - EF2 --> First tornado reported after switching to the "EF" rating
June 28, 2010 - EF0
Aug. 21, 2011 - EF2
July 8, 2014 - EF2


We had a few people wondering why we didn't include the 'tornado' that hit Syracuse in the early morning of Labor Day 1998. This was a huge storm that moved through the areas and caused over $100 million dollars in damage. Winds (are estimated to have) peaked at 115mph which uprooted thousands of trees, blew roofs off buildings, and downed power lines. There are SO many videos showing the damage from this storm - This is just one of them, highlighting the damage at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry:

The reason it wasn't included in the list is because it wasn't an actual tornado, it was a derecho. A derecho is a widespread, straight-line wind storm, that's long-lasting. Tornadoes can form from a derecho (but this one didn't drop any tornadoes). Even though it wasn't included in the list, it does deserve mention because of how severe and damaging the storm was.


Onondaga County isn't the worse county for tornadoes in New York, but they are still more common than most people realize (which you can tell by the dates listed above). This county seems to see stronger tornadoes compared to Oneida and Herkimer Counties, as well.




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