The most extreme tornado in recorded history was the Tri-State Tornado, which roared through parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925. It was likely an F5, though tornadoes were not ranked on any scale in that era. It holds records for longest path length (219 miles, 352 km), longest duration (about 3.5 hours), and fastest forward speed for a significant tornado (73 mph, 117 km/h) anywhere on Earth. In addition, it is the deadliest single tornado in United States history (695 dead). The tornado was also the second costliest tornado in history at the time, but in the years since has been surpassed by several others if population changes over time are not considered. When costs are normalized for wealth and inflation, it ranks third today.
The deadliest tornado in world history was the Daultipur-Salturia Tornado in Bangladesh on April 26, 1989, which killed approximately 1300 people. Bangladesh has had at least 19 tornadoes in its history kill more than 100 people, almost half of the total in the rest of the world.
The most extensive tornado outbreak on record was the Super Outbreak, which affected a large area of the central United States and extreme southern Ontario in Canada on April 3 and 4, 1974. This outbreak, which saw 148 tornadoes develop in 18 hours, included six of F5 intensity and twenty-four that peaked at F4 strength. Sixteen tornadoes were on the ground at the same time during its peak. More than 300 people, possibly as many as 330, were killed by tornadoes during this outbreak.
While direct measurement of the most violent tornado wind speeds is nearly impossible, since conventional anemometers would be destroyed by the intense winds, some tornadoes have been scanned by mobile Doppler radar units, which can provide a good estimate of the tornado's winds. The highest wind speed ever measured in a tornado, which is also the highest wind speed ever recorded on the planet, is 301 ± 20 mph (484 ± 32 km/h) in the F5 Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma, tornado which killed 36 people. Though the reading was taken about 100 feet (30 m) above the ground, this is a testament to the power of the strongest tornadoes.Storms that produce tornadoes can feature intense updrafts, sometimes exceeding 150 mph (240 km/h). Debris from a tornado can be lofted into the parent storm and carried a very long distance. A tornado which affected Great Bend, Kansas, in November 1915, was an extreme case, where a "rain of debris" occurred 80 miles (130 km) from the town, a sack of flour was found 110 miles (180 km) away, and a cancelled check from the Great Bend bank was found in a field outside of Palmyra, Nebraska, 305 miles (491 km) to the northeast. Waterspouts and tornadoes have been advanced as an explanation for instances of raining fish and other animals.