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Grand Rapids's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Grand Rapids, Michigan | WZZM13.com

41 Years Since F3 Tornado Hit Kalamazoo

It was May 13, 1980 when a F3 Tornado tore through Kalamazoo. Here's a look back at the day.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — It was an afternoon like many severe weather days in West Michigan. A low pressure system was approaching during the latter part of the day, bringing with it colder and drier air. 

This air mass was on a collision course with the warm and humid air that had pushed into West Michigan throughout the day. 

A tornado watch was issued during the afternoon as conditions looked primed for severe weather, with a tornado forming west of Kalamazoo around 3:30 in the afternoon. This initial twister would lift, but as the storm moved toward the city, another would soon form and tear a path 11 miles long through the heart of Kalamazoo.

RELATED: Killer tornado remembered by Kalamazoo resident, on devastating event's 40th anniversary

This tornado would leave five people dead, another 70+ injured, and cause millions of dollars in damage. The storm was rated an F3 with winds upwards of 165 mph. 

A full walkthrough of the day was put together by the National Weather Service Office in Grand Rapids. CLICK HERE to view it. 

-- Meteorologist Michael Behrens

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