The day a deadly tornado hit Tucson

Long time Tucsonans remember August 27th, 1964 vividly.

Around 11:30 AM that day, a tornado touched down near San Xavier Mission. While on the ground for approximately 4-5 minutes, the F2 twister killed a mother & her 10 month old child. Eight others were injured.

This event stands as the state’s first recorded tornado deaths.

The tornado of August 27th, 1964. Photo courtesy: Jay Taylor

Jay Taylor captured the haunting tornado, which may be the only known photo of a tornado in Tucson. The University of Arizona Special Collections blog states this picture was taken from the Phoenix Title Building, which is currently the Transamerica Building on Church Street.

According to the National Weather Service, property damage was done to the convent of the Nuns of St. Francis. Four homes were destroyed by winds estimated up to 112 MPH. The nearby historic San Xavier Mission escaped with only minor damage.

Courtesy: Tucson Daily Citizen

Click here to see more photos & newspaper clippings, compiled by the Tucson Fire Foundation. Below is a map of reported tornadoes in Metro Tucson, stitched together from National Weather Service storm reports dating back to 1950.

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