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On the morning of September 16, 2021, a warm front moved through southeastern Nebraska and created record high temperatures for the month and a very unstable atmosphere. A moderate risk of severe weather was issued for much of southeastern Nebraska and extreme Northern Kansas. This included a high, 30% hatched risk for tornadoes in southeastern Nebraska. At 1643 pm, a large Supercell thunderstorm was located over Hastings and became tornado- warned.

Hastings Tornadoes

Western Hastings EF-0

The first tornado dropped out of the original supercell in Hastings and had a relatively long track, mostly ripping shingles from the roofs of homes and even ripping a door off of its hinges at the Napoli's Italian restaurant before dissapating. 4 injuries did occur. Estimated winds about 80 mph.

West-Central Hastings EF-3 (High-End)

The original supercell proceeded to strengthen and dropped a large, multiple vortex stovepipe tornado in West-Central Hastings. It was very intense and caused very severe damage a mile from downtown. The most severe damage was inflicted to the Computer Consultants-Hastings. It was largely destroyed at High-End EF-3 intensity. 13 injuries, 165 mph estimated winds.

Downtown Hastings EF-4 tornado (High-End)

This was the last tornado that the original supercell would produce. It obliterated most of downtown and was observed by many storm chasers who were reporting live. It severely damaged the Knights of Columbus Insurance building at High-End EF-2 intensity. It continued toward the center of downtown and completely obliterated the Hastings College at very High-End EF-4 intensity. It dissapated as a photogenic rope. Highest recorded winds at 196 mph, estimated 200 mph. 23 injuries.

Nebraska City tornadoes and Otoe EF-3

As the original supercell weakened and produced behemoth hail the size of grapefruits, a new, powerful, tornadic supercell formed 20 miles west of Nebraska City. It dropped a strong tornado in Otoe that severely damaged many homes in town and was rated EF-3 with estimated winds of up to 150 mph. 10 injuries occurred.

Western Nebraska City EF-3 tornado (High-End)

As the new supercell rapidly strengthened, it produced a massive, monstrous very High- End EF-3 tornado in the far western corner of Nebraska City. It severely damaged or destroyed the Nebraska City High School, injuring nine individuals as it ripped the entire roof off and as a tree fell through the doorway. Exterior walls were demolished and winds were estimated at 160-165 mph. Nine injuries.

Nebraska City Twin Tornadoes (EF-2 and EF-2)

Almost a recreation of the  nightmare in Pilger, Nebraska on June 16 2014, these large and destructive twin EF-2 tornadoes rampaged Central Nebraska City. They nearly destroyed the Hong Kong Buffet as the both hit the structure at peak intensity, which was almost a worse case scenario. Peak winds estimated at 120 and 130 mph. 15 injuries.

Downtown Nebraska City EF-4 tornado

As the supercell surged onward through downtown, producing golf ball sized hail and a brief EF-1, a massive EF-4 tornado touched down in downtown Nebraska City. It pulverized the buildings and homes that once stood there, leveling the Cider House Laundry. It traveled northeast, inflicting catastrophic damage to the United States Postal Service, violently leveling the building. Overall, 12 injuries occured and estimated winds were 180 mph.

Beatrice EF-3 tornado

An isolated supercell moved into Beatrice and produced a large, violent EF-3 wedge tornado that caused severe destruction in eastern Beatrice. It severely damaged the Sun Mart Foods and injured 3 people. The estimated winds were 140 mph.

Omaha EF-3 tornado and the Omaha EF-1

As a squall line moved northward into Omaha, a large stovepipe EF-3 tornado hit the metro area. It destroyed the NP Dodge Real Estate Career Development building and injured 6 people. After this tornado dissipated, a small EF-1 tornado touched down in North Omaha and caused little damage, however it did topple a tree onto a home. No injuries occured. Estimated winds: EF-3 140 mph, EF-1 90 mph.


Overall, this tornado family produced 12 tornadoes and 9 of those were strong/violent.

Below are the photographs of the only tornadoes that were widely observed.

Katie EF4
Ef4 may 30
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