Dear Tom,

What are the three worst weather events to occur in U.S. recorded history? —Sylvia Mercukeervist, Des Plaines

Dear Sylvia,

It is difficult to define “the worst” because many factors must be considered, such as death toll and cost. Here is a list, though not in any special order: The Labor Day Hurricane of Sept. 2, 1935, in the Florida Keys. The most intense hurricane ever to affect the United States; 408 deaths; 200 mph winds; lowest U.S. air pressure (26.35 inches). The Galveston, Texas, Hurricane of Sept. 8, 1900. Deadliest U.S. storm disaster with at least 8,000 deaths (possibly 12,000); 120 mph winds; a 20-foot storm surge. The Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925, in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana. 695 deaths; largest, longest, fastest, most destructive, most deadly U.S. tornado.