Tornado Index # 19740403.21.9


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Disclaimer |?|

Note: This approximate tornado path has been generated from data provided by the NCDC.

The Tornado History Project generates approximate paths through separate historical archives provided by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Paths generated from the NCDC data are typically more detailed, but neither archive gives exact path information. There are several reasons that paths may be inaccurate:

  • Tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates were recorded with only 2 digits of decimal precision (i.e. [33.72, -86.15] vs [33.71689, -86.15463]). As a consequence, the observed points on the map may be slightly off from actual. Note that beginning in 2009, up to 4 digits of decimal precision are given.
  • Coordinates have not historically been calculated via GPS (Global Positioning System). Thus, tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates should be considered as estimates only.
  • Tornadoes may not have been in contact with the ground for the entire path as depicted on the map. Storm damage in any location depicted under the "path" should not be inferred.
  • Although paths are drawn as straight lines between any two sets of coordinates, the tornado may have "zigzagged" in some way.
  • Although paths are drawn as uniform thin lines on the map, it is likely that the tornado changed size over its lifetime. Damage in any location depicted under (or not under) the "path" should not be inferred.

Even with the above in mind, the data is the best available. If you see a path that is depicted incorrectly, please post a comment in the tornado forum indicating why you belive the path to be incorrect.

Paths generated from NCDC data are typically more detailed due to the way coordinates are listed in each archive:

  • SPC database - A maximum of 2 coordinates (touchdown and liftoff) is given for each tornado, or each state segment of a tornado if it is a multi-state tornado. Thus the vast majority of paths are depicted as simple straight lines.
  • NCDC database - Some tornadoes have mutliple sets of coordinates within any state, generally corresponding to entry and exit points by county. Thus, since more coordinates have been used to draw the path, the depicted path should be more accurate. Having said that, most tornadoes do not have additional path data in the NCDC archive. When they do, paths are drawn from the NCDC data.

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Statistics   Definitions |?|

The following statistics and definitions are derived from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) historical tornado archive. The Tornado History Project can not guarantee the accuracy of the underlying data within the SPC historical tornado archive. However, the data as presented here is guaranteed to match the SPC data, except where noted.

Some definitions will not be given since they are obvious (i.e. "Date", "Time", etc...)
Special Note: This site uses a unique index number to identify each tornado. This index number is not a part of the official historical tornado archive.

E (Error) (tornado search table only) - A yellow box indicates that the tornado record contains a suspected error. A red box indicates that the tornado record contains an error and has been modified from the official source. Hover over the box for the error text.
Map/Forum (tornado search table only) - Clickable icons for further content related to a tornado.
State - The state or states affected by a tornado.
Fujita - The Fujita scale is an attempt to classify damage from a tornado. F0 being the least damaging, F5 the most. For 2007 and beyond, the Enhanced Fujita (EF) is given.
Fat. - The number of fatalities attributed to the tornado.
Inj. - The number of injuries attributed to the tornado.
Width - Width in yards. It is unclear if this indicates a maximum width or mean width.
Length - Length of tornado path in miles. Note the entire track length is not necessarily all on the ground (some tornadoes "hop and skip".)
Damage - Prior to 1996, this is a range by dollar amount. For 1996 and later, actual damage estimates are in millions.
Crop Loss - Added in 2007. Given in millions of dollars.
Lat/Lon - Contains two sets of coordinates:

  • Touchdown Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate touchdown location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, entry point into the state in decimal degrees.
  • Liftoff Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate liftoff location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, the exit or lift-off point from the state in decimal degrees.

St. #. - The state tornado number assigned to the tornado for that specific state for that specific year. Generally, state tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.
SPC # - The tornado number as assigned by the SPC. Tornado numbers are not unique and reset each year. Generally, tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.

Tornado Summary

Date (y/m/d)TimeFujitaFatalitiesInjuriesWidthLengthDamageCrop LossTouchdown Lat/LonLiftoff Lat/LonSPC #State #
1974-04-0315:37:00 3432251018.5--38.2 / -85.7538.37 / -85.48145
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Kentucky Jefferson, Oldham
User Comments   (2)      
General Comment
2008-06-12 08:54:42
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Rank: F0

I was 24 when this occurred working in downtown Louisville at a performing arts center in the evening. Went to work early about 4 p.m. that day as I knew a bad storm was coming and didn't want to get caught in it. Suddenly people were rushing into the building on Main Street to take shelter from the wind and rain. We all stayed in the basement until the light coming in from upstairs changed to a brighter quality. Then we all stayed because we were told there was extensive damage across the east and central Highlands of town. Around 9 or 10 p.m. I left work -no immediately visible damage at 3rd and Main Street area- and started to drive to my home in the Cherokee triangle area. Very weird drive down Bardstown Road. No power anywhere, power lines down and sparking on the street, poles and trees down, and shadows of small groups of people out moving about. Very eerily creepy. Suddenly I'm blinded by a rather high light on the road moving toward my car, its just a tall emergency vehicle or fire truck with a high mounted emergency light. It took almost 1 1/2 hours to drive from 3rd and Main to Cherokee Road and Parkway intersection. I finally got home at circle of General Castleman's statue and was shocked and greatly relieved to find my place intact without so much as a cracked window. The next morning was another matter. Two blocks away near the entrance to Cherokee Park, everything was rubble. Houses bordering the park were just gone, trees turned to toothpicks, the park destroyed. Other than not being charred from fire it truly looked like a war zone. Even today after living away from Louisville for 28 years, in my memory I still see the park of my childhood with large umbrella shaped maples that one could use as a huge domelike tent and still be completely invisible to someone outside the canopy; the many roads completely shaded over by the old growth trees and the fun of getting lost in the park and trying to find your way out. I know its grown back a great deal but...
I was just through another night of tornado warnings in Nebraska and decided to check the web for this past tornado's record. It is telling that so many people in Louisville were devasted by this April 3 event but no one had posted to your site about it. That has prompted my recollection.

General Comment
2013-03-23 19:40:50
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Rank: F0

Lived there for 2 years, and we were there on this day. i was taking piano lessons at U of L. We looked off in the distance, and thought it was a heavy rainstorm because of the width. My parents house was in the the Hurstborne subdivision. I literally got out of high school (Eastern) went to the college, and looking back on it, it was interesting of my timing to get to the college. 30 minutesĀ  different, we coud have been of up close and personal with it. Missed our house to the north. I do remember one of the golf courses having 100 year old trees on the ground.

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