Tornado Index # 19790410.48.40


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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 #
1979-04-1015:55:00 3213105674.1$500K-$5M-34.08 / -99.0334.65 / -97.95118
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Texas, Oklahoma Wilbarger, Wichita, Tillman, Cotton, Comanche, Stephens

State Segments

Date (y/m/d)TimeFujitaFatalitiesInjuriesWidthLengthDamageCrop LossTouchdown Lat/LonLiftoff Lat/LonSPC #State #
1979-04-1015:55:00 32108809.9--34.08 / -99.0334.13 / -98.88118
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Texas Wilbarger, Wichita
Date (y/m/d)TimeFujitaFatalitiesInjuriesWidthLengthDamageCrop LossTouchdown Lat/LonLiftoff Lat/LonSPC #State #
1979-04-1016:25:00 3203105664.2$500K-$5M-34.13 / -98.8834.65 / -97.95118
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Oklahoma Tillman, Cotton, Comanche, Stephens
User Comments   (3)      
General Comment
2014-03-11 13:21:28
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Rank: F0

This comment is an eyewitness account of the April 10, 1979 tornado listed in this tracking database as having begun at or near Harrold Texas and ending near Marlow Oklahoma.

On this date I was an 18 year old High School Senior living in Grandfield Oklahoma working part time for William Jones a local farmer/rancher. Me, Mr. Jones and another hired hand (whose name I do not recall) were moving cattle from pastures southwest of Grandfield to a pasture at Mr. Jones’ home 3 miles north of Grandfield on State Hwy-36.

As we were unloading cattle at the Jones’ home we heard on the radio that a tornado warning had been issued for the Grandfield area and shortly thereafter it began to hail prompting Mr. Jones to order that the brand new truck and trailer we were using be put in the barn just to the north and east of his home. As the hired hand put the vehicle in the barn Mr. Jones went into his house and called his wife who was in Grandfield on the phone. Mr. Jones walked out on the front porch of his home where I was with the wall phone cord stretched to what I thought was its limit and relayed to me that his wife was reporting the tornado sirens in Grandfield were sounding and that there was a report that the Grandfield Airport had been hit by a tornado. In response, I looked to the west in the direction of the airport and observed what appeared to be a half mile wide rain cloud touching the ground, heading toward us. The cloud looked like any other rain cloud crossing the open plains until I noticed that the winds at both the north and south end of the cloud appeared to be boiling with circulation. As I made this observation the cloud reached a hay barn that was approximately one mile west of our location. When the cloud arrived at the barn the barn exploded in all four directions and a large four-wheel drive tractor that had been parked next to the barn began to tumble across the field as if it were a toy. I called out to Mr. Jones “TORNADO” and pointed toward the cloud. Mr. Jones began describing to his wife on the phone what was happening and I repeated “TORNADO, WE GOT TO GO”. I grabbed Mr. Jones by the arm and pulled him a foot or so before the phone cord stopped him in his tracks. I then let go of Mr. Jones arm and ran around the house to the east where a storm shelter was built into the back patio of the home.

As I arrived at the shelter, the hired hand who had witnessed the tornado’s approach as he walked back from the barn had already opened the shelter door and was standing on the first step into the shelter. I jumped through the open shelter door from the end that had no steps and went straight to the floor of the shelter. As I scrambled back to my feet Mr. Jones entered the shelter with the handset of the phone still in his hand and what was left of the cord dangling off of it. The hired hand closed the door behind Mr. Jones and we could immediately hear debris hitting the metal door accompanied by an ever increasing roaring sound. At this point the hired hand was trying to latch the door with a length of chain that was welded to the door but, discovered that the latch portion for the chain was not installed. The hired hand held the chain and hooked his feet into the steps of the shelter in an effort to keep the door shut. As the sound in the shelter increased the door began to come open a few inches. Mr. Jones grabbed the hired hand by the legs and I grabbed Mr. Jones by the waist and both of us yelled “DON’T LET GO”. The door came open just a few inches a couple of times and you could feel the sensation that you were going to be sucked out of the door. Two old light weight lawn chairs that were in the shelter would swirl about the room each time the door would open.

And then as suddenly as the noise had begun it stopped and there was an odd silence. We all scrambled from the shelter to discover that the home, barn and the majority of the heavy equipment parked around the barn was gone. The air was very cold in comparison to the hot humid day we had experienced. There was water bubbling up from the foundation of the home where the plumbing had been torn away and we heard a cat meowing. We went toward the sound of the cat and saw a large ball of pink insulation with four white legs step out of the sink in what had been the hall bathroom of the home. The ball of insulation was the Jones’ Persian cat.

As we surveyed the rest of the property, light debris fell from the sky. The living cattle most of whom were grievously injured roamed about moaning. To the east of the house about a half of a mile away we saw the new truck and goose neck trailer perched in the trees along the creek. Highway 36 in front of the house had most of the asphalt scrapped off of it where the tornado had crossed the road and there was a fifty foot wide patch down through the pasture where the turf had been removed and the bare dirt was showing.


As we all stood around thinking how lucky we were to be alive I picked up some of the papers that were falling out of the sky. The papers were old cancelled checks and invoices from a tractor supply house in Vernon Texas. Later that day I would learn that my girlfriend’s uncle had been killed by a tornado in Vernon as he was driving home from the same tractor supply house.

General Comment
2014-03-11 13:26:36
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Rank: F0

The point where the tornado crossed Hwy-36 was actually ¾ of a mile further north than shown in this depiction. Satellite photos of this location still show the foundation of the home and barn that took a near direct hit from the tornado.


Edited on 2014-03-11 13:27:57 by jdeboard

General Comment
2019-03-13 21:54:18
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Rank: F5

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