Tornado Index # 19790503.48.72

 
 
 

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

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 #
1979-05-0313:05:00 32052007.6$5M-$50M-32.55 / -96.8832.65 / -96.83220
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Texas Dallas
User Comments   (4)      
General Comment
2008-04-09 12:38:17
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Derek Ellsworth
Posts:1
Rank: F0

For those that remember this, it's been called Black Thursday or Black Day over Dallas. I was 12 years old and living in Garland. This was just a month after the Wichita Falls tornado so folks got really panicky when the skies went dark enough to cause the street lights to come on, and clouds hung right over the houses and even the skyscrapers of downtown Dallas. I was in 6th Grade, and parents kept coming all day long to pick up their kids. My ride didn't come till after and it rained so hard that our car flooded down the street from my friends so we had to run the rest of the way in driving rain. All day long, reports of tornadoes and funnel clouds were on the news especially in De Soto and Wilmer-Hutchins. Luckily, nothing as major as Wichita Falls occurred.

General Comment
2009-04-09 20:52:49
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DBriedis
Posts:1
Rank: F0

I was in 3rd Grade in Duncanville, had just moved there from Toronto, Ontario and didn't have a clue what to do in a tornado so my teacher had to give me a quick lesson. The sky turned dark greenish gray just before the alarm went off in the school and we took shelter in the reinforced classroom in our section. We were all tucked down on our knees with our hands behind our heads with our foreheads on the floor. Darn kid in front of me kept kicking me in the head, so I finally punched him in the foot! They lets us go home after a while and my parents came to pick me up. Funny thing was that as my parents walked me out of the school, most of the students were still down on the floor in the cover position. As we walked out the door we noticed several teachers standing there pointing off in the distance. We looked over and there was a tornado roping out. Driving home with the radio on in the car we had warnings going off constantly and we were all looking around with our heads on swivels trying to see if there was anything near us but it was raining so bad we couldn't see a thing, which is probably a good thing!

General Comment
2009-05-12 12:22:07
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steve
Posts:1
Rank: F0

I was a Senior at Desoto High School when this tornado hit the school. I had been outside in my car just minutes before and noticed the wind picking up. The wind became so hard that my car began to rock. I went into the building and to my class, and everyone's ears starting popping from the pressure. Teachers started running down the halls telling everyone to get into the hallway and assume the tornado position. We did and the lights went out. I saw large sheets of metal and debris flying around outside. When it was over, everyone's cars were moved around and had the glass sucked into them. A house across the street was leveled and a couple were missing their roofs. I never saw it, but wish I had of.

General Comment
2013-05-20 21:19:21
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Cathy-B
Posts:2
Rank: F0

I was a senior at Ursuline Academy on this day.  I remember that most of the school day was spent in the hallways, in the "tornado position".  We would go out in the hall for a while, and then the all-clear would be given, we'd go back to the classrooms a few minutes and then back to the hallways.  No tornadoes touched down anywhere close to UA, but, judging from this database map, there were over a dozen in the general area that day.  I remember wind and rain and green-black skies.  It would have felt like a party, had it not been fairly scary.


And while I'm on the subject of tornadoes, my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the Moore, OK tornadoes earlier today, and the Granbury,TX EF-4 tornado last week.

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