Tornado Index # 19830520.48.61


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Disclaimer |?|

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 #
1983-05-2001:30:00 321733312$500K-$5M-29.83 / -95.5329.93 / -95.37373
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Texas Harris
User Comments   (2)      
General Comment
2008-03-09 03:58:26
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Billy F
Rank: F0

I was 7 years old when this tornado passed by our house in the early morning on 05/20/1983. My house was located at 29-5324.14 n 95-2428.09 w, about 1 mile east of the path listed on this map in Aldine (near Gulfbank and Sweetwater). Just before the tornado passed there was a loud crack of thunder. We could clearly hear the sound like a train as the tornado passed. The pine trees which were the height of a 2 story house in our back yard were bent over touching the ground. The lightning from the storm was almost continuous for what seemed over an hour. We lost power immediately and didn't get sevice restored for about 10 hours. Our neighbor across the street's patio roof was ripped off. The part I remember most was how all the leaves were bowed on all the trees from the high winds. My elementary school (Carrol) located at 29-5410.75 n 95-2424.05 w which was also close to the path had the leaves in the same condition. I remember we had a tornado drill later that day a school because there was a threat for more storms. I'm sure this tornado came closer to our house than the path shown on this map.

General Comment
2008-03-10 21:53:15
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Rank: F0

That same day at about 3pm, another mesocyclone thunderstorm crossed over Nederland, (south of Beaumont), causing the roof of the new Jefferson County Airport terminal to collapse, killing one person. I was 13 at the time and attending Central Junior High in Nederland. I remember looking out the window, the sky was totally black with that green tint to the cloud, which is an indication of hail, and hail it did! Window blowing out with golf-ball sized hail blowing in. I was in school that day, and we were all in the hall, with the sound of the storm, the lights going out, and kids screaming and crying, needless to say it was an experience I remember well today at 38 years old! I remember, after the storm passed, the ground covered white with hail, streets flooded, and trees stripped of their leaves. Some years later, I happened across a report from the National weather Service office, that stated that the wind speed was pegged at 100 knots! It was labeled an F2 tornado. I credit this storm personally for inspiring me to pursuit a career in meteorology, and now I do research on such topics.

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