Tornadoes in Turner County, South Dakota on 1965/6/7


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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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Summary   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.

Date(s) (yyyy-mm-dd)TornadoesFatalitiesHighest FatalitiesInjuriesHighest InjuriesLongest PathWidest Path
1965-06-07 - 1965-06-0741 person1 person0 people0 people8.6 miles647 yards
User Comments   (1)      
General Comment
2015-05-08 16:17:15
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I was mowing hay in the NW 1/4 of the section just NE of where this tornado finally lifted.   I watched tornados develop over the afternoon, 14 that day, and counted 7 on the ground at once.   I watched this particular tornado develop, it probably start as the F2 in Yankton County, went up and then came back down as an F4.  I saw the farmstead owned by Hartvig Hansen hit and the building virtually exploded, it looked like a puff of chaff in the wind.  The tornado turned coal black as it sucked up the dirt from the cornfields.  The funnel turned pure white as it crossed Swan Lake.   After it crossed Highway 19, my Uncle Curtis and I decided it was best to dive back down into the basement at the funnel was less than a mile away and headed directly for the farm.  When we came back up the tornado was gone, it had lifted less than half a mile from the farm.

My father was on the Swan Lake Township board so I went with him as he went out to survey the damage.  The Hartvig Hanse farm was  gone, there was nothing bigger than a card table left and a 2x6 piece of lumber was stuck in the middle of the gravel road, like a dart.

We went to the hill on the north side of Swan Lake and most of the cottages were destroyed.  I noticed the debris floating in the lake was drifting along the shore, first one way and then back again.  I first thought it odd that there was a current in the lake because it was so small, then it dawned on me that the tornado had so disrupted the water that it was trying to level itself, like water in a pan that had been tilted.  The tornado crossed Highway 19 just east of the lake and pulled up asphalt on the west sholder of the road.

Our farm was in the NE 2/3 of the section just east of where the tornado lifted.  For years later we were finding debris left by the tornado in our fields.   In Hills, MN people found cancelled checks from Hartvig Hansen that had been sucked into the funnel and finally dropped out in Minnesota, about 50 miles away.

My brother took movies of the storms that day, including this one.  For many years after, I would have the "tornado dream".  This all happened 50 years ago next month.  I no longer have the dream.

Dave Rasmussen







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