National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Severe Weather Across the Northern Tier of the Country; Heat Builds Across the Center of the Nation

A frontal boundary will focus the threat for showers and thunderstorms, some severe, across the northern tier of the country through Tuesday. Meanwhile, dangerous heat will expand across the center of the nation through at least the middle of the week. Elevated to critical fire weather conditions will persist across the Great Basin, portions of the Plains and interior Alaska. Read More >

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Tornado Track Map for Jefferson County, OK
 
Jefferson County, OK Tornadoes Prior to 1950
# Date Time
(CST)
Path
Length
(miles)
Path
Width
(yards)
F-Scale Killed Injured County Path
  06/05/1936 2100 20 880   3 5 Jefferson/ Stephens Near Hastings
  06/05/1936 2100       0 0 Jefferson Near Hastings
  06/05/1936 2100       0 0 Jefferson Near Hastings
  06/05/1936 2200 20     2 8 Jefferson NW part of County - Waurika
Jefferson County, OK Tornadoes (1950-Present*)
# Date Time
(CST)
Path
Length
(miles)
Path
Width
(yards)
F-Scale Killed Injured County Path
1 05/01/1954 1745 8 300 F3 0 0 Cotton/ Jefferson/ Stephens southern Cotton county - S of Hastings - near Addington - southern Stephens County
2 04/28/1956 1600 0.1 10 F2 0 0 Jefferson 8 E Waurika
3 08/07/1956 1600 1.5 10 F1 0 0 Jefferson near Waurika
4 04/02/1957 1530 2 10 F1 0 0 Jefferson 2.5 N Ringling
5 03/25/1959 1730 1 20 F1 0 0 Jefferson Terral
6 05/26/1959 2010 2 100 F1 0 0 Jefferson 14 E Waurika
7 04/14/1965 1700 0.1 10 F1 0 0 Jefferson Near Waurika
8 05/07/1968 1315 2 50 F0 0 0 Jefferson 2 N- 4 NNE Grady
9 05/16/1968 1800 0.1 10 F0 0 0 Jefferson 7 N Ringling
10 05/06/1969 1715 0.1 10 F0 0 0 Jefferson Near Ringling
11 03/13/1973 1250 0.5 33 F0 0 0 Jefferson S of Waurika
12 03/24/1973 1340 0.5 17 F0 0 0 Jefferson Near Terrell
13 04/20/1974 1633 6 100 F3 0 0 Jefferson 3 NW Waurika
14 04/19/1976 1425 4 440 F2 0 0 Jefferson 7 E Waurika
15 05/30/1976 1631 1.3 100 F1 0 0 Jefferson 11 W Ringling
16 05/30/1976 1800 1 33 F1 0 0 Jefferson ~4 E Addington
17 04/10/1979 1750 47 1320 F4 42 1740 Archer TX/ Wichita TX/ Clay TX/ Jefferson OK 3 ENE Holliday TX- Wichita Falls TX- 4 E Byers TX- NNE of Waurika OK [All fatalities and injuries were in Texas]
18 04/22/1981 1715 20 10 F0 0 0 Jefferson 5 NE Addington - 6 S Ringling
19 10/17/1981 0345 0.1 10 F1 0 2 Jefferson near Hastings
20 05/13/1983 1725 1 50 F0 0 0 Jefferson 3 W Ringling
21 03/13/1990 1801-1900 21 73 F1 0 0 Jefferson/ Stephens 5 W Waurika- 3 SW Loco
22 03/13/1990 1858-1937 22 200 F3 0 1 Jefferson/ Stephens/ Carter 5 SSW Loco- Ratliff City- 3 NE Ratliff City
23 05/08/1993 1625 0.1 20 F0 0 0 Jefferson 1 SW Ryan
24 05/08/1993 1648 0.1 20 F0 0 0 Jefferson 3 ENE Ryan
25 05/08/1993 1735 0.2 40 F1 0 0 Jefferson 8 W Ringling
26 04/19/1995 1840 0.1 20 F0 0 0 Jefferson 2 W Addigton
27 04/21/1996 1730-1735 5 150 F1 0 0 Jefferson/ Carter 4 N Ringling- 4 NW Healdton
28 08/11/1996 1730 0.1 20 F0 0 0 Jefferson 5 N Ringling
29 05/08/2003 0032-0040 6 150 F2 0 0 Jefferson 4 W - 2 SE Cornish
30 02/10/2009 1845-1943 39 880 EF4 8 46 Montague TX/ Jefferson OK/ Love OK/ Carter OK near Spanish Fort TX - Lone Grove OK - 4 SSE Springer OK
31 05/10/2010 1605-1614 5 50 EF1 0 0 Jefferson Hastings - Waurika Lake (5 ENE Hastings)
32 05/10/2010 1644-1646 1.5 30 EF0 0 0 Jefferson 9 WSW - 7.5 WSW Cornish
33 05/27/2014 1255 0.1 30 EF0 0 0 Jefferson 5 W Ringling
34 05/08/2015 1740 0.5 50 EF0 0 0 Jefferson 6 W Waurika
35 05/08/2015 1808 0.2 50 EF0 0 0 Jefferson 1 E Waurika
36 05/19/2015 1716-1719 1 400 EF0 0 0 Jefferson 4 NNW Terral
37 05/19/2015 1723-1731 1 250 EF0 0 0 Jefferson 4 SSE Ryan
38 05/19/2015 1740-1744 2 200 EF0 0 0 Jefferson 4 W - 2 WNW Oscar
39 05/27/2017 2206-2213 3 100 EF? 0 0 Jefferson 9 WNW - 7 WNW Ringling
40 05/01/2019 1226 0.5 20 EF? 0 0 Jefferson 4 SSW Waurika
41 05/01/2019 1308 0.2 30 EF? 0 0 Jefferson 7 E Addington
 

Significant Tornadoes in Jefferson County

  Date Time
(CST)
Path
Length
(miles)
Path
Width
(yards)
F-Scale Killed Injured County Path
  04/10/1979 1750 47 1320 F4 42 1740 Archer TX/ Wichita TX/ Clay TX/ Jefferson OK 3 ENE Holliday TX- Wichita Falls TX- 4 E Byers TX- NNE of Waurika OK [All fatalities and injuries were in Texas]

This tornado, which was part of a tornado outbreak in the Red River valley area, began at 5:50 pm CST on the southwest flank of its parent supercell thunderstorm about 3 miles east-northeast of Holliday. Witnesses say the several distinct, small vortices were visible during the formative stage of the tornado as it moved along the Fort Worth and Denver railroad into Wichita County. Two oil storage tanks were blown away and several homes were unroofed near Farm Road 2650 as the tornado approached Wichita Falls. Six cross-country steel transmission towers were destroyed just east of Farm Road 2650.

About the time the tornado entered town, it changed appearance, becoming one large black cloud of condensation and debris. The tornado was about a half-mile wide when it struck Memorial Stadium, snapping light standards and causing heavy damage to the field house. McNeil Junior High school was next in the path of the tornado and the school was severely damaged. The western portion of the school building was crushed by the intense winds.

The tornado then moved east-northeast into the Western Hills neighborhood, south of Southwest Parkway. Several apartment complexes and many homes were destroyed, with several of the first deaths occurring in this area. The tornado expanded in size as it crossed Southwest Parkway, throwing automobiles about and leveling a number of businesses, including a bank and a fire station.

The twister was almost a mile wide when it entered the Faith Village neighborhood on the north side of the east-west oriented Southwest Parkway. Most of the homes in Faith Village were demolished. Ben Milam Elementary School was heavily damaged, as the cafeteria-auditorium was completely destroyed and exterior class rooms were pummeled by flying debris. The inner hallways would have been the only relatively safe shelter in the building. Surprisingly, very few fatalities occurred in Faith Village. Most people heeded the warnings and took shelter inside interior, small rooms in their homes. Most of the destroyed homes had some of these interior walls still standing after the tornado.

After moving out of Faith Village, the tornado flattened several businesses, including a restaurant, on Kemp Boulevard. Three people were killed in the restaurant. A number of people were also killed or injured in the parking lot of Sikes Senter (sic) Mall, also on Kemp Boulevard. Some of these people attempted to run to their cars from the mall.

Inside the mall, portions of the JC Penney store collapsed while other stores sustained light to moderate damage. No one was killed and only several major injuries occurred among the approximately one thousand shoppers who were in the mall. The mall was on the north side of the tornado path and appeared to escape the most violent winds. Near the center of the tornado and about a half mile south of the mall, a church was demolished with one person killed inside the building.

The tornado then crossed a short span of open fields before moving into the Colonial Park area. More widespread home destruction occurred in Colonial Park and several more apartment complexes were demolished. The heaviest damage in the apartments occurred in the second story of two-story buildings.

The tornado then swept through the Southmoor area, destroying homes and a shopping center. After crossing U.S. Highway 281, the twister then struck the Sun Valley neighborhood and destroyed additional homes, apartments, and businesses on the south side of U.S. Highway 287. A large number of cars were smashed and some people were killed along U.S. Highway 287. Some of these people had stopped their cars under an overpass on the highway, seeking shelter from the storm.

The tornado leveled a mobile home park on the north side of U.S. Highway 287, but residents had evacuated that area and no fatalities occurred in the park. The tornado then destroyed several industrial plants before moving into Clay County just south of TX State Highway 79.

The tornado was 1.5 miles wide as it passed through 8 miles of residential area in Wichita Falls. The intense damage averaged between one quarter and one half of a mile in width. Forty-two people were killed outright by the storm and 3 others died as a result of heart attacks.

Further statistics reveal that 25 of the deaths were auto-related. Sixteen of these 25 were people who entered their cars trying to evade the tornado. Eleven of the 16 people left homes that were not even damaged. Eight persons were killed outside, 4 were killed in homes or apartments, and 4 others died in public buildings. Seventeen hundred injuries were reported in Wichita Falls.

Total damage in Wichita Falls was estimated at $400 million (in 1979 dollars). Three thousand and ninety-five homes were destroyed and 600 were damaged. One thousand and sixty-two apartment units and condominiums were demolished and 130 damaged. In addition, 93 mobile homes were devastated. It is estimated that 5,000 families, consisting of almost 20,000 people, were left homeless in Wichita Falls.

The tornado continued into Clay County, resulting in no deaths, but 40 additional injuries. About $15 million of damage occurred as the tornado destroyed homes immediately south of TX State Highway 79, from Wichita Falls into the Dean and Petrolia areas. The tornado exited Texas about 4 miles east of Byers, uprooting over 200 trees along the Red River.

Dissipation of the tornado occurred northwest of Waurika, Oklahoma, bringing the path length to 36 miles in Texas, and 11 miles in Oklahoma. Minor wind damage and hail to 2 inches in diameter occurred north of the tornado track in Wichita Falls, in conjunction with its parent supercell. Also, tornado survivors said that some golf ball size hail fell prior to and immediately after the tornado.

There is no doubt that hundreds of lives were saved by the news media and siren warnings. Amateur radio storm spotters turned in the first report of the storm, which allowed 5 to 10 minutes of valuable warning time. This followed an earlier warning at 5:08 pm CST, due to the Rocky Point tornado. Undoubtedly, this earlier warning and the afternoon Vernon tornado had primed the Wichita Falls populace to the threat of additional tornado activity.

  10/17/1981 0345 0.1 10 F1 0 2 Jefferson near Hastings

A small tornado touched down briefly and damaged a mobile home and some outbuildings on the property. Two people were injured inside the mobile home.

  03/13/1990 1858-1937 22 200 F3 0 1 Jefferson/ Stephens/ Carter 5 SSW Loco- Ratliff City- 3 NE Ratliff City

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes occurred in Oklahoma during the after and evening hours of March 13th and into the early morning hours of March 14th. Many reports of large hail were received, with some hailstones reaching the size of softballs. A total of 10 tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma.

This tornado touched down at 5 miles south-southwest of Loco in Jefferson County at 6:58 pm CST and moved northeastward through southeastern Stephens County and northwestern Carter County. The tornado produced damage in Ratliff City in Carter County before dissipating at 7:37 pm CST 3 miles northeast of Ratliff City. The damage in Ratliff City included 5 destroyed mobile homes, a motor home that was rolled 100 feet and destroyed, and severe damage to a gas compressor station. At this station a large metal building and a mobile home were destroyed. In addition, a 5-ton crane was overturned, several vehicles were damaged, and debris was found over a mile to the northeast. One injury occurred to a worker at the gas compressor station. Total damage in the Ratliff City area was estimated at $500,000 to $750,000.

  02/10/2009 1848-1943 37 880 EF4 8 46 Montague TX/ Jefferson/ Love/ Carter Near Spanish Fort TX - 1 W Petersburg - Lone Grove - 4 SSE Springer

This long-track tornado developed over extreme northern Montague County in north Texas, near the Red River, and continued northeast into Jefferson and Love Counties crossing through rural farmland north of Courtney, Rubottom and Oswalt. The tornado then crossed into Carter County, with sporadic damage noted in the sparsely populated areas in the southwest part of the county. The tornado appeared to reach its maximum width and intensity as it approached and moved through Lone Grove. The tornado destroyed or severely damaged numerous mobile homes, homes and businesses in and around Lone Grove. Numerous mobile homes were completely obliterated with few recognizable pieces left. EF-4 damage was noted at two locations, one in Lone Grove and the other in the Majestic Hills area north of Ardmore. Numerous vehicles were rolled or thrown, some for considerable distances. Six of the fatalities occurred in mobile homes and one in a well-built home that sustained EF-4 damage. The eighth fatality occurred when a truck driving south on U.S. Interstate Highway I-35 was hit by the tornado, killing the driver.

The tornado continued northeast, with major damage reported in the Majestic Hills addition and crossing U.S. Interstate Highway I-35 about 1.5 miles north of the Prairie Valley Road exit. At least eight homes and a small private school were destroyed in the Majestic Hills neighborhood. It moved through rural areas of Northeast Carter County to the east of Springer. Approximately 46 people were injured, with 14 seriously injured. Eight people died in the Lone Grove area. At least 114 homes were damaged or destroyed, with at least 3,500 homes losing power in and around Carter County. Debris from this tornado was picked up as far away as Sulphur. Monetary damage estimates were not available. Damage was estimated at $3 million.

 

Records taken from the Storm Prediction Center archive data, "Storm Data", and data from the National Weather Service office in Norman. Data modified as described in NOAA Tech Memo NWS SR-209 (Speheger, D., 2001: "Corrections to the Historic Tornado Database").

Historic data, especially before 1950, are likely incomplete.