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Severe Storms and Flash Flooding in the Southern Plains

A slow moving storm system is expected to produce a multi-day heavy rainfall and flash flooding event across much of the Central to Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley regions. Severe weather may produce large hail and high winds, but also a threat of tornadoes, across Texas and spreading on Wednesday into the Lower Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio Valleys. Read More >

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Tornado Track Map for McClain County, OK
 
McClain County, OK Tornadoes Prior to 1950
# Date Time
(CST)
Path
Length
(miles)
Path
Width
(yards)
F-Scale Killed Injured County Path
  04/12/1896             McClain Cole
  06/22/1936 1845 3 200   1   McClain Rosedale
  09/26/1945 1805   67   0 0 McClain/ Cleveland/ Oklahoma Newcastle - Norman - S OKC
  03/18/1948             McClain Washington - 1 S Woody Chapel
  04/30/1949 1455 52* 250   3 56 McClain/ Cleveland/ Pottawatomie/ Lincoln 5 S Blanchard - W of Norman; S of McLoud - E of Meeker (likely separate events)
  04/30/1949 1630 25 150   0 1 Garvin/ McClain SE of Lindsay - near Wayne
McClain County, OK Tornadoes (1950-Present*)
# Date Time
(CST)
Path
Length
(miles)
Path
Width
(yards)
F-Scale Killed Injured County Path
1 03/13/1953 1845 2 100 F2 0 2 McClain Washington
2 04/02/1953 2158 0.1 10 F0 0 0 McClain 6 NW Lindsay
3 04/28/1956 1420 35 10 F1 0 0 Grady/ McClain/ Cleveland 5 S Chickasha - 3 E Norman
4 05/24/1957 1800 31 440 F2 0 0 Garvin/ McClain/ Pottawatomie SW of Wynnewood - Wynnewood; S of Wanette - Wanette - 6 NW McComb
5 05/24/1957 2100 0.1 10 F1 0 0 McClain SW of Purcell
6 09/03/1959 0745 0.1 10 F0 0 0 McClain Near Purcell
7 05/23/1960 2030 1.5 33 F1 0 0 McClain 2 NW Newcastle
8 02/17/1961 1630 0.5 17 F? 0 0 McClain 12 SW Purcell
9 05/26/1962 2058 7 100 F2 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 1 NE- ~5 E Goldsby
10 04/03/1964 1830 0.1 10 F? 0 0 McClain Near Newcastle
11 04/05/1965 1330 0.1 10 F1 0 0 McClain Near Purcell
12 04/14/1965 1730 0.1 10 F0 0 0 McClain 4 NE Dibble
13 12/29/1972 2015 15 40 F2 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 10 SW Purcell - 4 ESE Lexington
14 11/19/1973 1930 24 500 F3 5 36 McClain/ Cleveland/ Oklahoma Blanchard - Moore - Del City - SE Oklahoma City
15 03/02/1977 1630 6 100 F1 0 0 Grady/ McClain Near Blanchard
16 08/21/1979 1930 0.1 10 F0 0 0 McClain Between Criner and Washington
17 05/17/1981 1646 4 100 F1 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 3 SSW Noble
18 06/11/1982 0300 1 50 F2 0 0 McClain Old Goldsby Airport
19 08/27/1982 1600 1 50 F2 0 0 McClain 5 N Purcell
20 05/27/1984 1735 7 100 F0 0 0 McClain 2 SSE- 9 SE Goldsby
21 05/27/1984 1745 6 100 F0 0 0 Cleveland/ McClain 3 S- 8 SSE Noble
22 03/26/1985 2047 0.1 10 F1 0 0 McClain 3 SW Payne
23 03/13/1990 1644-1737 28 200 F2 0 1 Grady/ McClain/ Cleveland 1 W Bradley- Washington- Noble- 5 NE Noble
24 03/13/1990 1731-1805 18 150 F2 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 2 W Criner- 5 SE Noble
25 05/02/1991 1900 0.3 30 F1 0 3 McClain Blanchard
26 09/02/1992 1715-1745 8 400 F2 0 1 McClain 3 SW Purcell- 3 ENE Wayne
27 03/29/1993 2152-2202 5 33 F1 0 0 Grady/ McClain 4 E Alex- 3 W Criner
28 09/13/1993 1330 0.1 23 F0 0 0 McClain 1 S Criner
29 05/26/1996 2132 0.1 25 F0 0 0 McClain 6 S Purcell
30 06/06/1996 1735 0.1 20 F0 0 0 McClain 1 SE Wayne
31 06/06/1996 1740 0.1 10 F0 0 0 McClain 1 SE Wayne
32 05/25/1997 1600-1624 6 1320 F2 0 2 McClain 7 WSW - 4 S Purcell
33 05/25/1997 1632 0.2 20 F0 0 0 McClain 2 NNE Wayne
34 10/04/1998 1915-1921 5 80 F2 0 0 Grady/ McClain 4 NW Blanchard - 2 SSW Newcastle
35 10/04/1998 1926-1928 1.5 30 F0 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland N Newcastle - SW Oklahoma City
36 11/09/1998 2115-2120 5 130 F1 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 1.5 SW Purcell - Purcell - 1 NE Lexington
37 04/05/1999 0503-0506 3 n/a F1 0 0 McClain 10 SW - 8 W Purcell
38 05/03/1999 1726-1848 37 1430 F5 36 583 Grady/ McClain/ Cleveland/ Oklahoma 2 SSW Amber - far N Newcastle - SW Oklahoma City - N Moore - S Del City - W Midwest City
39 05/03/1999 1810 0.2 20 F0 0 0 McClain north Newcastle
40 05/08/2003 1600-1601 0.2 30 F0 0 0 McClain N Newcastle (3.5 NNW Newcastle)
41 05/07/2008 1621-1631 5 25 EF0 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 0.5 SE Goldsby - 1.5 N Noble
42 04/29/2009 0911-0920 7 40 EF1 0 0 Garvin/ McClain 4 W - 5 N Stratford
43 05/10/2010 1636-1643 5 880 EF1 0 0 McClain 7 WSW - 2.5 W Wayne
44 05/10/2010 1637-1638 0.8 150 EF0 0 0 McClain 7 WSW - 6 W Wayne
45 04/22/2011 1845-1848 0.5 150 EF0 0 0 McClain 1 WSW Byars
46 04/22/2011 1859 0.2 30 EF1 0 0 McClain 1 E Byars
47 05/24/2011 1606-1701 33 880 EF4 1 48 Grady/ McClain/ Cleveland 2 S Chickasha - Oklahoma City (near SW 149th/Portland)
48 05/24/2011 1626-1705 23 880 EF4 0 61 Grady/ McClain 2 W Bradley - 1 W Goldsby
49 05/24/2011 1645-1646 0.7 50 EF0 0 0 McClain 2 SW Newcastle
50 05/24/2011 1702-1703 0.5 40 EF1 0 0 McClain 2.5 SE Goldsby
51 11/07/2011 2247-2249 1.6 110 EF1 0 0 McClain 3 NE - 4.5 NE Blachard
52 04/13/2012 1459-1512 6 600 EF1 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 4 NNW Goldsby - Norman (near NE12th/Robinson)
53 05/20/2013 1356-1435 14 1900 EF5 24 212 McClain/ Cleveland Newcastle (3 NW US-77/SH-130) - Oklahoma City (south) - Moore - 3 WNW Stanley Draper Lake Dam
54 05/06/2015 1633-1639 1 200 EF1 0 0 McClain 2 SE Newcastle
55 05/19/2015 1340 0.1 20 EF0 0 0 McClain 9 W Wayne
56 05/19/2015 1351 0.1 20 EF0 0 0 McClain 5 SW Purcell
57 05/23/2015 1711-1717 2 50 EF1 0 0 McClain 2.5 ESE - 3 NE Blanchard
58 05/23/2015 1730-1732 0.5 50 EF0 0 0 McClain 1 WSW Newcastle
59 12/26/2015 1357 0.1 20 EF0 0 0 McClain 7 NE Byars
60 10/21/2017 1936-1942 3 50 EF1 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 3 NW Goldsby (near SH-9/Santa Fe) - 3 SSW Norman (SW of SH-9/Chautauqua)
61 05/02/2018 1948-1953 5 40 EF1 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 2 SW Purcell - Purcell - 2 N Lexington
62 05/19/2018 2317-2327 7 50 EF0 0 0 McClain 6.5 WSW - 2 N Wayne
63 05/21/2019 0245-0250 4 250 EF1 0 0 McClain/ Cleveland 3.5 SSE Goldsby - 0.75 NW Noble
64 06/16/2019 1650 0.2 20 EF0 0 0 McClain 1 SE Wayne
 

Significant Tornadoes in McClain County

  Date Time
(CST)
Path
Length
(miles)
Path
Width
(yards)
F-Scale Killed Injured County Path
  03/13/1953 1845 2 100 F2 0 2 McClain Washington

This tornado moved northeastward through the town of Washington, but because of warnings received prior to the tornado's arrival, almost every resident was able to take shelter in a basement or storm cellar. The tornado injured two people and $200,000 in damages.

  11/19/1973 1930 24 500 F3 5 46 McClain/ Cleveland/ Oklahoma Blanchard - Moore - Del City - SE Oklahoma City

A tornado touched down about one mile south-southwest of Blanchard, OK in McClain County at 7:30 pm CST and moved north-northeastward at 40 mph. The tornado moved through the western portions of Blanchard with top damage wind speeds of 150-175 mph. Thirty-one homes, 2 businesses, and 2 churches were destroyed, and 44 homes along with 2 businesses received major damage. Two occupants of a mobile home were killed and 18 others were injured. Total damages to insured property were $1.8 million. In addition, minor damage in Alex (17 miles south-southwest of Blanchard) may have been associated with this tornado.

Heavy rain accompanied the tornado and apparently obscured any noise made by the storm. The tornado caused spotty damage northeast of Blanchard, mostly light, and then it moved through Moore, OK where it struck a mobile home park in southern Moore, and then many homes and businesses in the northern sections of the city. Two children were killed in the mobile home park where 37 mobile homes were destroyed and 30 others were damaged. On some mobile home trailers, only the frame of the floor and wheels remained. Of the 28 injuries in Moore, most occurred at the mobile home park. Total damages in Moore totaled $2.5 million.

As the tornado moved north-northeast into southern Oklahoma City, OK, substantial damage to a warehouse occurred at about 8:00 pm CST along 89th Street. A watchman at the warehouse was killed when a concrete block wall collapsed on him. As the tornado continued on, minor roof damage occurred in southeastern Oklahoma City and Del City, OK northward to about 20th Street SE.

  03/13/1990 1644-1737 28 200 F2 0 1 Grady/ McClain/ Cleveland 1 W Bradley- Washington- Noble- 5 NE Noble

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes occurred during the afternoon and evening of March 13th and the early morning hours of March 14th. Many reports of large hail up to the size of softballs were received. A total of 10 tornadoes occurred in Oklahoma.

A strong tornado touched down 1 mile west of Bradley and moved northeast before dissipating 5 miles northeast of Noble. Near Bradley, 2 mobile homes were destroyed, while several homes and 3 barns were damaged.

In McClain County, the damage was intermittent from 5 miles west of Criner to U.S. Interstate Highway I-35 southeast of Goldsby. At least 8 mobile homes and several outbuildings were destroyed. In Washington, the second story of a home was destroyed and one injury occurred to a woman in a mobile home.

In Cleveland County at Noble, the damage was extensive. An apartment building lost part of its roof, and a mobile home was overturned. Several tractor semi-trailers were overturned at a warehouse. Numerous homes sustained roof and other structural damage in the Sky Ridge and Forest Hills subdivisions. The Noble High School stadium press box was destroyed, several light poles were snapped, and the scoreboard was demolished. Total damage was estimated between $750,000 and $1 million.

  05/02/1991 1900 0.3 30 F1 0 3 McClain Blanchard

Severe thunderstorms developed across the southwestern portions of Oklahoma during the afternoon of May 2nd and spread to the central portions of the state, producing 2 tornadoes. The second tornado occurred along a gust front as it was moving through Blanchard. It destroyed 2 mobile homes and caused 3 injuries. The damages were estimated at $20,000.

  09/02/1992 1715-1745 8 400 F2 0 1 McClain 3 SW Purcell- 3 ENE Wayne

Severe thunderstorms were widespread across central and south-central Oklahoma on September 2nd, with a few severe storms moving across the southeastern portion of the state. A strong (F2) tornado developed across McClain County at 5:15 pm CST 2.5 miles southwest of Purcell. The tornado moved along an 8-mile path and dissipated 3 miles east-northeast of Wayne at 5:45 pm CST. The tornado had an average path width of 300 to 500 yards. Most damage was confined to trees and crops, but 7 homes and several outbuildings received damage.

One home on U.S. Highway 77 lost about 80 percent of its roof. At U.S. Highway 77, a pickup truck was overturned and its lone occupant sustained injuries after being thrown from the vehicle. Other damage included downed high tension power lines, a trailer bed blown about 100 yards, and a one-ton propane tank blown and rolled about 0.25 miles. The storm producing the tornado also dropped tennis ball to softball size hail across McClain and southern Cleveland counties.

  05/25/1997 1600-1624 6 1320 F2 0 2 McClain 7 WSW - 4 S Purcell

Severe thunderstorms developed during the afternoon in central Oklahoma and spread into southern Oklahoma during the late afternoon and evening. In all, thirteen tornadoes were confirmed, including an F2 tornado that tracked for 6 miles through McClain County southwest of Purcell. Some minor injuries were reported with one of the tornadoes, but no fatalities or serious injuries occurred. Reports of 3-inch hail, severe straight-line winds, and lightning damage were also received.

One particularly strong supercell storm tracked across central Oklahoma, reaching its maximum strength and producing 3 tornadoes and extensive straight-line wind damage over Grady and McClain Counties. What follows here is an excerpt from a damage survey conducted by a National Weather Service meteorologist on May 26th, the day after the storm.

Findings indicate that 3 tornadoes occurred in this area. Most of the damage, and all of the significant structural damage, resulted from the first two tornadoes. Widespread tree damage in some areas, especially in McClain County, was attributed to straight-line winds.

The second and more significant tornado, rated F2, began 5 miles east of Criner, or 7 miles WSW of downtown Purcell, in southern McClain County. The beginning time of this tornado is less certain but is believed to be near or just after 4:00 pm CST. This tornado also tracked just south of due east for 6 miles, ending about 4 miles NW of Wayne or 4 miles S of downtown Purcell at around 4:24 pm CST. Numerous power lines were downed, prompting the temporary closing of both OK State Highways 24 and 74 for a time Sunday evening. At least 18 dwellings, including mobile homes and permanent dwellings, were destroyed or suffered major damage. This probably was a multiple-vortex tornado, at least in its latter stages, based on eyewitness reports.

  05/03/1999 1726-1848 38 1760 F5 36 583 Grady/ McClain/ Cleveland/ Oklahoma 2 SSW Amber - far N Newcastle - SW Oklahoma City - N Moore-S Del City-W Midwest City

This violent, long-lived tornado was the most infamous of nearly 60 tornadoes that struck central Oklahoma during an unprecedented outbreak on this Monday afternoon and evening of May 3, 1999. The tornado was the 9th of 14 tornadoes produced by a supercell thunderstorm during the tornado outbreak. It formed around 5:26 pm CST about 2 miles south-southwest of Amber, OK, and grew rapidly to monstrous proportions as it headed to the northeast, paralleling U.S. Interstate Highway I-44. It moved across Bridge Creek, OK and rural parts of northwest Newcastle, OK, causing continuous F4 and sporadic F5 damage. The tornado was estimated to be a mile in diameter in this area.

It weakened to F2/F3 intensity and narrowed to less than 1/4 mile in width as it crossed I-44 and the Canadian River northeast of Newcastle and entered far south Oklahoma City, OK southwest of 149th and May Avenue around 6:12 pm CST. But it regained F4/F5 intensity and widened again to 1/2 to occasionally 3/4 mile as it moved northeast across south Oklahoma City, entering Moore, OK just west and north of 12th and Santa Fe.

Still moving northeast and still producing F4 and occasional F5 damage, it crossed U.S. Interstate Highway I-35 at the Shields Boulevard junction and moved into northeast Moore, at which point it weakened slightly to F3/sporadic F4 intensity and began a gradual turn to the left. This turn took the tornado more to the north-northeast as it crossed U.S. Interstate Highway I-240 between Bryant Avenue and Sunnylane Road. It crossed southeastern Oklahoma City and entered Del City, OK as an F4 tornado, width 1/3 to 1/2 mile, along SE 44th between Sunnylane and Sooner Roads, and continued north-northeast to the northwestern part of Tinker Air Force Base, near SE 29th Street and Sooner Road.

Continuing to turn slowly, it moved almost due north but maintained F4 intensity as it crossed U.S. Interstate Highway I-40 just east of Sooner Road and continued north to between SE 15th Street and Reno Avenue. The tornado then weakened rapidly to F0/F1 intensity as it crossed Reno Avenue, and at 6:48 pm CST dissipated about 3 blocks north of Reno between Sooner Road and Air Depot Boulevard.

Totals from this tornado include 36 direct fatalities (12 in Bridge Creek, 1 in Newcastle, 9 in southern/southeastern Oklahoma City, 5 in Moore, 6 in Del City, and 3 in Midwest City), 5 indirect fatalities during or shortly after the tornado, 583 direct injuries, numerous indirect injuries (too many to count), 1800 homes destroyed, and 2500 homes damaged. The tornado was also the 100th tornado to strike the Oklahoma City area since 1890. Total damage was estimated at $1 billion.

  05/24/2011 1606-1701 33 880 EF4 1 48 Grady/ McClain/ Cleveland 2 S Chickasha - SW Oklahoma City (near SW 149th and Portland)

This tornado formed on the south side of Chickasha, OK in Grady County, quickly doing EF-2 damage. Mobile homes were damaged and destroyed, trees were uprooted or destroyed, outbuildings were destroyed, and many buildings lost significant portions of their roofs. One fatality occurred as a mobile home was destroyed in the south portion of Chickasha. As the tornado moved northeast of Chickasha, it gained significant strength, with several areas receiving EF-4 damage. Well-built homes were destroyed. Trees were debarked with only stumps remaining. Cars were thrown hundreds of feet. Almost continuous EF-3/occasional EF-4 damage occurred northeast until it crossed into McClain County, 1.5 miles south of OK State Highway 9. The tornado was probably at its strongest as it neared/crossed the Grady/McClain County line. Wind speeds there were estimated near 200 mph in this area.

Significant damage continued as the violent tornado moved over the McClain County border. This may have been the strongest portion of this tornado, with wind speeds near 200 mph. Well-built homes were destroyed, with some cleaned off of their foundation. A concrete dome home was severely damage, mainly by the flying debris. Trees were debarked or destroyed. Very little was left standing for the first few miles into McClain County. Fairly consistent EF-3, with brief periods of EF-4 damage occurred as the tornado approached and then crossed OK State Highway 9, near the OK State Highway 76 junction. The tornado began to weaken as it moved toward the Cleveland County border, with mainly trees and power poles/lines snapped.

The tornado continued into Cleveland County and where some minor tree/power pole/power line damage occurred. A few barns and outbuilding also sustained minor damage east of U.S. Interstate Highway I-44. The tornado dissipated just north of the Canadian River. The tornado traveled along a path length of 32 miles through three counties in just under an hour, Peak wind speeds were estimated just under 200 mph.

  05/24/2011 1626-1705 23 880 EF4 0 61 Grady/ McClain 2 W Bradley - 1 W Goldsby

This violent tornado developed west of Bradley in Grady County, downing tree limbs as it moved northeast. The tornado began to increase in intensity, producing EF-3 damage, as it approached McClain County. Although the damage was confined to trees, the severity of the damage became more intense along the path. Trees were snapped at the bases, or debarked altogether. The tornado was several hundred yards wide as it neared the Grady/McClain County line. Luckily, very few structures were in the path.

Widespread tree damage and ground scouring was ongoing as the tornado crossed into McClain County. As the tornado crossed OK State Highway 76, even more intense damage occurred. EF-4 damage was surveyed at several locations. Several homes were reduced to a pile of rubble, or were wiped clean off of their foundations. Automobiles were mangled and almost unrecognizable. The tornado weakened and narrowed as it crossed CR 410. Even though the tornado had weakened, it still produced EF-2 to EF-3 damage as it approached OK State Highway 39.

The tornado increased in intensity once again near OK State Highway 39, with EF-4 damage occurring in a second area along the path. Well-constructed homes were destroyed, with several wiped clean off of their foundations. This also began a longer streak of higher end damage, with EF-3 to EF-4 damage produced by the tornado until it crossed OK State Highway 74B, west of High Avenue. Equally devastating destruction occurred over the areas of EF-4 damage. The tornado lifted west of Goldsby with some EF-3 damage still occurring prior to lifting. It should be noted that this tornado had estimated winds up to 200 mph at times, falling just short of the damage indicator for an EF-5 tornado.

  05/20/2013 1356-1435 14 1900 EF5 24 212 McClain/ Cleveland Newcastle (3 NW US-277/SH-130) - 3 WNW Stanley Draper Lake Dam

The violent Newcastle-Moore tornado was first observed at 1:56 pm CST (2:56 pm CDT) developing about one-half mile south of Oklahoma State Highway 37 in northwest Newcastle, OK to the east of Rockwell Avenue. EF-4 damage was observed soon after the tornado crossed State Highway 37. The tornado continued to expand in size as it approached the Canadian River and moved into Cleveland County.

The tornado then moved into Cleveland County at 2:04 pm CST from McClain County as it moved northeast across the Canadian River near U.S. Interstate Highway I-44. The tornado then turned more east and then east-northeast after crossing I-44. Violent EF-4 damage was again observed as it began to move into progressively higher density residential areas approaching May Avenue.

The center of the large tornado path passed near SW 149th Street and Western Avenue. After crossing Western Avenue, numerous buildings were destroyed and horses killed at Orr Family Farm. Two storage tanks estimated to weigh approximately 10 tons were lifted from Orr Family Farm and landed about one-half mile east.

Moving east, the tornado destroyed much of Briarwood Elementary School, where the NWS storm survey team rated damage as EF-5. Despite the destruction of this elementary school during school hours, no fatalities occurred at the school. As the tornado continued to move east and east-northeast, it moved through much more densely populated suburban neighborhoods of southwest Oklahoma City, OK and Moore, OK where violent destruction was widespread.

The width of EF-4 and greater damage was up to 250 yards wide as the tornado moved through neighborhoods east of Western Avenue. The first two fatalities occurred in a house in the neighborhood just east of Briarwood Elementary, with another fatality in a house as the tornado approached Santa Fe Avenue.

After crossing Santa Fe Avenue, the tornado moved through more suburban neighborhoods and toward Plaza Towers Elementary School. Damage to the school was extensive and seven children were killed when a wall collapsed at the school. Nine other people were killed in eight different neighborhood homes within one-quarter mile of Plaza Towers Elementary, most occurring just south of the school.

The tornado turned northeast as it approached Telephone Road, made a loop near the intersection of Telephone Road and 4th Street, then moved southeast crossing the interstate. Three people were killed when a convenience store along Telephone Road was destroyed. Crossing Telephone Road, the tornado inflicted significant damage to the Moore Medical Center, a post office and numerous businesses along Telephone Road and U.S. Interstate Highway I-35.

Although the tornado was narrower after crossing U.S. Interstate Highway I-35, it continued to produce EF-4 damage in neighborhoods east of the interstate as it curved east and then again east-northeast. One fatality occurred at a business just east of the interstate highway, and one final fatality occurred in a home between Eastern Avenue and Bryant Avenue. Consistent EF-4 damage continued until the tornado passed SE 4th Street just east of Bryant Avenue.

Moving east from Bryant Avenue, the tornado continued to produce EF-2 damage with isolated EF-4 damage noted. The density of housing also decreased east of Bryant as the tornado moved east and east-northeast before dissipating at 2:35 PM CST east of Air Depot Boulevard between SE 119th Street and SE 134th Street in southeast Oklahoma City. Overall, over 300 homes experienced EF-4/EF-5 damage along the tornado path.

 

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.