SPC Stats

Path length: 7.9 miles

Width:  100 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  21

Rating:  F3

County:  Pontotoc

A bit after midnight on April 20, 1973, an F3 tornado moved through parts of Pontotoc County, OK including the town of Ada. Officially from the Storm Prediction Center, the path length was 7.9 miles, the width 100 yards and there were 21 injuries.  A mobile home park was hit.  Approximately 500 buildings were damaged/destroyed by both the tornado and downburst winds (Grazulis, 1137).  Heavy damage to a hangar and airplanes at the airport.  A phonograph record was embedded in a vertical position in a utility pole.  See pictures in the newspapers section.  

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 34.78 / -96.68   End:  34.88 / -96.62      

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the April 1973 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Max Width:

  • Storm Data lists a max width of 1 mile.
  • Remaining sources have a max width of 100 yards.

Path length:

  • SPC/NCDC list a path length of 7.9.
  • Storm Data and Grazulis have a 9 mile path.

Time Stamp:

  • SPC/NCDC have the tornado start time as 00:15 CT.
  • Storm Data and Grazulis have a start time of 00:20 CT.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      April 1973 Storm Data Publication

      newspapers.com

      Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1137.

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