SPC Stats

Path length: 5.1 miles

Width:  880 yards

Fatalities:  1

Injuries:  5

Rating:  F4

County:  Bowie

10 tornadoes were recorded on March 12, 1971.  4 were given a rating of F3.  This summary looks at the strongest tornado of the day.  It was given a rating of F4 and traveled through Bowie County, TX.

This tornado traveled to the northeast from Malta to Daniel’s Chapel.  Per Storm Data, a 2.5 mile strip of homes were destroyed at Malta.  Homer Edwards was in his pickup truck about 20 feet from his Malta home.  The truck was spun around and he watched his home explode.  His son, Paul was inside the home and received a severe head injury.  Mr. Jessie Lee Sanford was killed when his home was hit in Daniel’s Chapel.  Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes noted that “F4 damage was most evident” at this home.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 33.48 / -94.48   End:  33.50 / -94.40         

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

Newspaper Clippings


We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the March 1971 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:


  • SPC/NCDC have the width at 880 yards (This is how we choose the event).
  • Storm Data has 1/2 mile (which is 880 yards).
  • Grazulis puts the width at 250 yards.

Path length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a length of 5.1 miles.
  • Storm Data lists 6 miles.
  • Grazulis has 7 miles.


The Storm Prediction Center

NCDC Storm Events Database

March 1971 Storm Data Publication


Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1122.

Did you enjoy reading about this event?  Help us create MORE summaries like this one by becoming a Supporter on Patreon!

 Become a Patron! 


Questions or comments about this summary?  Contact us here: http://tornadotalk.com/contact-us/

Join the tornado history discussion on our Discord Channel:  https://discordapp.com/invite/Xm43dQj