SPC Stats

Path length: 0.1 miles

Width:  100 yards

Fatalities:  1

Injuries:  2

Rating:  F5

County:  Adair

I relied greatly on Thomas Grazulis’ entry in his book Significant Tornadoes for this event.

The SPC has a path length of only 0.1 miles in Adair County. Grazulis lists a 10-mile track from Cass County into Adair County.  He denotes the tornado began 5 miles SW of Adair and moved ENE passing 4 miles south of town. Using this information, I estimated coordinates for our map below.  The SPC only lists a beginning latitude and longitude. (41.45 / -94.70).  

The Climatological Data National Summary states this was the first in a family of 4 tornadoes.  They mention the tornado started 4 1/2 miles SW of Adair.  They give no endpoint.  

Four farms were destroyed.  Per Grazulis, “Virtually nothing was left on the site of a farm near the county border.  Heavy machinery was thrown over 100 yards, and boards were driven into trees.”

Climatological Data National Summary Entry

This entry is categorized under the place “Iowa, southern portion”.  They state there was a family of 4 tornadoes, numerous wind squalls and electrical.

Tornado #1 occurred 4 1/2 miles southwest of Adair about 3:45pm.  Woman killed; man critically injured; 1 other man injured.  4 farms demolished, with heavy loss to livestock.  Total damages about $100,000.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC only provided one point.  These are estimated start and end coordinates:  

Start: 41.452182 / -94.712701 (approx. 5 miles SW of Adair)   

End:  41.44723 / -94.643221 (approx. 4 miles south of Adair)      

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 June 1953 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC state the length was 0.1 miles.
  • CDNS has a range of lengths of 3-5 miles.  Not sure which tornado that was for since they summarize all four in the family.
  • Grazulis has a length of 10 miles.


  • Grazulis has a width of 200 yards.
  • Remaining sources list a width of 100 yards.


  • SPC/NCDC have the path in Adair County only.
  • CDNS doesn’t list any counties.
  • Grazulis lists Cass and Adair County.


      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      June 1953 Climatological Data National Summary


      Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 975.

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