SPC Stats

Path length: 26.6 miles

Width:  27 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  7

Rating:  F4

County:  Butler, Bremer

A significant tornado traveled through parts of Butler and Bremer Counties in Iowa on September 1, 1961.  There is limited information in the Storm Data entry about this event.  It only states the movement to the ENE ending in NW Bremer County and losses were over $1,000,000.  Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes, the tornado began NW of Dumont and ended NE of Horton. Several farms along the path were “leveled”.  It was reported at one farm that fruit jars were “sucked out of the basement” after the house was swept away.  A car was carried 100 feet in the air.  The estimated width per Storm Data and SPC was around 25-27 yards.  Grazulis estimated the width was closer to 300 yards.  There were 7 injuries reported with this event and zero fatalities.  

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 42.78 / -93.00   End:  42.88 / -92.47      

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 September 1961 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 26.6 mile path length.
  • Grazulis has a 29 mile path.
  • Storm Data has a 28 mile path.

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC has a 27 yard width.
  • Storm Data has a 25 yard width.
  • Grazulis has a 300 yard width.

Time Stamp:

  • NCDC has a listing for Bremer County where the tornado ended.  The time stamp is wrong.  They have 15:40 CST.  The tornado began at 18:00 CST in Butler County and ended in Bremer County.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      September 1961 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 1038.

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