SPC Stats

Path length: 7.6 miles

Width:  33 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  9

Rating:  F2

County:  No county listed

A quick-hitting F2 tornado moved through parts of southern Miami-Dade County on December 20, 1973.  It was one of 2 tornadoes to strike the area.  The other hit near Kendall and was later rated F1.  

The greatest damage appeared to be in the Florida City area.  The Gateway Trailer Estates was hit and numerous mobile homes were destroyed.  Some were blown into a nearby lake.  

The Storm Data entry mentioned that the tornado was aloft at times through Homestead and that there damage there could have been much worse.  

A total of 10 homes and 22 mobile homes were destroyed.  9 people were hospitalized.

Storm Data Entry

A tornado touched down in the eastern portion of Florida City and moved northward through the center of Homestead, and then dissipated over the farming areas one to two miles north of Homestead. Since the tornado was on the ground for only a part of the track, the damage in the congested Homestead Area was not as great as might have been expected. Damage was estimated near $800,000. 10 houses were destroyed and 40 had major damage. 22 mobile homes were demolished and 60 had major damage. Nine people required hospitalization.

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 25.42 / -80.42      End: 25.52 / -80.37

Based on the Storm Data Narrative, the tornado moved from the eastern part of Florida City due north through Homestead and then dissipated 1-2 miles north of town.  The SPC coordinates are off and I have given an alternate track.

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 December 1973 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 7.6 mile path length.
  • Grazulis and Storm Data have a length at 6 miles.

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 33 yard width.
  • Grazulis and Storm Data have a width at 35 miles.

Counties:

  • SPC does not list a county.
  • Grazulis and Storm Data have Dade Count.
  • NCDC has Miami-Dade County.  This is the official name of the county as of 1997.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      December 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 1147.

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