Path length: 23.3 miles
Width: 440 yards
A tornado given a rating of F4 moved just over 23 miles eastward through parts of Frio County, TX on April 15, 1973. It began about 8 miles west of the Frio Airport. It moved across the airport and the Melon community passing 3 miles south of Pearsall. It ended 15 miles due east of the airport. There were 5 fatalities. All were occupants of two cars traveling on Interstate 35 as the tornado crossed that area. Injuries included 3 others in the cars and residents of homes.
8 homes were destroyed and several others were damaged. Three airport hangars were damaged and 8-10 airplanes were destroyed. 122 other airplanes sustained damaged. One-inch-thick asphalt topping ripped off one of the runways. 30 head of livestock lost and about 13,000 acres of crops destroyed.
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:
- SPC/NCDC list a 440 yard width. (1/4 mile)
- Grazulis has the width at 400 yards. Mention in his summary though the funnel was up to 3/4 mile wide.
- Storm Data lists a 3/4 mile width.
- Storm Data list 8 injuries.
- Remaining sources have 12 injuries.
April 1973 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 1136.
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