SPC Stats

Path length: 70 miles

Width:  600 yards

Fatalities:  2

Injuries:  8

Rating:  F3

County:  Crawford (KS) / Barton, Vernon, Cedar, St. Clair (MO)

This was one of the strongest tornadoes of an outbreak of 23 during the evening of March 15, 1982.   Most of the twisters were in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  This tornado was given a rating of F3.  It had a path of 70 miles.  There were two fatalities and eight injuries.

The tornado developed 4 miles east of Girard, KS.  It hit the towns of Arma and Mulberry.  Several homes on the south side of Arma were moved off their foundation.  At Mulberry, 50 homes were destroyed, another 90 were damaged.  Downburst winds demolished a grocery store south of the tornado.  Judith James was killed in a mobile home.

The tornado moved away from Mulberry, KS, and into Missouri, where it spent most of its time.  Per the survey, the tornado was on the ground for 46 miles, lifted for a few miles, and then set down again, ending near Osceola.   In Missouri, 34 homes or buildings were destroyed, 70 more were damaged.  A woman was killed at Cedar Springs. 

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 37.53 / -94.80   End:  38.05 / -93.70      

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

Images via the March 1982 Storm Data Publication

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the March 1982 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have the length at 70 miles.  This is how we choose the event.
  • Storm Data has the KS portion at 9 miles and MO portion as 60 miles.  
  • Grazulis has a family of tornadoes at 70 miles.

Width:

  • Storm Data lists the max width in KS at 700 yards and a range of widths in MO:  1500 to 150 yards.

Counties:

  • The counties in the path should be:  Crawford (KS), Barton, Vernon, Cedar, St. Clair (MO).
  • Storm Data doesn’t list Vernon.

    Sources:

    The Storm Prediction Center

    NCDC Storm Events Database

    March 1982 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 1234.

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