SPC Stats

Path length: 10.4 miles

Width:  1760 yards

Fatalities:  6

Injuries:  31

Rating:  F4

County:  Hill

Nine tornadoes occurred on March 31, 1959. 6 were in Oklahoma, 2 in Texas and 1 in Arkansas. One of the strongest, and the deadliest, was given a rating of F4.  It moved 10.4 miles through parts of Hill County, TX.  There were 6 fatalities.  There may have been a 7th death.  I did find newspaper articles that state a woman died from her injuries from this tornado making that the 7th person killed.  I have attached one of those articles in the newspaper section below.

Summary information from Storm Data and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes:

This tornado moved from the SE edge of Vaughan to about 8 miles north of Bynum.  Per Storm Data, “Vaughan was almost completely destroyed.”  100+ buildings were damaged or destroyed.  Per Grazulis, “five deaths were in four homes, that were leveled to the ground.”  Several homes and a tourist court were badly damaged at Lake Whitney.  As the tornado moved across the Waco-Hillsboro Highway 5, five miles south of Hillsboro, a car was picked up and thrown 100 yards.  The occupant was killed and 2 others were injured.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 31.85 / -97.22   End:  31.98 / -97.13

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 March 1959 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have the length at 10.4 miles.  
  • Storm Data has a 20 mile path.
  • Grazulis lists the path at 15 miles.

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC have a width of 1760 yards.
  • Storm Data lists a width of 1320 yards.
  • Grazulis has a 1000 yard width.

Fatalities:

  • All sources list 6 fatalities from this tornado.
  • I did find newspaper articles that state a woman died from her injuries from this tornado making that the 7th person killed.  I have attached one of those articles below.

Coordinates:

The city of Bynum is mentioned as having damage per Storm Data and newspaper articles.  Grazulis mentions that path moved to about 8 miles north of Bynum.   The official plot though has the path west of Bynum.   The ending point may be incorrect.

    Sources:

    The Storm Prediction Center

    NCDC Storm Events Database

    March 1959 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 1019.

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