SPC Stats

Path length: 1.9 miles

Width:  47 yards

Fatalities:  1

Injuries:  31

Rating:  F4

County: Grant

A strong tornado moved through parts of Grant County, IN and the town of Marion on March 6, 1956.  The SPC has a path length of 1.9 miles but the Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) has a path closer to 3.5 miles.  It moved through the western and northern parts of Marion and then out into open country.  45 homes were destroyed.  40 others had major damage and 350 had minor damage.  A lumberyard and 2 schools were damaged.  Per CDNS, “State police reported tornado moved across open country northeast of Marion to farm which was struck.”  There were 31 injuries and 1 fatality.

The official SPC rating of this tornado is F4.  Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes gives it a rating of F3 but notes in his summary it was “Near-F4”.  The official SPC coordinates are not correct.  I have them plotted below.  It moves the tornado to the northwest.  CDNS states the tornado moved to the NE and Grazulis notes an ENE movement.  He writes that the tornado moved through the west and north parts of Marion.  

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 40.57 / -85.57   End:  40.60 / -85.60    

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 1956 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 1.9 mile path.
  • Grazulis and CDNS have a 3.5 mile path.

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC have a width of 47 yards.
  • Grazulis and CDNS have a 45 yard width.

Rating:

  • SPC/NCDC have a rating of F4.
  • Grazulis has an F3 rating.

    Sources:

    The Storm Prediction Center

    NCDC Storm Events Database

    March 1956 Climatological Data National Summary

    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 992-993.

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