SPC Stats

Path length: 12.1 miles

Width:  440 yards

Fatalities:  7

Injuries:  12

Rating:  F4

County:  Clay

Per the Storm Prediction Center, there were 4 tornadoes in Alabama on May 1, 1953.  Two were eventually rated F2 and two rated F4.  We look at one of those F4s in this summary.

This tornado traveled 12.1 miles through parts of Clay County, AL.  It moved ENE from 2 miles North of Millerville, passing 3 miles South of Ashland, to 2 miles South of Lineville.  (Grazulis, pg. 969).  The max width was 440 yards. There were 12 injuries and 7 fatalities reported.  

Per the summary in the May 1953 Climatological Data National Summary, 19 homes were destroyed and 50 damaged.  36 other buildings were destroyed and 57 damaged.  Many chickens were killed, stripped of their feathers.  

Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes, the 7 deaths occurred in 3 of the 19 destroyed homes.  A gas station was leveled as well.  

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 33.22 / -85.93   End:  33.3 / -85.75      

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 May 1953 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path length:

  • SPC has a length of 12.1 miles.
  • Grazulis lists the length at 20 miles.
  • CDNS has a length of 25 miles.

Max Width:

  • SPC and CDNS have the width at 440 yards.
  • Grazulis lists a 400 yard width.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      May 1953 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 1362.

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