SPC Stats

Path length: 3 miles

Width:  400 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  32

Rating:  F3

County:  Volusia

The SPC Database lists all tornado start times in CST.  The tornado we are looking at today is officially found in the database under November 1 with a start time of 2345 CST.  It officially occurred though on November 2 at 0045 EST.  The NCDC database has the event on November 2.

At the time, this was the strongest tornado to ever hit Volusia County (Information via NWS).  Since this twister though, there have been 2 other F3/EF3 tornadoes in the county. One occurred on February 23, 1998.  There was 1 fatality.  A second occurred on February 2, 2007.  There were 42 injuries.

This late night tornado had a path length of 3 miles.  It hit 1 mile west of US Highway 1 between Enterprise and Wayne Avenues.  Several homes were damaged.  The Storm Data entry states the tornado briefly lifted after passing Chisholm Elementary School and then dropped to hit New Smyrna Beach High School.  It hit a subdivision and condos at F3 strength. Furniture at the Diamond Head Condos were blown into the Indian River Lagoon.  The tornado dissipated over the Atlantic.  Total of 32 injuries.  31 homes were destroyed.  

Storm Data Entry

A rapidly intensifying tornado initially touched down in New Smyrna Beach about 1 mile west of U.S. Highway 1 between Enterprise and Wayne Avenues.  The tornado moved east northeast at about 50 mph damaging several homes and downing trees and power lines.  It lifted just west of Highway 1 after passing Chisholm Elementary School.  The tornado then struck New Smyrna Beach High School producing Fujita Scale F1 damage. As the tornado intensified to a strong F3 category, it passed thorough the Venetian Villas subdivision and the Diamond Head Condominiums.  A number of large well built homes were destroyed.  Many of the units in the 10 story Diamond Head Condominiums received major damage as high winds blew out exterior glass walls and blew furniture into the adjoining Indian River Lagoon.  The tornado then crossed the Intracoastal Waterway and passed over the barrier island between Robinson Road and East Street where a number of large well built homes were almost completely destroyed.  The tornado then moved over the Atlantic Ocean.  In all 32 people were injured, six requiring hospitalisation.  Thirty one homes were destroyed and 290 were damaged. Damage estimates were near 14 million dollars.

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates (only one set given):  Start: 29.02 / -80.93      

I have plotted that SPC.  I have also illustrated a path with an estimated starting point based on the track map below from the NWS and on the details in their Storm Data Entry.

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

Radar, Track & Damage Photos via NWS Melbourne

I extracted the following images via the following PDF file on this event:  https://www.weather.gov/media/mlb/surveys/110297.pdf

Newspaper Clippings

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