SPC Stats

Path length: 2 miles

Width:  200 yards

Fatalities:  2

Injuries:  100

Rating:  F4

County:  Young

A destructive F4 tornado quickly hit Olney, TX on May 18, 1951.  Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes believes, based on the damage, that this could have been rated F5.  Little information is found on this twister in the Climatological Data National Summary.  They mention 150 homes damaged.  Grazulis states this as well.  Here are additional details from Grazulis:

  • Moved SE from just NW of Olney, passing through that town.
  • Caused $1,500,000 in damage.
  • Very little debris reportedly left on the house lots.
  • 150 other buildings (other than the 150 homes) were demolished.
  • The school was on the edge of the tornado’s track.  A few students were injured by flying glass as they hid under desks.  
  • An elderly couple killed in their home.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates (Only one point provided):  Start: 33.42 / -98.75     

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 1951 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path length:

  • CDNS has no length.
  • Remaining sources have a length of 2 miles.

County:

  • CDNS has the county as Archer.
  • Remaining sources have Young County and that is correct.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      May 1951 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 958.

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