SPC Stats

Path length: 20.2 miles

Width:  440 yards

Fatalities:  1

Injuries:  24

Rating:  F3

County:  Palm Beach, Martin

Two Florida tornadoes were confirmed on October 19, 1958.  An F1 in Sarasota County and a stronger F3 that moved 20+ miles through parts of Palm Beach and Martin Counties.  It began from Pahokee to near Indiantown.  Per the Climatological Data National Summary, much of the path was inaccessible.  Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes, 23 of 27 homes were destroyed in two settlements.  There was one fatality.  Mr. John Gray, 70, was with his wife in their home when the tornado hit.  Here is a clip from The Palm Beach Post from October 20, 1958:

Climatological Data National Summary

Storm traveled east-northeastward from Pahokee to near Pratt and Whitney plant near Indiantown.  Much of path over inaccessible areas.  Path width varied from 1/10 to 4/10 mile.  Some wind damage occurred later near Jupiter after storm noted at Pratt-Whitney plant, but not thought due to tornado as Jupiter not in line with tornado path.  Total damage not estimated but thoughts to be in $300,000 to $500.000 range as several crop dusting planes and numerous dwellings destroyed along path. Damages at Pratt-Whitney plant estimated $90,000.

Tornado Path

SPC & NCDC coordinates:  

Start: 26.82 / -80.67      

2nd point:  26.95  /  -80.53

End: 27.03 / -80.45

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 October 1958 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 20.2 mile path length.
  • Grazulis and CDNS have a length at 26 miles.

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC have a width of 440 yards.
  • CDNS has a width of 425 yards and mentions of range of with in the summary of 1/20 to 4/10 of a mile.
  • Grazulis has a width of 200 yards.

Counties:

  • All sources with the exception of CDNS lists both Palm Beach and Martin in the path.
  • CDNS does not have Martin County.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      October 1958 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 1017.

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