SPC Stats

Path length: 34 miles

Width:  440 yards

Fatalities:  3

Injuries:  16

Rating:  F3

County:  Marion, Baxter

There were four tornadoes on November 18, 1985. The strongest was an F3 that moved through during the late evening through parts of Marion and Baxter Counties in Arkansas. It traveled a good 34 miles causing damage from the community of Ralph to Rea Valley to the SE part of Mountain Home to the north side of Norfolk Lake. Storm Data states that 143 homes, 25 mobile homes, seven businesses, three churches, one junior high and the County Fairgrounds all had some damage. Sixteen people were injured, many needed hospitalization. There were three fatalities in Marion County. Here is a clip from the November 20, 1985 edition of the Baxter Bulletin: 

The historic Casey House, located in Mountain Home had significant damage. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Per an article on the Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society website, the Casey House is the oldest still-standing structure in Mountain Home. It was built in 1858 by Col. Randolph Casey. It was repaired after the tornado. Some new wood was added, the foundation stones though are still original.  

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 36.18  / -92.67     End:  36.45  / -92.23

Corrected Coordinates based on Storm Data:

Start: 36.184361/-92.675833      End: 36.483765/-92.210629

Veers in path: 36.238254/-92.539943, 36.350020/-92.327387

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

Videos

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the November 1985 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Width:

  • Grazulis has a width of 400 yards.
  • Remaining sources have a width of 440 yards.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      November 1985 Storm Data Publication

      Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society

      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 1271.

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