SPC Stats

Path length: 48 miles

Width:  150 yards

Fatalities:  1

Injuries:  26

Rating:  F4

County:  Burleigh, Kidder

Three tornadoes were recorded for July 1, 1952, all in North Dakota:  An F2 in McKenzie County, F3 in Richland County and an F4 that tracked through parts of Burleigh and Kidder Counties.  We look at the F4 in this summary.  

In addition to this tornado there was widespread wind damage reported that encompassed the region.  The town of Tuttle was hit hard by the tornado. The CDNS stated that this was “described as worst storm to hit that area.”   Eight farms were leveled.  A man died trying to get to shelter in his basement.

Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes, railroad cars were thrwon and rolled 600 yards.  

Climatological Data National Summary

The Climatological Data National Summary lumps the tornado in with widespread wind damage.  Counties included in their snapshot of the event:  Burleigh, Kidder, Wells and Stutsman.

Tornado struck first about 12 miles southwest of Wing and moved northeastward to beyond Tuttle.  This area apparently bore brunt of tornado, but high winds extended area of damage to include parts of Stutsman County as far east as Pingree vicinity and parts of Wells County in vicinity of Fessenden.  

Red Cross survey indicated 8 homes destroyed and more than 200 damaged, more than 175 other buildings destroyed, and over 600 other buildings damaged in Burleigh and Kidder Counties alone.  

Tornado followed a very warm and extremely humid afternoon and evening.  Demolished entire farms and caused considerable damage in town of Tuttle.  Described as worst storm to hit that area.  Man killed before he could take refuge in basement of house which was carried away.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 47.05 / -100.50   End:  47.20 / -99.50  

Used NCDC county coordinates as well.

All sources state the tornado went right through Tuttle, plot a bit off.    

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 June 1952 Climatological Data National Summary and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 48 mile path length.
  • CDNS has 50 miles.  This includes the tornado and wind damage.
  • Grazulis has a 35 miles path length.

Max Width:

  • SPC/NCDC has 150 yard width.
  • Grazulis has 300 yard width.
  • CDNS lists 5 miles but that has to include the wind as well.

Injuries:

  • CDNS has 2 injuries.
  • Remaining sources list 26 injuries.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      July 1952 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 965.

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