SPC Stats

Path length: 67.5 miles

Width:  440 yards

Fatalities:  2

Injuries:  6

Rating:  F4

County:  Cleveland, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Hughes

An estimated F4 tornado tracked a good 65 miles through parts of Central Oklahoma on September 14, 1957.  All of our sources have the tornado developing in the Wayne, OK area near the McClain/Cleveland County line. It moved along a skipping path.  In southern Cleveland County, 3 barns were destroyed and crops were flattened.  Some of the worst damage was along a 7-mile stretch in SE Pottawatomie County and into SW Seminole County.  2 people were killed and 6 injured along this stretch.  3 homes were completely leveled.  There was extensive damage to oil field equipment. 8 rigs were destroyed.  The official path ends in Hughes County near Wetumka.  The NWS Norman mentions that damage here may not have been related to this tornado.  There could have been another tornado OR it was straight-line wind damage.  You will see in the discrepancies area at the bottom of the page that there are differing opinions on which counties to officially include in the path of this tornado.  

Here is a snippet from the Daily Oklahoman from September 15, 1957, talking about the couple killed in the tornado:

Summary from the NWS Norman

This tornado formed northwest of the town of Wayne in McClain County near the Canadian River and moved nearly eastward along a hit-and-miss path. In southern Cleveland County, a damage path 3 miles long and 1/4 mile wide was documented. In this area, 3 barns were destroyed, trees snapped, and and crops flattened by wind, rain, and hail.

The tornado continued almost due east and the worst damage was inflicted in a 7-mile long area near Sacred Heart in southeastern Pottawatomie County and southwestern Seminole County. A tornado was observed near , 2 miles northwest of Konowa at 6:55 pm CST. Two persons killed and 6 injured in 3 homes which were completely leveled along this path. Many other homes and buildings were damaged. Extensive damage occurred to oil field equipment and a total of 8 rigs were destroyed with losses estimated at $40,000.

Other wind damage was reported near Wetumka, but this damage was probably unrelated to this tornado, a may have been related to another in a series of tornadoes produced by the same parent supercell thunderstorm or another supercell. It is possible that the damage caused in Wetumka was due to straight-line winds.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 34.95 / -97.25   End:  35.28 / -96.15      

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 September 1957 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS), a summary from the NWS Norman and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 67.5 mile path length.
  • CDNS has a 70 mile path.
  • The NWS have a 68 mile path.
  • Grazulis has a 30 mile path.

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC and NWS have a 440 yard width.
  • CDNS and Grazulis have an 800 yard width.

Counties:

  • SPC and NWS have Cleveland, Pottawatomie, Seminole and Hughes Counties in the path.
  • In the NWS summary though, they say they tornado formed NW of Wayne in McClain County.  
  • NCDC has no Hughes County listing.
  • CDNS has McClain in the locations area.
  • Grazulis includes MClain but not Hughes.
  • The SPC starting lat/lon place a point near the McClain/Cleveland County line.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      September 1957 Climatological Data National Summary

      Killer Tornadoes in Oklahoma (1950-Present) via NWS Norman

      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 1011.

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