SPC Stats

Path length: 35 miles

Width:  880 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  3

Rating:  F3

County:  Daviess, Hancock (KY) / Perry (IN)

What was possibly a family of tornadoes traveled over 30 miles through parts of Daviess and Hancock Counties in Kentucky across the Ohio River into Perry County, Indiana.  Large hail accompanied the storm.  At least three homes and numerous barns were destroyed in Kentucky.  Here is a clip about 2 of the destroyed homes.

7-year-old Johnny Ebelhar was injured at the school.  He was changing buses there. 

Near Owensboro, the Medley Distilling Company was damaged.  One of the trucks half-loaded with whiskey was pushed about 100 fat and the warehouse was unroofed.

Climatological Data National Summary Entry

KY:  Tornado apparently started in West Louisville, Daviess County, moved into Hancock County and crossed the Ohio River into Indiana in vicinity of Tell City, moving northeastward.  Storm accompanied by hail described as big as “guinea eggs”.  Cloud described as “funnel shaped puff of smoke”. 3 homes, numerous barns and small structures destroyed;  several buildings unroofed;  trees uprooted;  and communications and power lines blown down.  Damage given is for Kentucky only.

IN:  Storm moved from southwest of Owensboro, KY to Tell City, Ind., causing a path of destruction extending in northeastward direction.  (Same tornado as reported for Kentucky).  Reports indicated tornado was followed by heavy rain and hail as “large as guinea eggs” (some reports said as large as baseballs). At least 2 persons in vicinity of Owensboro reported seeing a funnel cloud.  An estimated 85 percent of damage by wind, remainder by hail.  Hail broke hundreds of windows, damaged roofs, battered finish of automobiles, etc.  Wind leveled buildings, mostly out-buildings, but unroofed many residences and business establishments, twisted TV antennae, etc.  Damage given is for Indiana only. 

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 37.68 / -87.30      End: 37.95 / -86.73

Included county coordinates per NCDC.

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 December 1952 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 35 mile path length.
  • Grazulis and Storm Data have a length at 32miles.  Grazulis mentions this was probably a family of tornadoes.

Rating:

  • Grazulis has an F2 rating.
  • SPC/NCDC have an F3 rating.

Width:

  • Grazulis has a width of 400 yards.
  • Remaining sources have a width of 880 yards.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      December 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 966.

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