SPC Stats

Path length: 6.3 miles

Width:  900 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  2

Rating:  F4

County:  Atchison, MO / Page, IA

Per the SPC, 9 tornadoes occurred on April 5, 1954 all in KS, MO and IA. The strongest for the day was given a rating of F4.   Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes has a rating of F3 and notes there was “near-F4 damage”.   This tornado developed about 2 miles NW of Westboro, MO and moved to near Northboro, IA.  The Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) states this was the first in a family of 4 tornadoes.  Grazulis mentions this was possibly a “twin tornado”.  CDNS states this as well: “2 funnels seen in close proximity at time of strike.”

In Atchison County, 4 homes were destroyed, 4 damaged. 25 outbuildings were destroyed, 40 damaged.  Crops and small trees were uprooted and up to 2 inches of topsoil was removed along the tornado path.  Grazulis adds that in Missouri, 2 people were injured in the destroyed homes.  A pickup truck was carried and rolled for 300 yards.  He states that in Iowa, three homes were destroyed NW of Blanchard.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 40.55 / -95.38   End:  40.62 / -95.27      

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 April 1954 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC list a width of 900 yards.
  • CDNS has a range of widths from 500-900 yards.
  • Grazulis has a width of 500 yards.

Path length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a path length of 6.3 miles.
  • CDNS has a 5 mile path in Atchison County (MO) but not length in Page County (IA). 
  • Grazulis has a path length of 8 miles.

Rating:

  • Grazulis has a rating of F3 not F4 for this tornado.  He mentions “near-F4 damage” to farms and other homes.

    Sources:

    The Storm Prediction Center

    NCDC Storm Events Database

    April 1954 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 977.

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