Thursday, April 01, 2010

April 1, 1974 Alabama Killer Tornadoes

4/2/74 Huntsville Times

Path of 4/1/1974 Huntsville, AL F3 (Map by Tornado History Project)

On April 1, 1974, an intense low pressure system formed over the Plains and moved eastward toward the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. Combined with a large mass of moist air, several tornadoes were spawned the South on April 1st and 2nd. At 9:40 p.m. on the 1st, an F3 tornado killed one and injured six in Huntsville. It was estimated to be 800 yards wide and travelled 8.4 miles. It tore down the WAAY AM 1550 tower. According to the Huntsville NWS, "this tornado moved NE, then SE across the western part of Huntsville. The Sherwood and Research Park sections suffered severe damage as homes were unroofed and walls were blown down. The casualties were in trailers north of Huntsville."

F2 tornadoes also touched down in Tuscaloosa and Blount Counties that day, injuring six in Tuscaloosa and 11 in Blount County. The Tuscaloosa tornado touched down at 5:05 p.m. and was on the ground for 16 miles across the northern part of the county, ending up near Samantha. The Blount County tornado touched down at 9:30 p.m. and was on the ground for 16 miles, from Hayden to Oneonta. In addition to the three tornadoes, severe thunderstorms containing damaging winds occurred in Limestone, Cullman, Blount, Etowah, and Calhoun counties. Golf ball-sized hail (1.75") was reported in Pickens, Fayette, Tuscaloosa, and Jefferson counties. Quarter-sized hail (1.00") was also reported in Jefferson and Etowah counties. This information was collected from the NOAA NCDC page. Property damage in these storms was estimated at $3 million. ...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, also very sad, considering that Huntsville would be revisited--not once, but TWICE--only 48 hours later, on April 3, 1974, courtesy of the Super Outbreak.