May 1960 tornado outbreak sequence

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F5 tornado
Max rating1F5 tornado
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

The May 1960 tornado outbreak sequence[nb 1][nb 2] was a large tornado outbreak sequence that affected the southeast High Plains, the southern Ozarks, and other parts of the Midwestern and Southern United States on May 4–6, 1960. The severe-weather event produced at least 71 confirmed tornadoes, including five violent tornadoes in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Major tornado activity began on the afternoon of May 4, with strong tornadoes affecting the Red River Valley and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Two F4 tornadoes struck parts of south Oklahoma, causing significant damage to the Konawa and Soper areas. In all, at least 22 tornadoes formed between the early afternoon and late evening hours, with two more tornadoes forming early on May 5, shortly after midnight local time. A much more significant tornado outbreak began on the afternoon of May 5 and continued overnight, spreading from eastern Oklahoma into portions of south Missouri and Central Arkansas. At least 35 tornadoes developed between 6:00 a.m. CST on May 5–6, including a long-tracked F5 that struck rural areas in Northeastern Oklahoma and killed five people. Two other F4 tornadoes killed 21 people in and near Sequoyah County in the eastern portion of the state. Other strong tornadoes affected the Little Rock metropolitan area early on May 6 in Arkansas. In all, the tornado outbreak sequence killed 33 people and injured 302.

Confirmed tornadoes[edit]

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
5 5 20 26 10 4 1 71

May 4[edit]

List of confirmed tornadoes – May 4, 1960
Time (UTC)
Path length
F0 W of Matador Motley 2040 0.1 miles (0.16 km) Funnel sighted, but only hit unpopulated land.[2]
F2 W of Dublin Erath 0010 0.3 miles (0.48 km) Two roofs damaged.[2] The tornado is not listed as significant by tornado researcher Thomas P. Grazulis.[3]
F1 SW of Dublin Erath 0020 0.2 miles (0.32 km) A brick dairy farm and a garage were destroyed. Some roof damage occurred as well.[2]
F0 NE of Mineral Wells Palo Pinto 0120 1 mile (1.6 km) Brief touchdown with numerous other funnels observed nearby.
F3 E of Lake Worth to NE of Blue Mound Tarrant 0120 7.4 miles (11.9 km) Eight homes were seriously damaged and five entirely destroyed.[2] Two of the homes lost all except their interior walls.[3]
F1 NE of Garner Parker 0300 1.5 miles (2.4 km) Major damage to farm machinery, outbuildings, and a home.[2]
F1 S of Flower Mound Denton 0400 2 miles (3.2 km) Five minor[2] injuries to people in a trailer home.[3] The tornado was rated F2 by Grazulis.
F1 S of Sulphur Springs Hopkins 0515 1 mile (1.6 km) Two barns were destroyed, two others damaged, and two homes unroofed[3] during "widespread" thunderstorms.[2] The tornado was rated F2 by Grazulis.
F1 SW of Grandfield Tillman 2340 1 mile (1.6 km) Trees were uprooted and one home damaged.[4]
F1 S of Grandfield Tillman 2340 1 mile (1.6 km) Only damaged outbuildings.[4]
F2 N of Walters Cotton 0000 4.9 miles (7.9 km) Storm hit the western edge of town.[4] The tornado is not listed as significant by Grazulis.[3]
F1 E of Medicine Park Comanche 0030 0.1 miles (0.16 km) Three people were injured as a tornado unroofed a barn and destroyed two trailers.[4]
F1 S of Temple Cotton 0043 0.1 miles (0.16 km) Brief touchdown.
F1 SW of Central High Comanche 0045 0.1 miles (0.16 km) Two outbuildings destroyed and a home unroofed.[4]
F3 E of Marlow Stephens 0058 0.1 miles (0.16 km) One home shifted was off its foundation and severely damaged.[4] The tornado may have moved concrete blocks 100 yards (300 ft) from a gas station.[3] The tornado was rated F2 by Grazulis.
F2 Noble area Cleveland 0145 5.2 miles (8.4 km) A restaurant and a barn were destroyed in Noble. The tornado also damaged a house and a gas station.[3]
F3 NW of Ada to NE of Konawa Pontotoc 0145 10 miles (16 km) A large wedge tornado injured five people as it destroyed three homes and damaged 12.[3]
F3 E of Bethany to N of The Village Oklahoma 0155 5.1 miles (8.2 km) A tornado destroyed 12 homes and damaged 25. It then struck and damaged a new terminal at Tulakes Airport.[3]
F4 W of Konawa Pottawatomie, Seminole 0205 8 miles (13 km) Four farms were destroyed and a newly built home "completely swept away".[3]
F4 S of Soper to S of Snow Choctaw, Pushmataha 0316 30.8 miles (49.6 km) A third of Soper was destroyed, including two farms and "up to 100 homes."[3] Two farms were also damaged near Snow.[4] The path near Snow may have been that of a separate tornado.[3]
F? N of Edson to NW of Brewster (1st tornado) Sherman 2320 7 miles (11 km)
F? SW of Arnold Ness 2343 6 miles (9.7 km)
F2 W of Brownell Ness 2345 0.1 miles (0.16 km) Brief tornado coincided with significant hail-related damage to crops.[2] The tornado is not listed as significant by Grazulis.[3]
F? N of Edson (2nd tornado) Sherman 0030 unknown
F2 W of Amagon Jackson 0300 1 mile (1.6 km) A shed was destroyed and a house damaged.[2] The tornado is not listed as significant by Grazulis.[3]
Sources:,[5] Storm Data[2][4]

May 5[edit]

List of confirmed tornadoes – May 5, 1960
Time (UTC)
Path length
F2 E of Marshall Harrison 0700 1.3 miles (2.1 km) Trees were damaged and a vehicle overturned.[2] The tornado is not listed as significant by Grazulis.[3]
F0 SW of Carrollton Dallas 0400 0.1 miles (0.16 km) Brief touchdown reported.[2]
F0 NE of Addison Dallas 0437 0.1 miles (0.16 km) Only hit one building and caused minor damage.[2]
F2 Enola area Faulkner 1000 0.8 miles (1.3 km) A home and a barn were destroyed. Two other buildings were damaged.[2] The tornado is not listed as significant by Grazulis.[3]
F2 NW of Winslow to Elkins Washington 0330 16.9 miles (27.2 km) Formed south of West Fork.[2] Six homes and three stores were damaged in the Blackburn community. Only one home was completely destroyed.[6]
F2 NE of Goshen to Alabam Madison 0445 13.2 miles (21.2 km) Farm homes and outbuildings were entirely destroyed.[6]
F2 NW of Scotia Johnson 0530 2 miles (3.2 km) A brief tornado destroyed three homes.[2] The tornado is not listed as significant by Grazulis.[6]
F1 NW of Chunchula to SE of Satsuma Mobile 1300 11.5 miles (18.5 km) Thousands of trees were downed and many homes and other structures were damaged.[2]
F? S of Frederick Tillman 1938 unknown
F3 NE of Wallville to NE of Maysville Garvin 2045 7.3 miles (11.7 km) One frame home was destroyed, a few trailers, a general store, and a church were destroyed in the Wallville area. The tornado also damaged farms and a pipe yard near Maysville.[6] The parent supercell produced the next event below.[4]
F3 NE of Wayne to W of Sand Springs Cleveland, Pottawatomie, Lincoln, Creek, Tulsa 2100 101.9 miles (164.0 km) A long-lived tornado family destroyed five homes[6] and hit a cemetery[4] near Corbett, then destroyed two more homes and an oil tank in Tribbey.[6] Six homes were hit in Depew and two more were destroyed west of Bristow. Near the end of the path, three homes and a trailer were destroyed.[4]
F5 N of Tecumseh to S of Oakhurst Pottawatomie, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Creek 2300 71.8 miles (115.6 km) 5 deaths — A massive, intense, barrel-like "white" tornado destroyed 14 farms from near Prague to near Paden. Damage was $750,000 to an oil refinery northeast of Prague, where heavy oil tanks were thrown long distances. Near Iron Post, homes were swept away[6] and, reportedly, entire hillsides denuded of most vegetation and 6 inches (0.15 m) of topsoil.[7] The tornado then destroyed 100 homes and killed three people in northwest Sapulpa before lifting and being seen over Tulsa.[6]
F2 McAlester area Pittsburgh 0007 4.1 miles (6.6 km) Most damage was at rooftop level. One 208-foot (63 m) radio tower was reportedly "snapped off".[4] The tornado is not listed as significant by Grazulis.[6]
F3 S of Hoffman Okmulgee 0016 0.8 miles (1.3 km) 2 deaths — About 25 homes were destroyed, some of which were swept away. Even underbrush was cleared from the homesites in south Hoffman. Possibly F4, this tornado is ranked as such by one author.[6]
F2 SE of Haskell Muskogee 0020 4.9 miles (7.9 km) Most damage from hail up to 2 inches (5.1 cm) in diameter.[4] The tornado is not listed as significant by Grazulis.[6]
F2 NE of Vinita to W of Loma Linda, Missouri Craig, Ottawa 0030 36.6 miles (58.9 km) A large tornado nearly leveled a newly built[4] brick farmhouse, leaving only one wall standing.[6] The tornado also destroyed "two truckloads of boats"[4] on the Will Rogers Turnpike, injuring two drivers.[6] This tornado destroyed many farms[4] and may have been an F3 in intensity.[6]
F2 S of Wynnewood Garvin 0100 5.9 miles (9.5 km) "General damage" was observed near Wynnewood,[4] with two homes, a barn, and a warehouse having been unroofed.[6]
F4 S of Wilburton to SW of Sallisaw Latimer, Haskell, Sequoyah 0110 62.4 miles (100.4 km) 16 deaths — A major tornado family caused severe damage to 15 square blocks[8] in Wilburton, destroying 82 homes and damaging or destroying 600 structures.[6] 13 people died as the tornado family hit Wilburton. The tornado family then destroyed six more homes north of Wilburton, 25 in Keota, and 10 more near Sallisaw.[6]
F2 E of Eufaula to NE of Texanna McIntosh 0110 11.7 miles (18.8 km) 2 deaths — Three homes were reported destroyed and six others damaged. All deaths and injuries were in vehicles. This tornado may have been an F3.[6]
F2 SW of Wagoner Wagoner 0120 5.1 miles (8.2 km) A tornado destroyed seven[4] homes, many businesses, and a radio tower in western Wagoner.[6]
F1 S of Tiawah Rogers 0130 0.1 miles (0.16 km) Outbuildings were destroyed on a farm.[4]
F3 W of Moffett Sequoyah 0130 4.5 miles (7.2 km) 1 death — Pavement was torn from U.S. Route 64, several homes were destroyed, and a truck driver was killed.[6]
F4 SW of Roland Sequoyah 0140 5.4 miles (8.7 km) 5 deaths — One home was swept away and two trucks carried 300 yd (900 ft). Three of the occupants were injured and five people died in the home that was swept away.[6]
F1 NE of Park Hill to NW of Briggs Cherokee 0240 4.6 miles (7.4 km) A home, two stores, and numerous trees were damaged.[4]
F2 Eufaula area McIntosh 0250 1 mile (1.6 km) This was the second tornado to hit near Eufaula. 12 homes were damaged.[6]
F2 NW of Langley to SW of Cleora Mayes 0300 6.4 miles (10.3 km) A tornado destroyed 12[4] cabins and three homes. A store, a church, and a school were also destroyed.[6]
F3 SE of Bokoshe to NW of Akins Le Flore, Sequoyah 0330 23.7 miles (38.1 km) 1 death — This was the fourth F3+ tornado to hit Sequoyah County this day. Numerous homes were destroyed and a woman was killed in one of them.[4] Some of the homes were reportedly swept away.[6]
F? Leigh Colfax 2230 unknown
F0 NE of Urbana Dallas 2250 0.2 miles (0.32 km) Two outbuildings were unroofed.[2]
F2 SE of Carroll to N of Scranton Carroll, Greene 0100 13.8 miles (22.2 km) Destroyed homes and barns along a skipping path.[6]
F1 SE of Dallas Center Dallas 0330 1 mile (1.6 km) $10,000 damage to farms was estimated.[2]
Sources:,[5] Storm Data[2][4]

May 6[edit]

List of confirmed tornadoes – May 6, 1960
Time (UTC)
Path length
F1 Macks Creek area Camden 0630 0.2 miles (0.32 km) There was damage to many farms and trees.[2]
F2 SW of Ava Christian 0645 5.7 miles (9.2 km) A tornado struck eight farms and shifted one home on its foundation. Many other homes and barns were heavily damaged. This tornado may have been an F3.[6]
F3 NW of Toad Suck to S of Enders Conway, Faulkner 0700 26.7 miles (43.0 km) 1 death — Developed west of Conway, in the Portland Bottoms area. The tornado then hit Menifee, destroying a large school complex, 31 houses, a pair of churches, a post office, and 32 other structures. Much damage was also reported in Greenbrier. 30 people were injured.[6]
F2 NE of Austin to E of Choctaw Van Buren 0730 8.2 miles (13.2 km) A tornado destroyed a small home.[9]
F1 W of Cammack Village[2] Pulaski 0735 3.3 miles (5.3 km) A tornado damaged many homes and trees in west Little Rock.[2]
F2 College Station area[2][9] Pulaski 0800 10.3 miles (16.6 km) A tornado passed 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of Little Rock, unroofing structures, destroying barns, and damaging homes.[9]
F2 W of Prescott Nevada 0815 2.6 miles (4.2 km) A tornado uprooted many trees and destroyed three homes. It also destroyed a cotton gin and a garage.[9] Other garages, outbuildings, and 60 other homes were reported damaged.[2] Two people were injured.
F2 NE of Kingsland to NW of Glendale Cleveland, Lincoln 0915 19.3 miles (31.1 km) A tornado destroyed one home near the end of its path. A nearby high school was badly damaged.[9]
F2 S of Antioch to E of Searcy White 2000 14.6 miles (23.5 km) A tornado unroofed or damaged many homes and businesses in the business district of Searcy.[9]
F1 W of Dell to NW of Yarbro Mississippi 2200 14 miles (23 km) A tornado skipped through the Blytheville area, causing minor damage to farms, small buildings, roofs, and windows. It, or another member of its tornado family, may have touched down in Pemiscot County, Missouri. It was attended by approximately 15 funnel clouds, eight of which may have been brief tornadoes.[2]
F1 SE of Flora Clay 1430 1 mile (1.6 km) An airport hangar was damaged.[2]
F1 E of Long Creek Macon 1540 0.3 miles (0.48 km) Three farms were damaged.[2]
F1 E of Carrollton to NW of Chatham Greene, Macoupin, Morgan, Sangamon 1905 43.5 miles (70.0 km) Isolated patches of scattered damage were reported.[2]
F2 W of Loxa to NE of Oakland Coles, Douglas 2230 20.9 miles (33.6 km) Only one barn and grain bins were destroyed.[9]
F1 Lexie to S of Kokomo Walthall 1930 12.3 miles (19.8 km) A tornado destroyed five homes and eight other buildings.[9] 20 homes were severely damaged.[2] The tornado may have been an F2 rather than an F1.[9]
Sources:,[5] Storm Data[2][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ An outbreak is generally defined as a group of at least six tornadoes (the number sometimes varies slightly according to local climatology) with no more than a six-hour gap between individual tornadoes. An outbreak sequence, prior to (after) modern records that began in 1950, is defined as, at most, two (one) consecutive days without at least one significant (F2 or stronger) tornado.[1]
  2. ^ All damage totals are in 1960 United States dollars unless otherwise noted.


  1. ^ Schneider, Russell S.; Harold E. Brooks; Joseph T. Schaefer. "Tornado Outbreak Day Sequences: Historic Events and Climatology (1875-2003)" (PDF). Norman, Oklahoma: Storm Prediction Center. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae "Storm Data and Unusual Weather Phenomena". Storm Data. Asheville, North Carolina: United States Department of Commerce. 2. May 1960.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Grazulis 1993, p. 1026
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Storm Data and Unusual Weather Phenomena". Storm Data. Asheville, North Carolina: United States Department of Commerce. 2. June 1960.
  5. ^ a b c Grazulis 1993, pp. 1026–28
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Grazulis 1993, p. 1027
  7. ^ Grazulis, Thomas P. (2001). F5-F6 Tornadoes. St. Johnsbury, Vermont: The Tornado Project.
  8. ^ "28 dead, 200 hurt in tornado areas". New York Times. The Associated Press. May 6, 1960. p. 48.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Grazulis 1993, p. 1028



External links[edit]