Listing of Tornado occurrences that have affected the Huntsville County Warning Area in 1974.

 

    NOTES:
  • The most deadly tornado is notated by red text.
  • The time refers to the moment when a tornado touched down in the WFO Huntsville County Warning Area.
Date/Time County(ies) F-scale Enhanced or Traditional F-Scale Rating Sustained Wind Speeds(MPH) Path Width(feet) Path_Length(miles) Locations Affected Fatalities Injuries Descripition
10/15/1974
3:30 PM
Blount, AL/Marshall, AL F1 Fujita Scale 73-112 UNK 28.8 Cleveland to Albertville 0 1 A tornado moved northeastward in a skipping path across two counties. Tornado struck first at Cleveland, Alabama where several chicken houses were destroyed and water sucked from a small pond. An hour later, the tornado dipped briefly into downtown Albertville where it remained on the ground for about 30 seconds overturning an automobile and injuring one of the occupants. Several reports of loud roaring aloft came later from northeast of Albertville in Geraldine.
7/8/1974
8:20 PM
Colbert, AL F0 Fujita Scale <73 UNK UNK Cherokee 0 0 Tornado was sighted by public in Cherokee moving eastward. Several boats were blown from a boathouse near the tornado's path.
5/2/1974
1:30 PM
Marshall, AL F2 Fujita Scale 113-157 1200 2 Mt Hebron (near Arab) 0 0 A small tornado moved east-northeast through Mt. Hebron community 4 miles southwest of Boaz. House heavily damaged and several farm buildings destroyed.
4/3/1974
9:24 PM
Morgan, AL/Limestone, AL/Madison, AL/Jackson, AL F3 Fujita Scale 158-206 2100 46.5 7 SE of Decatur to Huntsville to Princeton to approximately 1 mile SW of Baileyton 2 7 This powerful tornado moved NE from 7m SE of Decatur, near where the Guin tornado lifted just six minutes earlier. The funnel tore through the Redstone Arsenal and the southern part of Huntsville, destroying homes, trailers, businesses, and a school. Homes were also torn apart on Monte Sano, 1000 feet above the city. Trailers were destroyed NW of Princeton, as the funnel crossed rugged terrain in Jackson County. Remarkably electrical activity was reported as this tornado moved through near Huntsville including: yellow, red, and green glowing areas, green flashes, blue flashes, luminous clouds, and ball lightening. Much of this activity was caused by blown transformers and power lines during the destruction.
4/3/1974
8:00 PM
Franklin, TN (2000)/Coffee, TN (2005)/Grundy, TN F3(strong) Fujita Scale 158-206 300 20 4 NE Winchester to 10 W Altamont 0 1 This tornado began 4 miles NE of Winchester and ended 10 miles W of Altamont at "Rutledge Hill". This tornado destroyed one home and a trailer.
4/3/1974
7:50 PM
Lamar, AL/Marion, AL/Winston, AL/Lawrence, AL/Morgan, AL F5 Fujita Scale 261-318 1500 79.5 15m NNE of Columbus, Mississippi to Delmar, AL to Guin, AL to just E of Decatur, AL 28 272 The third F5 tornado to occur during the tornado Super Outbreak of 1974. It moved NE from 15m NNE of Columbus, Mississippi, passing 4m S of Sulligent, Alabama and directly through Guin and Delmar, NW of Danville, lifting at the Tennessee River, 6m ESE of Decatur. This was among the most intense tornadoes ever to hit Alabama, with F5 damage at several points in and near Guin. At Guin 20 people were killed as almost the entire town was devastated, with man homes completely swept away. Moving at up to 75 mph, the funnel passed through a city lost in two seconds, carrying away everything on the lot. I n the rural areas NE of Guin, many homes were destroyed, but not leveled. Crossing the Bankhead National Forest, the tornado leveled tens of thousands of trees along a path up to a mile wide. The swath was visible on satellite photographs. The funnel lifted east of Decatur, and traveled mostly aloft over the north part of Huntsville.
4/3/1974
7:00 PM
Lincoln, TN (1900)/Franklin, TN/Coffee, TN F4 Fujita Scale 207-260 300 36 SE Lincoln County to to Tims Ford Lake to SW Coffee County 5 20 The tornado moved NE from the SE corner of Lincoln County, gradually intensifying as it crossed into Franklin County. Homes were leveled at Harmony, Pleasant Ridge, and Broadview. A woman and her son were killed in the basement of a home when a concrete block wall collapsed in Franklin County. Three people died in another home. The funnel passed over Tims Ford Lake and did minor damage in Coffee County. About 46 homes and 90 barns were destroyed in Franklin County.
4/3/1974
6:35 PM
Limestone, AL/Madison, AL/Lincoln, TN/Franklin, TN F5 Fujita Scale 207-260 1500 62 8 SSW of Athens to Tanner to Capshaw to Harvest to Tim Ford's Lake on the northwestern edge of the Winchester community 22 250 The second of three F5 tornadoes that occurred in the tornado Super Outbreak of 1974. It moved NE from just north of the Tennessee River, 8m SSW of Athens, just a half mile north of the track of the F5 tornado that began at 1715 the same day, which passed by a half hour earlier. Up to 19 people were injured in one home. Tanner, Capshaw, and Harvest were hit by both tornadoes. Sixteen deaths occurred in Alabama. Two of the six deaths in Tennessee were in a church near "Vanntown", near Flintville. The tornado produced F3 or F4 damage for its entire path length. Nearly 1000 buildings were destroyed by these two tornadoes, but no effort was made to determine the exact number of buildings destroyed by the individual tornadoes.
4/3/1974
5:50 PM
Lawrence, AL/Morgan, AL/Limestone, AL/Madison, AL F5 Fujita Scale 261-318 1500 52 New Hope to Mt Moriah community to Wheeler Lake to near Harvest 28 267 This powerful tornado moved NE from near Mt. Hope, 10m WSW of Moulton. The funnel passed 3m NW of Moulton, killing 14 people in and near the "Mt. Moriah" community (8 of whom were trying to flee the tornado in cars). Rapidly intensifying, the funnel swept away home after home, causing 14 deaths in rapid succession, SW and west of Moulton. Six members of one family were killed, as were four members of another family. Their homes were completely swept away. The funnel passed across Wheeler Lake as a giant waterspout and entered Limestone County on a small peninsula. Here it leveled a 3/4 mile-wide swath of trees. The reddish soil was dug up and plastered to the trees by the wind. A nearby mobile home park was damaged on the edge of the tornado, and an injured man was taken to a church. He died a half hour later when the church was destroyed by a second tornado to hit the area. The tornado lifted ESE of Harvest. Fatalities by county: Lawrence 14;Limestone 5;Madison 9. The deaths in Madison County occurred S of Harvest. Lawrence County losses alone totaled $6,000,000.
4/3/1974
5:35 PM
Pickens, AL/Tuscaloosa, AL/Fayette, AL/Walker, AL/Cullman, AL F4 Fujita Scale 207-260 1500 110.6 9 NNW Aliceville to 8 N Cullman 3 178 Tornado began along route 86, 9 miles north-northwest of Aliceville, and moved northeast causing scattered damage. Continuous damage began in northwest Tuscaloosa County 3 miles west of Morre's Bridge. The storm gained more strength south of Berry in Fayette County about 6 pm and 2 people were killed near the Walker County line when a church was demolished. The tornado became very powerful in the rough terrain of southern Walker County and caused severe damage in downtown Jasper at 6:57 pm with about 100 injuries. Numerous stores and other business establishments damaged and several destroyed. The modern new fire station was demolished but several firemen on duty dived under an adjacent concrete bridge and escaped injury. The Walker County courthouse was severely damaged. The tornado continued northeastward varying from moderate to powerful, crossed the eastern part of Lewis Smith Lake briefly becoming a waterspout, and moved through the south and southeast edge of Cullman about 7:40 pm. Several shopping centers were heavily damaged and numerous houses heavily damaged or demolished in southeast Cullman where there was 1 fatality and 36 injuries. The tornado ended about 8 miles northeast of Cullman. Along the entire path, 436 buildings and 56 mobile homes were damaged heavily.
4/3/1974
5:30 PM
Franklin, AL F2 Fujita Scale 113-157 1050 12.8 2 miles SW of Phil Campbell to Oak Grove 0 4 Tornado touched down about 2 miles southwest of Phil Campbell in southeast Franklin County heavily damaging a mobile home plant as it crossed route 5. The tornado destroyed a house as it passed southeast of Oak Grove, and lifted near the Franklin-Lawrence County line.
4/1/1974
9:40 PM
Madison, AL F3 Fujita Scale 158-206 2400 8.4 from Madison through the northern and western portions of Huntsville 1 6 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.

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REFERENCES

Grazulius, Thomas P., Significant Tornadoes 1860-1991, 1993. (data prior to 1950),
Grazulius, Thomas P., Significant Tornadoes Update 1992-1995, 1997.
Storm Prediction Center's Tornado Database, http://www.spc.noaa.gov
Storm Data, National Climatic Data Center.

 

Note: The sources above were used to obtain a list of all confirmed severe events produced by thunderstorms in the Huntsville CWA. This is not a list of all tornado occurences that have ever affected this area. More tornadoes has most likely occurred in rural areas where people are sparsely poplulated, especially prior to 1970.

 

 


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