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Weather Consulting and Forecasting

Muncie, IN, 7/5/17

Straight Line Wind/ Tornado Damage​

November 5th, 2017, the SPC issued an Enhanced Risk for Severe Storms for portions of IN, IL and OH. On this day, there was a 10% probability for tornadoes, 30% for hail and eventually a 30% upgrade for wind. A cold front moved across the Ohio and Great Lakes region Sunday afternoon where unseasonably warm and humid air was in place across the region ahead of the cold front. This cold front provided the lift for this warm and humid air to get storms going. Also, ahead of the advancing cold front, we had a low CAPE/high sheared environment. The high wind shear allowed for storms to organize and begin to rotate allowing for some 15-20+ tornadoes to touch down across IL, IN, OH, and PA. 

 

We, unfortunately, had a very bad chase. We missed all the tornadoes even when one touched down a few miles from my house here in Muncie. Our chase started out in Muncie, IN, where we were trying to decide on where to chase. The low CAPE/high sheared environment up here or southern IL where CAPE values were higher. We decided to start going towards the IL target when we stopped near Indy and went north towards developing storms in IN.  Once we got on these storms they didn't look visually appealing and the KIND radar was showing what appeared to be an outflow boundary on velocity indicating a dying storm. However, looking at archived radar imagery KIWX did show rotation. We ignored KIWX's radar as the radar beam is shooting higher up in the storm. Bad mistake on our part for ignoring the other radar as Muncie is in a bad radar region (sorta). This storm later produced the Portland, IN tornado. This is when we decided to go toward the IL target. 

 

In IL, storms didn't produce or evolve into anything worth chasing and we drove home. Once back in Muncie, near my home here, straight line wind damage was observed and power was out for many people including ourselves for a couple of days. A brief EF1 tornado touched down in downtown Muncie and damaged the roof of the Muncie Fieldhouse. All of this footage was shot the day after on November 6th early in the morning.

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