Kokomo, IN 8/24/16

Surprise Tornado Outbreak IN/OH

On August 24, 2016, an unexpected tornado outbreak occurred across central Indiana and went unseen by forecasters and meteorologists alike. The Storm Prediction Center had issued only a slight risk for severe weather that day, with the threat of a tornado or two limited to parts of KansasMissouriIowa, and Illinois. Despite this, the outbreak unfolded entirely outside of the outlined threat area as numerous supercell thunderstorms developed unexpectedly across parts of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, producing numerous tornadoes.  A 2% tornado probability was issued for that area under the slight risk issued by the SPC. It wasn't until 16:30z (12:30 PM EDT) that the SPC upgraded southern Indiana into the slight risked area and it wasn't until 20z (4 PM EDT) when they issued a slight risk for areas in northcentral Indiana, along with a 5% tornado probability. 

The first tornado to touch down was an EF2 south of Crawfordsville, IN in Montgomery County at 2:38 PM. This tornado was on the ground until 2:48 PM, followed by the EF3 that knocked down the Kokomo Starbucks in Howard County. This tornado formed just west of town at 3:20 PM and was on the ground for about 14 minutes before lifting just past the Kokomo reservoir at 3:34 PM. A total of 11 tornadoes were surveyed in IN with another 10 in northwestern Ohio. A few of those tornadoes as I mentioned, were considered significant tornadoes. A significant tornado is classified as a tornado with wind speeds of 111mph+whch is equivalent to an EF2 or greater tornado.

On this day, our team managed to track 4-5 confirmed tornadoes, one of which was on the ground for a little over an hour and produced a track a little over 17 miles long. It wasn't until later that day we got caught up in one of the storms where the tornado dropped on the road in front of us and went over our vehicle. 

Despite the damage, few injuries and no fatalities occurred.

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