Indiana’s Largest Tornado Outbreak: June 2, 1990

Here are the tornado tracks through Indiana from the June 2, 1990 Outbreak. Courtesy of the National Weather Service

Today marks the 21st anniversary of the deadly tornado outbreak that hit Indiana on June 2, 1990.  The National Weather Service confirmed 37 tornadoes that day, a record for Indiana, with a total of 65 tornadoes through parts of the Midwest and Ohio Valley.  7 of the tornadoes were rated “F4” with winds estimated at greater than 207 mph. 

Check out this video from YouTube of the Petersburg, Indiana Tornado on YouTube that killed 7 in Petersburg.

May 30th was the anniversary of the 2nd largest tornado outbreak in the Hoosier state.  23 tornadoes were reported in that storm system.  The third largest outbreak for the state was the “Super Outbreak” of April 3-4, 1974 with 21 tornadoes in Indiana.  The “Super Outbreak,” however, is the largest nationwide outbreak, with a total of 147 tornadoes reported in 13 states.

This year, we’ve already had 24 tornadoes in Indiana, which not only puts us above the year-t0-date average of 9 tornadoes, it also beats the annual average (1950-2010) of 23.5.  And nationwide preliminary statistics from the Storm Prediction Center show 1425 tornado reports year-to-date.  That’s well above the annual average, but since those numbers are preliminary, it’s too soon to say if 2011 will go down as a record tornado season.  It sure has been an incredible season for large, deadly tornadoes.  Tuscaloosa,Minneapolis, Joplin, Oklahoma City, and Springfield, MA are just some of the hard-hit areas in this season that shows no signs of quieting down.

Here in Central Indiana, our next chance of severe storms comes Saturday.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed us in a “slight risk” for severe storms.  I think the chances are 30% or less of storms, but if you have plans late Saturday afternoon/evening keep in mind the chance of a few storms.

Before then, you’ll also be greeted by the return of heat and humidity!  After a cooler/drier/less humid Thursday, we’ll head back into the 80s tomorrow and 90s on Saturday!

Thanks for reading,
-Meteorologist Chikage Windler

For more:
June 2, 1990 Tornado Outbreak (NWS)
May 30, 2004 Tornado Outbreak (NWS)
Storm Prediction Center Monthly Tornado Statistics

Comfortable Today… Heat & Humidity Tomorrow

Get ready for a very pleasant day! Highs will hit the low 80s, one of the “coolest” high temps in the 7 day forecast!

Highs today will reach the low 80s with partly cloudy skies.  Late this afternoon and tonight there’s a 10% chance of an isolated shower or storm.  Most spots look to remain absolutely dry.

If you like to give you A/C a break, lows tonight will drop to the low 60s.  Keep in mind that pollen levels are still at a medium/high level, so if you suffer from allergies, opening the windows may not be the best option for you.

Friday, we turn up the heat and humidity.  Highs will hit the upper 80s with a 10% chance of a shower or thunderstorm.

Saturday won’t be a washout, but the is a 30% chance for pop up thunderstorms.  Some storms may be strong to severe across all of Central Indiana with strong winds and large hail the biggest threats right now.  The heat and humidity will feel uncomfortable.  We’re looking to hit 90 or warmer for the third time this year on Saturday.  We’ll continue to keep you updated as we get closer to the weekend!

Sunday, another shot of pop up thunderstorms as highs hit the mid to upper 80s.

The average temp this time of year is in the upper 70s, and it’s warmer than that each day of the 7 day forecast.

May Indiana Tornadoes

The following info was put together by the Indianapolis National Weather Service.  The original link can be found here.

Preliminary tornado statistics for May 2011 reveal there were 24 tornadoes across Indiana…7 of which occured across Central Indiana…all on May 25th. The average annual number of tornadoes across Indiana from 1950-2010 is 23.4 and the average for May is 3.8. For comparison…an average of 4.9 occur in April…and June has the highest monthly average of 5.4. So 14.1 out of the annual average of 23.4 occur from the months of April through June. The month of June also contains the largest single month of any month for tornadoes which was 1990 when 63 occured. The following are some of the other big months and number of tornadoes:

1 – June 1990 –  63
2 – April 1974 –   57
3 – May 2004 –    31
4 – April 1965 –   30
5 – June 1973  – 30

Finally, here are the average annual tornadoes across Indiana by decade:

2000’s – 26.9
1990’s – 27.1
1980’s – 15.7
1970’s – 27.9
1960’s – 24.9
1950’s – 17.2

A Little Relief

The average temp this time of year is in the upper 70s, today, we’ll still be warm as highs reach the mid to upper 80s.

It’s a short but sweet weather blog!

Highs today will reach the mid to upper 80s across Central Indiana with sunny skies!  It should be a little less humid today, but still warm and above average!

Tonight, temps will be cooler in the low to mid 60s with a cool Northwest breeze.

Thursday looks dry with highs in the mid 80s, and Friday looks “mainly” dry with temps approaching the 90s again! 

Our next chance for widespread showers and storms returns Sunday, but cooler temps move in too!

A random weather fact for you… Indianapolis usually averages 18 days of 90 degrees or hotter each year.