DISCUSSION: Coming off the heels of multiple damaging tornadoes yesterday, a slight risk of severe weather exists for Indiana today. This is an interesting case study as just yesterday afternoon/evening the state of Indiana was also under a slight risk for severe weather. However, a slight risk for severe weather materialized into multiple damaging tornadoes across Indiana. The trigger for today’s potential second round of severe weather is a cold front tracking southeast across Central Indiana. This is quite the contrast to yesterday, where the primary trigger for severe weather was an upper trough moving across the area that destabilized the low-to-mid levels of the atmosphere; coupled by further enhancement from the influence(s) of a strengthening low level jet.
High winds should be the main threat tonight, with some storms capable of producing heavy rainfall and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. This poses somewhat less life-threatening factors compared to last night wherein wind, hail, lightning, and isolated tornadoes were all part of the severe weather event that unfolded. Despite the forecast calling for isolated tornadoes, yesterday’s event broke the record for most tornadoes during any Indiana August tornado event since 1950. This came after the previous record of 5 tornadoes was broken just last Monday. The strongest tornado within yesterday’s event so far was an EF-3 tornado that hit Kokomo.
Despite this unexpected outbreak, no deaths have been reported and hopefully tonight any severe storms that erupt tonight will be without casualties. This goes to show that sometimes severe weather outbreaks can be worse than anticipated, despite having less than ideal conditions. This illustrates the importance of the National Weather Service’s responsibility for issuing severe weather watches and warnings (which has greatly been improved upon over the years), as well as heeding these warnings since a few minutes of warning can save lives. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!