On These Dates In Local Weather History: January 31-March 21

February 5th, 2013 at 5:13 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

January 31, 2011

Historic multi-faceted snow, sleet & ice storm began in the area with treacherous roads & white-out conditions of heavy snow & winds gusting to 53 mph.  10-14” of snow fell in the north half of the viewing area, including 13.8’” at Chalmers.  The 2010-11 winter was cold & very snowy with the lowest negative NAO readings since 1977.  It was the snowiest winter since the winter of 1981-82.  The storm was known for its duration, which continued until early February 2 (see February 2 entry).

February 1, 1982

Storm dumps 20” at Kokomo, 14” Romney, 12” at Kewanna, 11.8” of snow on Logansport, 11” Kentland, 9.5” in the city of West Lafayette, 9” Purdue Agronomy Farm at West Lafayette, Rochester, 8” Perrysville & 7” Wheatfield in the very snowy winter of 1981-82 (continuation of those brutal winters of the late 1970s, early 1980s).  Nearly every winter was very snowy & cold from ‘76-77 through ‘81-82 (1973-74 was a rough winter with heavy snowfalls & bitter cold, too).

February 2, 2011

A major winter storm came to an end in the area with up to 0.3” of glaze ice in our southern counties, 4-8” of snow & sleet & up to 16” of snow in our northern counties.  Winds gusted as high as 53 mph, resulting in white-out, blizzard conditions in our northern areas with drifts to 12’.  14” of snow fell at Morocco & Rensselaer, while 12” accumulated at Kentland.  15-16” fell along the Kankakee River in Newton & Jasper counties, while 13.8” of snow was measured at Chalmers & 11” at Rochester.

Damaging ice storm occurred in our southern & southeastern counties with up to 0.3” of glaze, while a mix of snow, sleet & ice brought 6” of accumulation to Attica, 8” at West Lafayette, 9” at Galvestion, 7” near Frankfort, 6” Tipton & 4” at Crawfordsville.

February 3, 1883

Destructive ice storm over northern 2/3 of viewing area, while flooding rains fell in the rest of Indiana, bringing historic flooding to the Lower Wabash & White River valleys.  “Incredible  tree damage” occurred in White County with “many telegraph poles snapped……..merely by the weight of the accumulation of ice………..saplings were bent down by their burden of ice………..icicles four to five inches in length hung from every little twig”.  W.A. Goodspeed stated, “pronounced by many old & observant citizens [of White County] to be the heaviest [ice] they had ever witnessed.”

February 4, 2008

Very dense fog from morning to afternoon in the northwest half of the viewing dropped visibility to near 0.  Numerous accidents occurred with several injuries & fatalities.  A semi could not see a train or even flashing signals in Boswell, causing it drive straight into the passing train, injuring the two semi occupants critically.  Not seeing the semi, a car & pick-up crashed into the semi, trapping a driver.  Another semi then struck the pile-up, killing the trapped driver.  This was one of many accidents on this day due to the fog.

February 4, 1856

Extreme cold in the area with -22 for a morning low temperature at Lafayette.

February 5, 1890

The highest temperatures ever experienced so early in the season came to an end on this date in 1890.  Comparing the modern record, this would be the warmest February temperatures ever experienced in early February with 69 at Lafayette, 72 Crawfordsville & 70 at Logansport.  At West Lafayette, February 4, 5 & 6 hit 67, 69 & 65 when 1901-2013 record highs for those dates are 58, 64 & 61.  A broken line of t’storms passed in the evening with hail up to penny size in places.

February 6, 1807

This day became known as “Cold Friday” among the earliest pioneers of the Northwest Territory.  In central Ohio, the temperature is said to have dropped 59 degrees with passage of the Arctic Front & storm system accompanied by rain, a “hurricane” & a “violent snowstorm” with a “rapid” snowfall accumulation of “6 inches”.  The temperature read -11° on the morning of the 6th with the high temperature only   -6° before dropping to -11° at sunset.  The Detroit & Chicago thermometers did not warm beyond -8° all day on the 6th accompanied by a “verocious gale”.

February 7, 1925

It was a record-warm day of a 3-day stretch of 60s to even lower 70s in the viewing area.  The 73 recorded at Frankfort tied with 1999 & 2000 for the warmest temperature on record for the month of February.

February 8, 1835

Major arctic outbreak comparable with 1899, 1977 & 1994 with extreme cold over the eastern & Midwestern to southeastern U.S.  Early Midwest & Ohio Valley weather stations had highs below zero & lows of -30 to -20 with a strong north wind.

Orange trees were killed to the roots in parts of Florida.  According to The American Weather Book, temperatures dropped into the single digits in northern Florida.  On this date in 1835, a surveyor reported 5” of snow near present-day Pensacola Florida.

This was the major cold wave for the early European settlers to the area (“bitter cold burns & great hardship”).  It was reportedly a mild winter “until February; then exceedingly severe weather”.  “All old peach trees were lost to the 1835 cold”.

February 9, 2008

February 2008 was an incredibly wet month after a very wet January.  This led to widespread river flooding across the area in both months.  The 14th highest Wabash crest of record occurred at Lafayette, while the 11th highest crest on record arrived at Covington in early February.  Discharge reached a record high at Oakdale Dam in January & second highest in February.  At Attica, at least a trace of precipitation was observed on EVERY SINGLE day of February, a first for any month of record.  Only 6 were precip.-free out of 29 days at West Lafayette & Kokomo.  At Chalmers & Flora, every single day of the month had measurable precipitation, except 8.  Much of the rainfall fell February 5-6 with lighter rains & snows for the month.  Totals of 3-6” of melted precipitation were recorded for the month.

February 9, 1899

Great Arctic Outbreak of ’99 with -22 on this date at West Lafayette.  Temperatures reached as low as -26 in the viewing area.  From January 29 to February 14, 12 mornings dropped below zero across the viewing area.  3 of the days were at -22, -21 & -20, respectively, at West Lafayette.  This was the coldest February weather until another Arctic cold wave in 1905.

February 10, 1977

1977 was by far the coldest February on record.  The brutal winter of 1976-77 continued with additional brutal winters in 1977-78 & 1978-79.  1977 remains as the coldest February on record for nearly every single NWS COOP weather station in the viewing area.  The average temperature for the month was a mere 7.5 degrees at West Lafayette. Interestingly, 1978 was the second coldest February on record, while February 1979 & February 1980 were among the snowiest on record.

February 11, 2009

A narrow, low-topped squall line on the right side of an intensifying surface low caused damage across the entire viewing area as winds gusted as high as 81 mph.  Winds blew a mobile home unto a county road, a roof was blown off a building & a semi overturned on Route 38, all near Dayton with an 81 mph gust.

A barn roof was destroyed by a wind gust to 75 mph in Tipton County.

Numerous trees & power lines were reportedly blown down in Warren, Fountain, White, Cass, Pulaski, Boone, Clinton & Miami counties, while a barn was blown down at Romney.  Winds gusted to 75 mph near Lebanon, 65 mph Frankfort, 64 mph at Peru, 60 mph at Lafayette & Crawfordsville, 59 mph at Kokomo & 54 mph at Rensselaer.

February 12, 1862

Flood on the Wabash River deemed “very destructive”.

February 13, 1905

Coldest weather since the Arctic Outbreak of 1899……11 of the 15 days from February 2-16, nightly lows were below zero in West Lafayette.  This includes two lows of -14 & two lows of -22.

Kokomo dropped to -20 on this data, as did Marion.  Crawfordsville dropped to -22, as did Whitestown.  In fact, Whitestown dropped to -22 on three nights during this cold wave.  6-10” of snow was on the ground area-wide during the cold wave.

The February of 1905 remains one of the coldest in the viewing area.

February 14, 2007

A blizzard snow came to an end with 10-17” of snowfall.  Strong winds & blowing snow brought the viewing area to a standstill with drifts to 10’ in rural areas.  17” of snowfall were measured at WLFI, making it the second heaviest snowfall on record in comparison to the West Lafayette/Lafayette area dataset.  The top 24-hour total was 20.5” on December 19-20, 1929.  Logansport, Rossville & Clark’s Hill also measured 17” of snow with 16” at Akron, Attica, Frankfort & Williamsport, 15” at Galveston & Kokomo, 14.9” Crawfordsville, 13.5” at Tipton, 13” at Brookston, 12.1” Earl Park & 12” at Rochester, Rensselaer, Francesville & Royal Center.

February 15, 1909

Disastrous ice storm comes to an end in Benton, Newton, Jasper, Pulaski counties with accumulations of up to 1.5”, which did substantial damage to trees & powerlines.

February 16, 1867

Flood of 1867 with crests 25’ above low water mark at Covington.  The Terre Haute crest on the 21st was 25.3’ above low water.  River ran high late February to mid-May from “excessive” rains & snows.

February 17, 1883

Flood of 1883 reaches its peak with second highest crest on record at Lafayette with 31.1’ or 20.1’ above flood stage.  The fourth highest Wabash crest on record occurred at Logansport on February 1 with 20.3’ or 5.3’ above flood stage.

February 18, 1910

A major snow storm struck Indiana.  Although 2” fell at Rochester & 3.2” fell on Rensselaer, parts of the southern & east-central parts of the state picked up nearly 20” of snow (Bloomington 18.7”, Columbus 18”, Richmond 15.6”).  10.8” fell at Marion, 8.8” fell at Kokomo, 8” at Whitestown & 7.5” at West Lafayette.

February 19, 1832

Flood on the Wabash River just prior to the earliest construction of the Wabash-Erie Canal at Fort Wayne.  All river systems from the Ohio to the Wabash, White to Whitewater & then the Lower Mississippi were in flood in late winter 1832. Significant flooding occurred all the way to Pennsylvania & even on the Delaware River.

During this time, 6 people were killed when “a storm” damaged a building at Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Weather records show steady periodic, sometimes heavy, rainfall occurred in our region for about 4 days north of a surface warm front.  The heaviest rainfall occurred to our southeast where historic flooding occurred on the Ohio.

February 20, 1885

The 1884-85 winter was a brutal with intense cold & heavy, heavy snows.  33 days were at or below zero during the winter in Newton County.  January 22, 1885 was said to have been the coldest night of the winter with -33 recorded at Morocco, tying the record for the viewing area of -33 set in 1887 at Lafayette.  A temperature of -31 was recorded on December 19, making this the coldest temperature in the viewing area in the month of December.

February 21, 1980

Hailstorms hit our southern areas with several reports of 1.75” hail.  3.00” hail was reported in Montgomery County.

February 22, 1912

Storm dumps 12” of snowfall on West Lafayette & Kokomo, 11” Whitestown, 10.1” Marion, 8” Crawfordsvile & 6” Rensselaer.

February 23, 1956

In Boone County 210’ wide F2 tornado did $25,000 in damage to farms.

February 24, 1839

February 1839 was mild in the Wabash & Ohio Valleys, but late February was very warm with t’storms.  In fact, diaries state that both February & March 1839 were warm & wet.  Temperatures reached 68 on February 21st & 22nd in Cass County.  14 of the last 21 of the month reached the 40s & 50s at Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This was followed by a major cold snap to end the month & move into early March with lows of -5 to 0 (Minneapolis, Minnesota down to -22).

In the book Savage Frontier, diary entries indicate this cold wave was a “Blue Norther” with a major winter storm in central & southwest Texas in late February-early March with unusually cold weather.

February 24, 1990

1-5” of dry snow in the area, driven & followed by wind gusts up to 50 mph created near zero visibility in the viewing area.  Ground blizzard conditions occurred south of an Earl Park to Monticello to Rochester line, while true blizzard conditions were met in Newton, Jasper & Pulaski counties.

February 25, 1965

Blizzard of February 1965; Purdue closed & areas schools were out for a week after 7-18” of snow, driven by strong winds, falls area-wide.  The heaviest band occurred from near Indianapolis to Kokomo to La Grange, where up to 19” fell in places.  The 12.5” at Indianapolis remains as the heaviest 24-hour snowfall total on record at Indianapolis International Airport.  18” fell at Kokomo, 11.5” Whitestown, 10” snow fell at Crawfordsville, 9.3” Delphi, 9” Winamac, Frankfort & Logansport, 9” was reported in the city of West Lafayette, 8.4” Romney, 8.3” fell at Rensselaer.

February 25, 1870

A large meteorite illuminated the entire sky in Renssleaer, according to the Smithsonian weather observer.  So large, many though it had landed in a field, but it was never found.

February 26, 2000

This & February 11, 1999 are generally regarded as the warmest February day since February 4, 1890 in the viewing area.

West Lafayette hit 73, which tied with 1999 for the highest temperature recorded for the month of February in the 1901-2011 period.  Wheatfield & Rochester hit 73 while Romney, Perrysville & Whitestown reached 74.

February 27, 1812

According to the Elfreth family, one of the earliest families to come to Cass County (Quaker Family from Pennsylvania), 1811-1812 was the coldest winter 1800-1922.  Adding credence to this information, an early settler in southwest Indiana (History of Odon, Indiana) stated that there was a large bison die-off in 1811 from the rough winter with no bison east of the Mississippi after that point.

February 28, 1932

The least snowy winter (December-February) on record occurred with just 0.5” of snow in West Lafayette.  Snowfall finally occurred in March with the heaviest snowfall event of the winter occurring on March 22 with 3”.  A total of 8.5” fell in March with 0.2” of snowfall on April 1.

The winter of 1931-32 was very, very mild.  The lowest temperature in February was just 18, while just two days in January dropped into the single digits (7 & 9).  However, 5 days in March dropped into the single digits (lowest was 5 degrees).

February 29, 1857

The winters of 1811-12, 1819-20, 1856-57, 1976-77 & 1977-78 overall are generally regarded as the coldest winters of the past 200 years.  Each were incredibly snowy with numerous days area-wide below zero.  Great hard ship occurred on settlers to modern-day residents from these winters.  The Wabash froze solid enough to easily navigate across in all of these years.

March 1, 1960

Coldest March temperatures on record for parts of the viewing area occurred.  Only March 1833, 1868, 1872 & 1943 had temperatures this cold.  The 1960s were known for their cold Marches with very cold weather occurred in 1964 & 1967, as well.

Romney dropped to -14, West Lafayette, Logansport & Peru to -12, while Frankfort had -11, Rensselaer -8.  Delphi had -7, while Crawfordsville bottomed out at -4.

A deep snow pack of 7-14” resided across the area from late February through the first 8 days of March.

March 2, 1833

Early March 1833 was the coldest March weather until 1872.  Andrew Jackson’s inauguration was done inside the hall of the House of Representatives as the Arctic air races east & southeastward.

There are indications that mid-March 1814 had a major cold wave.  In fact, the temperature was 4 degrees at sunrise near Cincinnati, Ohio on one of the March mornings & readings were reportedly below zero at Chicago.

March 3, 1983

Winter & early spring was a big tease in 1982-83.  The winter of 1982-83 was a very mild reprieve from the winters of deep snow & bitter cold in the late 1970s & early 1980s.  A false spring also arrived early in 1983.  Today would mark a 5-day stretch of temperatures in the 70s in the viewing area with overnight lows unseasonably mild in the mid to upper 50s.  However, the coldest temperatures of the entire winter would occur March 23 with lows of -5 to 3, killing the fresh, new unfurling leaves & flowers of the trees & shrubs.

March 4, 1880

Severe weather outbreak occurred in the southern half of the viewing area & over a good chunk of Indiana.

A tornado hit Indianapolis at approximately 10:30 p.m. with substantial damage, while “considerable damage” was reported in Lafayette from very strong winds & heavy rainfall from the storm passage around 10 p.m.

A tornado near Alto, in Howard County killed one & injured 9 when the twister destroyed a house shortly after 10 p.m.

Other damage occurred in Warren, Fountain & Clinton counties with numerous downed trees with outbuildings damaged, even destroyed.

On this same night, a major tornado “caused immense damage” (2 fatalities, numerous injuries) in part of Toledo, Ohio at 11:15 p.m., while tornadoes likely hit Spencer, Indiana at 10 p.m. & Liberty, Indiana “in the early morning hours” of the 5th.  A “great loss of property” from damaging winds was reported at Madison, Indiana (just north of Louisville) at 5 a.m.

Widespread wind damage occurred 40 miles southwest of Bloomington, Indiana near Odon.  It was written that wind leveled many old buildings & blew down fences & orchards.

This appears to have been a racing squall line with a bulge in the line in the Warren to Howard County areas with an embedded tornado likely at the top of the line kink, which may have produced damage at Lafayette & then the bigger damage at Alto.  The storms hit at the same time at Spencer & Lafayette & if you drawn a line they line up nearly due north & south, meanwhile the Howard County storm hit shortly after 10 p.m. with Indianapolis getting hit with a tornado at 10:30 p.m.

March 5, 1828

The growing seasons were so long & the winters so mild in the mid & late 1820s that settlers raised cotton in Indiana.  In fact, a cotton gin was built at Springfield, Illinois & Worthington, Indiana.  The cotton industry collapsed in the early 1830s when a series of hard winters & uncommonly late frosts crushed the early investments in the Midwest.  The winter of 1827-28 was exceptionally mild & appeared to rank up with the very mild winter of 1875-76 & 1889-90 in the Midwest & Ohio Valley.  Daffodils were in blossom & American elms budding at Lexington, Kentucky in late January 1828.  Peaches were reportedly blossoming in Arkansas in January 1828.

However, the coldest air of the season in many 1820s winters hit in late February or early March, before a nice, warm spring commenced.

March 6, 1956

A significant outbreak of severe weather occurred in the viewing area with 6 confirmed tornadoes.  Golfball- to baseball-sized hail fell in a swath from near Radnor to south of Bringhurst to northwest of Burlington while an F2 tornado in Carroll County ripped through areas 1-1.5 miles northwest of Delphi.

An F2 tornado near Dunnington, in Benton County, injured 3 people & caused $1/4 million in damage, while another F2 injured 1 person as it tracked 2 miles from northwest of the Route 18/Co. Road 500E intersection to north to north of Galveston Airport to Co Road 700E.

Yet another F2 tornado touched down between Amboy & Converse in Miami, while an F2 did damage to farms northwest of Windfall.  In White County, an F2 tornado did $3,000 in damage by side-swiping farms 1-1.5 miles northwest of Monticello.  In Grant County, a significant F4 tornado killed 1 & injured 31 people as it tore through homes.  A $¼ million in damage was done (1956 dollars).

March 7, 1961

Clean-up continued after 6 confirmed tornadoes roared through Warren, Tippecanoe, Clinton, Howard & Boone counties during the early morning hours of the 6th.  All were F1’s & F2’s, but 2 large F3’s hit Howard County.  1 person was killed & 5 were injured while damage amounted to nearly $600,000 (1961 dollars).

March 8, 1943

Coldest March weather since 1868 occurred in our northwestern counties (Rest of the area, 1872 was the coldest March weather on record).  Many of the records were not even broken by the 1960 Arctic blast.  Wheatfield had a low temperature of -15, Frankfort -13, Rensselaer & Kentland both dropped to -11, Kokomo bottomed out at -10, Whitestown -8, & West Lafayette -3.

March 9, 1868

Heavy vegetation damage occurred after this early false spring.

March was called “very warm & pleasant” in 1868.  March 4-12 was said to be very warm & spring-like.  The first spring peeper frogs were calling March 4 & “all signs of spring [were] abundant” in early March with daily highs in the 60s & 70s.

However, late March & the first week of April was cold with early blooming, leafing & budding trees heavily burned by uncommonly hard frosts & lows of 20-25.

March 9, 1945

1945 was generally an early spring & warm summer with ample rainfall, leading to a very, very productive growing season.  This was the earliest last date in spring with a temperature at or below 30 degrees at West Lafayette.  Interestingly, the next year was also an early spring with one of the earliest last occurrences of 30 or less on March 11.

March 10, 1828

Today was the first of two main crests on the Wabash in the flooding, stormy spring of 1828 in the viewing area.  Wabash is said to have been 27’ above low water mark south of Perrysville.  As of 2011, the crest on March 15 is the 4th highest crest on record at Terre Haute with 28’.  River is said to have been “well above flood” at Lafayette to Logansport.

March 11, 1962

An F3 tornado tracked through northern Boone County from near the 47/I-65 interchange to southwest of Kirklin.  Much of the tornado’s path was over rural farmland & woodlots, but damage to a couple of farms amounted to $25,000 (1962 dollars).

March 11, 1990

A very rare potent early warm spell occurred, but was largely known for its incredibly warm nights.  The overnight low temperatures were above 60 for 5 nights in parts of the area.  5 days with the temperature staying above 60 with highs of 75-80, is an extremely rare feat in early March.

At West Lafayette, overnight lows of 63, 62, 62 & 62 with highs in the mid to upper 70s occurred after intense t’storms & 66 degrees dumped 3.85” of rainfall on March 10.

Highs of 65 or greater occurred March 10-16 with 4 days in the upper 70s & lows of 64, 63, 63 & 62 March 12-15.  Even at Wheatfield, 4 days peaked with 79 on 12 with lows of 59, 60, 61, 62 & 60.

Such warmth caused vegetation to rapidly bud & bloom prematurely.  After hard freezes with lows in the teens & highs only near 32 by March 20, magnolia, forsynthia, red maple & Bradford pear blossoms were wiped out.  Clusters of flower buds on fruit trees were burned by the cold.

I just remember the tulip tree leaves at home as big as a squirrel’s ear being covered in snow & ice at the end of the month & all of the green, leafed-out spirea bushes wiped out.

March 12, 1976

1 person was killed & 17 injured when 7 tornadoes descended in the WLFI viewing area in the late afternoon & evening of March 12, 1976.  The strongest tornado was an F4 in Carroll County.  An F3 in Jasper County & another F3 in hit Newton County.  The Newton County was the only killer tornado with the 1 death in Newton County.

The WLFI viewing area wasn’t the only region to see tornadoes that day.  A tornado damaged part of O’Hare airport in Chicago, killing 2 people.  Numerous homes were damaged or destroyed in a tornado in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago & a supercell storm produced a tornado in Kankakee County, before the twister crossed into Newton County.

Interestingly, only 7 days later, an F4 tornado struck Tippecanoe County, injuring 6.  Another 2 were injured in Carroll County by this same twister.  This was apart of another outbreak which produced 18 tornadoes in Missouri, Illinois & Indiana, killing 8 & injuring 66 total.

Mid-late March 1976 was warm with numerous days in the 60s & 70s, contributing to the April & May-like severe weather.

March 12, 1991

Great ice storm of 1991:  Numerous roads were closed by fallen trees, limbs & snapped power poles as 1.5-2” of ice covered all surfaces.  A State of Emergency was declared across the viewing area with shelters opening after thousands lost power.  80% of Clinton County lost power while, 75% of Jasper County lost utilities.  The icing was not as bad in Fulton & Miami counties, where there was more snow & sleet, than freezing rain.

At West Lafayette 2.80” of precipitation was recorded with most of it freezing rain (only about 0.10” of it was snow [1” measured).  At Romney, 2.24” of precipitation was measured, but only around 0.06” of was likely snow, as just 0.6” of snow was measured.

It was the worst ice storm in the viewing area since January 26, 1967.

March 14, 1872

Major March cold wave; the worst since 1833 (1868 in our northwest counties)…………similar to 1960 & 1943.  Widespread temperatures below 0 occurred in Indiana & Illinois with readings as low as -12 in the viewing area.

March 15, 1971

An F2 tornado cut through fields 1-2 miles southwest of the Route 47/U.S. 52 intersection in Boone County.  Two people were injured when the twister hit their house.  A wind gust of 58 mph was reported at Old U.S. 231 & South Beck Lane. Winds gusted to 60 mph southeast of Kirklin & near Sheridan.

March 16, 1906

+1” snow was on the ground March 11-25 with a peak depth of 9” March 19 & 20 in West Lafayette.  March 1906 was unusually cold & snowy with single digit temperatures on the 12th, 17th, 18th, 19th & 22nd.  The warmest temperature of the month with 55 on the 26th & every night was at or below freezing for the month except 4.

The temperature reached it lowest levels on the 16 or 17th in the viewing area with 1 at West Lafayette, Kokomo hit -1 (0 on two other mornings), Marion 3, Crawfordsville -1, Whitestown -8 (3 mornings below zero).

March 17, 1989

St Patrick’s Day severe weather event brings damaging straight-line winds & some 0.75” hail to Tippecanoe , Clinton, Warren counties, downing trees, power lines & outbuildings.

This corresponded with a similar St. Patrick’s Day severe weather outbreak on March 17, 1868.  This event had widespread wind damage that “extended over much of Illinois & Indiana” with significant damage from the “hurricane” at Springfield, Illinois.  No tornadoes were reported, but lots of what appeared to be straight-line wind damage occurred.

March 18, 1906

A late-season snowstorm began with 8.3” of snowfall accumulation by March 19 at West Lafayette.  Marion picked up a whooping 12”, while Kokomo measured 11”.  This heavy band extended southward with 13” at Bloomington, Indiana.  Crawfordsville had 9”, Whitestown 8”, while 6.5” fell Rensselaer & 7” at Winamac.

March 19, 1948

Severe weather outbreak hit the viewing area & throughout the Midwest.  Wind gust of 100 mph was measured at Kokomo & wind cups were blown off of the anemometer at the Indianapolis airport with a measured gust of 95 mph.

Widespread, significant wind damage occurred from Tippecanoe to Howard County as a squall line blasted through the area.

Damaging tornadoes occurred in Illinois & Missouri.  A total of 52 people were killed & 300 were injured in the Midwest.  Just 7 days later another severe outbreak would occur with a long-track, violent tornado near Indianapolis & tornadoes in Warren County.

March 19, 2012

The last of the substantial cold usually occurs around this time.  The average last occurrence of 20 at Crawfordsville is March 18, Romney, West Lafayette, Delphi, Logansport & Whitestown March 19, Frankfort & Winamac March 20, Rensselaer, Rochester & Perrysville March 22, Kokomo March 23, Kentland & Marion March 24, Wheatfield & Peru March 26.

March 20, 1866

Tornado outbreak blasted through the viewing area.

A railroad bridge destroyed by tornado at Lafayette caused a train derailment.  An ice house was destroyed & several buildings damaged in the city of Lafayette

Lebanon, Indiana Tornado:  “Tornado left scene of run never before witnessed on morning of March 21st.  Came like an avalanche, hurling fragments of trees and buildings in every direction.”  Another damaging twister reportedly occurred at Connersville.

In Montgomery County, near 7 p.m., a large tornado roars through Scott Township.  Originating “three quarters of a mile north of the southwest corner” & moved “diagonally” across the township.  The noise of the twister could reportedly “be heard for miles”.  Several homes & farms were “demolished” with others on the edge suffering roof & structure damage.  Three children & one wife of a family were killed, while another resident was blown “100 yards & most seriously wounded. Many were more or less injured.”  A 12-acre cornfield of A.W. Armstrong was nearly swept clean of stubble & fodder.  Debri, machinery, clothes & building material were found “miles away”.  A pitched roof of a residence was found 15 miles away from the tornado track.  A bureau drawer was found 8 miles from the tornado track & a tin-wash boiler was found in the forks of an oak tree 35’ from the ground.  This tornado track is said to have run all the way to near Terre Haute, destroyed vast amounts of timber & killing many animals in its path.

Hail was reported at Rensselaer.

March 21, 1976

Clean-up continued after a large, multi-vortex F4 tornado tore through areas just northwest of West Lafayette.  Several farmsteads were damaged & one home was totally destroyed.  This tornado was photographed & researched greatly by Purdue Geosciences Professors E.M. Agee, J.T. Snow, F.S. Nickerson, P.R. Clare, C.R. Church & L.A. Schaal who documented the many suction vortices within the parent funnel.  This supercell originated near Charleston, Illinois.






4 Responses to “On These Dates In Local Weather History: January 31-March 21”

  1. Teri says:

    Thanks for the interesting information Chad! Getting a snow shower where I am in Lafayette.

  2. Lisa says:

    I remember many of these events from the 70′s to current day! I remember blogging here in 2011 because we HAD to get to Bloomington for my son’s music audition at IU. We were still shoveling our drive an hour before we left….even though all the roads were officially closed. We hoped we’d get there if we weren’t arrested first! We got there….and Bloomington was like a crystal city…ice everywhere. I am still amazed that the auditions were not postponed and people were forced to choose between not getting into the college of their choice by not attending auditions and the threat of an accident on the roads. We risked the drive only to have it as bad on the way home. It is something I do not want to relive for sure! Thanks, Chad, for the fun reminiscing with your data.

  3. Monster says:

    Thanks chad I love history.

  4. Jim says:

    Nice history Chad. What’s up all!

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