On These Dates In Local Weather HistoryApril 26th, 2013 at 6:00 pm by Chad Evans under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog
April 27, 1994
This was the 85th tornado of this outbreak that began on the afternoon-evening of April 25 in Colorado & Nebraska.
This outbreak was known for one of the strongest tornadoes in the country that year occurring near West Lafayette; a strong F4 with winds of up to 210 mph. Today, on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, winds over 200 mph would be an EF5, the highest category for tornadoes.
11 homes were totally destroyed by this twister, when it roared through after midnight of the 27th, with 17 sustaining major damage & 7 having minor damage. 88 mobile homes were damaged or destroyed, in addition, 13 multi-family dwellings that sustained heavy damage. Lafayette Venetian Blind & two gas stations near U.S. 52, motel at I-65 & 43 & the State Police Post sustained moderate to heavy damage. This violent twister continued on a 14-mile track from Klondike to southeast of Springboro in Carroll County with material losses that amounted to at least 5 million dollars. Three people were killed & 70 people were injured.
This same storm produced damaging straight-line winds on its northside of up to 70 mph, at Pine Village (northern Warren County) & Templeton (southeastern Benton County), which felled numerous trees. At its end, it produced a 60 mph straight-line wind gust at Flora after making a slight right turn to the east after a continuous northeastward track.
Another long-track tornado, with winds of up to 157 mph blasted Pulaski & parts of Fulton County along its 20-mile path. The tornado that the storm produced was labeled an EF2 on the original Fujita Scale, but by today’s revised Enhanced Fujita Scale it would be an EF3. Beginning just southeast of Francesville, the twister continued through Pulaski & far northwest Fulton counties before lifting as it entered far southwest Marshall County. At the end of its track, the storm produced a damaging, very intense microburst, that downed numerous trees & destroyed a storage building (resulted in 50,000 dollars in damage). Although this twister traveled largely over open, rural farmland, it did level several farm buildings & grain bins & one farm house was damaged. Also, a mobile home was lifted up by the tornado & thrown onto a car, destroying both. No deaths or injuries were reported, but damage exceeded 1/2 million dollars. The development of this tornado coincided with an intense hail core in the storm that produced golfball-sized stones (1.75″) north of the tornado track.
Another tornado, an F0, with winds up to 72 mph damaged two barns, as well as irrigation equipment north of Medaryville, in Pulaski County. This particular tornadic t’storm produced numerous reports of 0.75-1″ hail in Newton & Jasper counties. Damaging straight-line winds of up to 72 mph destroyed a barn & broke, uprooted several trees near Rensselaer.
The squall line BEHIND the supercells also produced damage (& several tornadoes in Illinois). Lightning caused a major fire at Cooksey Sawmill in Williamsport, that amounted to 1/2 million dollars in damage. Numerous trees were felled by straight-line winds across northern Clinton County.
A 1/2 million dollars in damage was done to a Subway restaurant & adjacent store due intense straight-line winds of up to 100 mph at Crawfordsville. There was also heavy damage to trees & powerlines with many windows blown out of other businesses. As the roof was blown off the Subway, the flung roof damaged several other businesses nearby.
Interestingly, this same system caused 5 million dollars in damage to the Indianapolis Raceway Park by extreme straight-line winds that did much structural damage.
April 28, 1971
Farm work & planting was done in a very timely manner in 1971; it was the driest April on record for many areas. It was the all-time driest April at Monticello with just 0.93”, Logansport with just 1.08”, West Lafayette with 0.70”, Wheatfield 0.69”, Romney 0.48”
2010 was on track to beat 1971 for dryness before substantial rainfall occurred late in the month.
I spoke with a farmer who remembered the dry April very well. He was preparing a field at the time with a cultivator hooked to a cabless tractor. He explained that that dust stirred up by the cultivation of the dry soil was so bad, he could hardly see or breath & that the silty dust of the soil totally encompassed & covered him in dry, powder. He explained how unusual he thought it was to get into the wet spots in April & have the ground work like it would during the hot, dry summer days.
April 28, 1893
A severe hailstorm hit the Purdue campus with large stones.
April 29, 1963
A tornado touched down in Carroll County at 7:49 p.m. & quickly strengthened to F2 with peak at F3 status. The twister was on the ground for 18.6 miles.
April 30, 1962
Significant severe weather outbreak occurred with winds officially gusting 60-110 mph in central Illinois with unofficial gusts to 135 mph, while winds gusted as high as 85 mph in the viewing area. The line of storms brought widespread wind damage & 4 confirmed tornadoes.
5 people were injured by an F2 tornado in Newton County, while an F2 tornado in Jasper County did ¼ million dollars in damage. An F0 tornado in White County also did ¼ million dollars in damage. An F1 tornado roared through Miami County, while winds gusted to 85 mph in Cass County & 70-80 mph winds struck Benton, Warren & Fountain counties.
May 1, 1838
A large tornado is said to have taken a similar path as the Palm Sunday tornado of 1965 near Russiaville north of “the prairies [called Indian Prairie at the time, a wet, marshy prairie]” of Prairie Township in Tipton County through southern Howard County.
May 2, 1864
It snowed off & on all morning & through the day with morning temperatures in the 30s & afternoon highs only around 40 in Lafayette.
May 2, 1870
Today began a long period of warmth & dry weather with 16 of 31 days in the mid 80s to around 90. Of these, three days were in the 90s at Lafayette & Rensselaer. Rensselaer was 92 at 2 p.m. on May 22. Lafayette hit 94 degrees. The lowest temperature of the month was 47 on May 12 at Rensselaer. Mean temperature for the month was 66-70 degrees area-wide.
At Rensselaer, it was at least 85 degrees each day May 2-5, May 14-18, May 20-22 & May 29-31. 1870 is still easily the hottest May on record for parts of the area, even beating the hot Mays of 1839, 1911 & 1976.
May 3, 1835
A 1/4 mile wide tornado passed just south of Lafayette (just village at that point) in the evening with heavy damage to “valuable timber”. It unroofed a barn near present-day Route 26/U.S. 52 intersection. A two-story brick home was demolished nearby with at least 3 farms being damaged/destroyed. Remarkably only 1 person was injured.
May 3, 1852
When land for the new town of Windfall (Tipton County) was surveyed in 1852, a large windfall path of destruction through the forest caused the town to be named “Windfall”. It is unclear when this tornado passed through that area at the time, though a road was surveyed to be built from Tipton to near this location in 1849 with no mention of a large windfall from a tornado in the forest. Windfall was eventually founded in 1853.
May 4, 1902
The third consecutive day of record warmth occurred across the viewing area with 87 at Rensselaer, Kokomo, Crawfordsville & Whitestown, 86 at West Lafayette & 85 at Crawfordsville.
May 5, 1836
The newly-completed, first White County courthouse in Monticello was destroyed by a tornado in May 1836, 138 years later, the courthouse was destroyed again in the Super Outbreak of 1974.
A part of this same severe event, a long-lived, large tornado was reported to have struck Grand Rapids & Kent County, Michigan as well. Pioneer farmsteads were reportedly leveled with home debri strewn over a mile away. This was reportedly still a topic of conversation with the earliest settlers of that area in 1881.
May 5, 1870
A severe t’storm with very high, damaging wind reportedly struck Rensselaer around 9:30 p.m. from the northwest. The rainfall continued until 11:30 p.m.
Another intense, damaging storm would strike late month.
Overall, however, May-July 1870 was very hot & dry.
May 6, 1909
Severe storms blast area with West Lafayette very hard hit by tremendous hailstorm & flooding.
Storm made the city totally cut off from water pumping station for 12 hours.
Hailstones the size of walnuts accompanied torrential rainfall, which caused severe flooding in the storm with rainfall 3:45-5 p.m. with the height of the storm at around 4:15 p.m. The flooding in the Happy Hollow area was reportedly the worst ever seen “by the oldest in habitant”.
600 panes of glass of a greenhouse were shattered on north Salisbury Street by the hail. 58 panes of glass were broken at Purdue greenhouses on campus. Tree foliage was reportedly heavy shredded with streets nearly covered in leaves & branches from the hail. The leaves & branches clogged many drains, only increasing the flooding issues.
May 6, 1960
Severe t’storm winds of 80-85 mph blasted through parts of Benton County. At 4:42 p.m. a wind gust of 81 mph was measured 2 miles north of Otterbein.
May 6, 1876
An outbreak of severe weather occurred in the viewing area & the region.
At least 4 tornadoes were reported in Indiana & Illinois. From southern Hamilton to Madison County, Indiana, at 5 p.m. a tornado shaped like “an hour glass” & “colored dark black”, cut a destructive 20-mile track. This tornado destroyed homes & barns & killed numerous sheep, pigs & cattle. A tornado hit the southern Illinois city of Carbondale, as well as Neoga, Illinois with heavy damage wrought. The central Illinois town of Anna was hit. Chicago was also hit by a twister, at ¼ mile wide, which heavily damaged & even demolished parts of the city.
Interestingly, at 3:15 a.m. early on the morning of the 6th, a twister struck part of Leavenworth, Kansas damaging buildings.
May 7, 1839
Early-mid May 1839 was very warm in the Midwest (with a warm, warm spring & summer to fall, overall with drought). Early May 90s were recorded on numerous days at St. Louis, while Fort Snelling Minnesota (present-day Minneapolis) had upper 70s to 80. Early Logansport record had unseasonably warm 88, which would be a record high for the date by today’s NOAA COOP data set. Hot weather was also measured at early U.S. government weather stations at Newport Barracks (Louisville, Kentucky) & College Hill, Ohio (Northwest of Cincinnati).
Spring was very early & very warm in the Midwest & Plains with “the first week of April like mid-May or later” with “unseasonable warmth” in May.
1839 was a hot, hot, dry summer with low water levels reported at most weather stations & rivers in the Midwest with unseasonable warmth through much of the autumn.
May 8, 1840
This is deemed the coldest May day on record in our area. With overcast skies, strong winds & highs only near 40, “overcoats & gloves were needed” amidst “spits of snow”. The system that brought the unusually cold air brought a likely 1 mile-wide EF5 tornado to Natchez, Mississippi on May 7 at 1 p.m. This twister is the second deadliest in U.S. history, just behind the Tri-State tornado of 1925 where 695 people were killed. 317 people were killed, with other severe weather & flooding occurring in the South. Other unusually cold, gray, wintry days in May with highs of only 40-45 occurred in 1940 & 1961.
May 9, 2000
1 person was killed in a moving vehicle at Hillsboro when a tree fell on it. 3 people were injured in Waynetown when another tree was toppled onto another vehicle. Widespread damaging straight-line winds raked the viewing area with numerous trees & power lines being downed by winds up to 80 mph. The strong winds damaged 4 homes at Clark’s Hill & golfball-sized hail pelted Attica, Williamsport, Lafayette & Lebanon. A barn was destroyed near Logansport & trees fell on cars & homes in the city. A construction trailer was flipped over & numerous large trees limbs were downed at Peru.
Damage from this squall line in central & northern Indiana resulted in millions in damage, including $1 million in damage in Whitley County alone with another $1 million in damage to structures in Fort Wayne & $3 million in damage to business & homes at Huntertown, Indiana.
May 10, 1934
Spring 1934 was overall the driest on record for the viewing area. West Lafayette picked up just 3.47” of rainfall in the March-May period. It was also the record-driest at Rensselaer with 3.69”, Monticello with 3.73”, Rochester 4.92” & Kokomo 4.59”. Whitestown’s driest spring occurred in 1932 & Crawfordsville’s driest was in 1901. Wheatfield had 3.85” in the spring of 1934, but was barely beaten in 1958 by 3.79” during the spring for record driest. From Fowler & Kentland to Pence & Perrysville, 1958 had the driest spring on record with 4.30-4.60”.
May 11, 1857
Latest snowflakes on record for Lafayette, even beating the unusually late May 8, 1840 & May 8 & 9, 1923 dates. Temperatures in the 30s in the morning & just 40 at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, prolonged the incredibly late 1857 spring.
May 11, 1868
May was hot in 1868 with temperatures in the 90s everyday across most of the viewing area 11-20.
May 12, 1886
Tornado outbreak in the viewing area……
Attica Tornado: F3 tornado began near West Lebanon & crossed the Wabash River at Attica, destroying 200 homes in the city, killing 5 & injuring 12 people. Eyewitnesses reported it sounded like “the roar of a great waterfall.”
Two damaging tornadoes blasted through Tipton County, just missing Tipton by ¾ of a mile & Kempton by ¼ mile. It destroyed the fairgrounds & damaged & destroyed numerous homes & farmsteads, including a well-built two-story brick home. A brick school house was said to have been completely destroyed. “The cries of the injured were heartening and the terror was pictured on every countenance”. One of the tornadoes passed northeast of Tipton, killing at least one person & injuring at least 10. It was also written that widespread damaging winds swept the entire county with the tornadoes with the most widespread wind damage in Prairie Township where “timber & fences suffered terribly”.
Another tornado roared through White County, causing heavy damage from Monon to Bell Center.
At least 7 were killed & 24 injured in central Indiana tornadoes alone that day.
May 13, 1854
Severe t’storm blew down many trees in Lafayette during Saturday night, May 13, 1854. Although summer 1854 featured a horrendous drought with the most extreme heat in a summer since 1846, these storms flooded the city.
Roads & at least one railroad bridge (over Potato Creek) was washed out. Several breaks occurred in the canal. It was reportedly the heaviest rainfall event “in years”.
May 13, 1933
A tornado passed north of Dayton. It destroyed farm buildings & killed one person. About a week later, a Plains & Midwest severe outbreak spawned an F5 tornado near Tyron, Nebraska that caused entire farms to absolutely vanish, leaving just pieces of foundation left.
May 14, 1995
Two high-end F2 tornadoes were confirmed in the area with one destroying 9 homes & damaging 28 others in Lebanon. At Advance, 2 businesses had major damage, while 5 miles south of Crawfordsville, 2 businesses were destroyed, an elementary had major damage with 8 homes destroyed & 9 damaged. A total of 3 people were killed & 5 injured by the twisters.
May 15, 1968
An F2 tornado moved through Tippecanoe & Clinton counties, damaging farm buildings, while baseball-sized hail pelted parts of Montgomery County. Straight-line winds of up to 75 mph blasted Carroll & Clinton counties.
In an example of the intensity of this severe outbreak, a long-track tornado began in Wabash County & did not lift until it was east of Fort Wayne.
May 16, 1857
Spring 1857 was unusually cold. The yellow daffodils did not begin to blossom until May 5 & the “sugar trees” (sugar maples) did not even begin to bud until May 6. Early writings also documented that the sugar maples & apples finally reached blossom on this date (16th), but the beeches did not reach blossom until May 20th. Locust trees were still bare on May 24. Walnut & sycamores did not reach full leaf in the forests until June 19 & as of June 1, notes from the Indiana State Board of Agriculture state that the “forests were not yet in leaf” in Central Indiana.
May 17, 2012
Several reference to Midwestern & Plains tornadoes were made by our Native American peoples, as tornadoes have been ravaging the Midwest & Plains for thousands of years.
The Kiowas explained in a legend that……………
“the first twister came about when ancient tribes people attempted to mold a horse from clay. ‘The beast took shape’, recounted one storyteller, ‘but it was a terrible thing: It began to writhe, slowly at first, then faster & faster until there was great commotion everywhere. The wind grew up & carried everything away. The Kiowas were afraid of that awful thing & it went running about, talking to it. And at last it was calm.’ Ever after, when the black clouds began to swirl, Kiowas knew the monster was approaching: Lightning cames from its mouth, & the tail, whipping & thrashing on the air makes the high, hot wind. Kiowas speak to it, saying, ‘Pass over me.’ And in time, it does.”
May 18, 1883
A major tornado outbreak hit Missouri to Illinois & Indiana with Illinois hit the hardest. There, it was the 5th largest outbreak on record with at least 14 EF3 to EF5 & 5 EF1 & EF2 tornadoes in central & northern Illinois. 98 people were killed with 221 injured.
These storms gelled into a squall line that raked the area with damaging straight-line winds that passed after midnight on May 19 well ahead of a cold front.
All of Tippecanoe County is said to have suffered “serious damage”. Factories were unroofed in Lafayette with numerous large trees uprooted & snapped. Homes were unroofed or damaged & many large trees were downed across the county. A heavy wagon was thrown 300 yards. It is said the “west side” of the city suffered the worst damage (probably present day Chauncey Hill, West Lafayette).
A testament to the intense updrafts of the storms, pebbles were found in the large hailstones southwest of Springfield, Illinois. A teaching certificate was carried 50 miles from a tornado in Missouri.
May 18, 1926
Tornado struck areas west of West Lafayette at 5:30 p.m. Twister appears to have been on the ground for about 4 miles from 3 miles south of Newman Road/Route 26 to near present-day Purdue tennis center. The worst of it is said to have existed at Route 26 & Newman Road.
At the Minor Morehouse farm, a chicken house was picked up & thrown 900’, while the entire house was shoved 6” off the foundation with the chimneys blown off. A garage was destroyed & large trees were uprooted. If not uprooted, trees had their tops twisted off. Along the entire “cyclone” path, trees were either uprooted or badly damaged, electric poles were snapped & barns were destroyed.
“Scores of trees” were blown down across West Lafayette & Lafayette with electric poles. “There was hardly a street in the city where trees were not damaged by the wind…………………”numerous signs were destroyed in the city & country”.
May 19, 1977
May 1977 was the hottest May on record for the area after a brutally cold winter, but a warm, early start to spring in March & early April. May 1977 temperatures were more like June, not May. In fact, the temperature for this May exceeded the average temperature for June in many areas.
It was the warmest on record at Winamac, Wheatfield, West Lafayette, Attica, Romney, Rochester, Rensselaer, Kentland & Delphi with May 1911 a close second to the this warmest May on record.
May 20, 1870
Severe t’storm hit Rensselaer very hard. Dr. John Loughmilder stated in his weather diary, “Hail at 5:30p Hail in great quantities & masses……..Some 3” in diameter…..Broke many windows.”
It was also reported that an aurora appeared at 11 p.m. as skies cleared.
May 21, 1956
An F2 tornado crossed Route 14 & 49 northeast of Rensselaer before dissipating near Asphaltum, in Jasper County. Significant straight-line wind damage was reported about 5 miles northeast of Remington & north of Onward in Cass County.
May 22, 1958
Between 1:45 & 3 p.m., a line of storms produced widespread straight-line wind damage from White & Pulaski, through Fulton, Cass, Miami & Howard counties.
May 23, 1870
“Very bright Aurora [Borealis]” or Northern Lights were reported in the viewing areas, specifically at Rensselaer in late May 1870. Another Northern Lights episode was reported on February 23 at 11:30 p.m.
May 24, 1901
Driest spring on record comes to a close at Crawfordsville with just 6.07” March-May. This preceded the extremely hot & dry summer of 1901, which still ranks up with the 1934 & 1936 as one of the hottest on record.
May 25, 1839
Significant severe weather event hit Illinois & Indiana. Gigantic, record-breaking hailstones were measured in west-central Illinois with numerous animals killed (including hogs & sheep) & one woman severely injured by the hailstorm.
The hailstones of New Greenfield, Illinois on this date in 1839 measured 17” in circumference & weighed an average of 1.2 pounds, or were the size of a cantaloupe.
In comparison, the record U.S. hailstone weight was measured at Vivian, South Dakota in 2010 at 1.9 pounds (8” diameter & 18.62” circumference). At Aurora, Nebraska, in 2003, the record largest U.S. hailstorm was measured at 18.75” in circumference.
These storms produced tornadoes & wind damage in central & eastern Illinois & violent storms at Logansport & Lafayette with “hail of extraordinary size”.
May 26, 1911
Record early-season heat wave underway with highs in the 90s & even around 100 degrees 25-28th. On this date Rensselaer hit 97, Kokomo 95, Crawfordsville 93, West Lafayette 96, Whitestown 96, Logansport & Delphi 98. It was also a rather dry month with 1-2” of rainfall area-wide, when the normal is 4-5”.
May 27, 1961
The decade of the 1960s was known for cold snaps late into spring with unseasonable late last frost & freeze dates. The latest freeze on record for most of the viewing area occurred in 1961. Young corn seedlings & garden plants were burned by the unusually late frost/freeze. It was the latest freeze at West Lafayette, Frankfort, Crawfordsville, Kentland, Romney, Logansport & Rochester, while Delphi & Winamac had a freeze even on May 30.
May 28, 1955
A significant high-end F2 tornado tore through eastern Howard County, injuring 3 people & producing damage amounting to $2.5 million (1955 dollars). The tornado began northeast of the Kokomo Municipal Airport, travelled northeast, heavily damaging several farms & destroying farm buildings. The tornado crossed Route 18 & 19 before lifting northwest of Converse, just west of Route 513.
May 29, 1869
At 7:15 a.m. severe t’storms struck the area, specifically Lafayette/West Lafayette as the winds were described as “very violent”. It was “one of the most severe ever known in this vicinity”. “Whirlwinds appear to have been formed, uprooting & breaking off trees, & doing a great deal of damage. Almost every square was marred by some wreck.” Many trees were toppled & many others were heavily damaged.
May 29, 1966
Late May-early June 1966 had 5 consecutive nights of patchy frost in the viewing area with 34-40. Winamac dropped to 32 on May 29.
May 30, 2004
Severe weather outbreak occurred with 7 confirmed tornadoes in the viewing area: F0 near Kentland, Veedersburg, Romney & Atlanta, an F1 at Brook, F2 near Dayton & an F3 at Peru. Two homes were nearly destroyed on Halifax Lane near Dayton with winds up to 150 mph (would be EF3 by today’s modern Enhanced Fujita Scale). Two F0s occurred in cornfields near Romney & Veedersburg with no structural damage. An F0 near Kentland damaged buildings, blew down an antenna, destroyed & fence & grain bins, while snapping two power poles. A barn was damaged & wagon rolled over by an F0 tornado near Atlanta.
An F1 tornado moved through Brook, damaging homes & buildings, uprooting trees, & toppling power poles. A machine shed was destroyed northeast of town & another had its roof taken off. A large tree was toppled near Route 55.
The F3 Peru tornado was the worst of the outbreak with heavy damage to the northwest side of Peru with winds near 160 mph (on the old Fujita scale). Homes & factories were heavily damaged, even destroyed with a large NIPSCO communication tower felled.
There were also damaging straight-line winds with a few embedded microbursts. One of these microbursts heavily damaged a church near Logansport, while a semi truck was overturned by a 63 mph wind gust at Remington. Winds gusted 60-70 mph Benton County & around 60 mph in Newton & Jasper County with 0.88” hail reported at Boswell.
The HP supercells & following squall line produced 2-5” of rainfall, as well, resulting in flash flooding across the area.
May 31, 1858
Tornado hit Lafayette with a storm accompanied by strong winds, heavy rain & hail. It is said to have “come up from the southwest up the Wabash River & switched over towards the northeast along the line of the old canal. The Wildcat Valley seemed to be their objective point.” It has been written that “[the] tin roof of the Salem street Depot was blown off, rolled up like a scroll, carried two hundred feet away & deposited in the commons.” The Wildcat bridge was heavily damaged & numerous homes received at least minor damage with trees uprooted. Another tornado on this day killed 19 & injured 60 in the west-central Illinois town of Ellison.
May 31, 1895
Hottest Memorial Day on record for the viewing area with highs of 95-100. West Lafayette reached 97 after a morning low of 67.
June 1, 1860
This began a very hot, dry early-mid summer after a very warm & dry start to spring. Very little rain reported in the first 27 days of June at Rensselaer. A 0.25” of rain fell July 2, but after that, no rainfall was observed until July 16 when 0.30” fell.
June 1, 1934
The earliest 100 on record was recorded at West Lafayette (104). Widespread record heat occurred in the area with readings as high as 107. This was the beginning of the long, very hot & dry summer.
June 2, 1833
A tornado of up to 1/2 mile wide blasted through Union & Wea Townships south & southeast of early Lafayette in the early morning hours. Trees, fences & barns were completely demolished & thrown great distances.
June 2, 1980
Three rounds of severe weather affected the area with one being a major one with a combination of large hail, severe straight-line wind swaths, microbursts & tornadoes. Widespread damage occurred across the viewing area.
Round one occurred 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the 1st. A combination of golfball-sized hail, driven by winds to 72 mph caused significant tree damage at Crawfordsville. In the bottoms south of River Road to 25 to Old 231, golfball-sized hail fell in Tippecanoe County, while golfball hail pelted vehicles near I-74 & Route 75 near Jamestown.
The second was major, which occurred in the 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. time frame on the 2nd. 1 person was killed & 16 injured by an F3 tornado in Montgomery County. An F1 hit Tipton County. Widespread damaging straight-line winds occurred with several of the winds cores likely families of microbusts & macrobursts. Many farm buildings were damaged or destroyed & several homes sustained minor damage. Hail as large as 2” in diameter accompanied some of the storms.
A third round of severe storms occurred in the 5-6 p.m. time frame & was confined to our northeastern counties with hail to golfball size.
1980 was a very hot, humid & stormy summer, similar to the very stormy summer of 2010.
June 3, 1933
An incredibly, early, intense heat wave began in the viewing area. The 90s began the month, but from June 6-12, 100 or greater occurred in the viewing area, a substantial feat in mid-summer, let alone early June. Rensselaer hit 105 on June 7, 10 & 11, while Logansport hit 105 on the 7th & Delphi 103. West Lafayette had 100 or greater on 3 days, with 101 on June 7th.
June 3, 2011
Squall line with widespread, damaging straight-line winds of up to 70 mph blasted area & broke near-record/record heat with temperatures in the upper 90s to around 100.
After recently heavy rainfall on late-planted fields (due to wet spring) potent soil crust developed on all area fields, baked by the recent heat. Intense t’storm winds picked up dust off this crust & caused a massive wall of rust across nearly the entire viewing area to race eastward. With arrival of severe wind, preceding the rain, the sky assumed a green/yellow/gray/brown appearance with visibility down to 0.25 mile in rural areas. Muddy rain was followed by a wind-driven downpour, dropping the temperature down from 98 to 66 at WLFI.
Wind gusted to 70 mph in Miami & Carroll counties, 60 mph at Mullberry, 58 mph at West Lafayette & 82 mph at Lowell, Indiana.
June 4, 2008
Golf ball to tennis ball-sized hail pelted areas in a long swath from northwest of Francesville to 1 mile north of Monterey, in Pulaski County. The 21-mile strip of significant large hail amounted in millions of catastrophic crop & also minor home & vehicle damage.
June 4, 2002
A severe weather outbreak occurred as an intense squall line crossed the viewing area, downing trees, powerlines & barns in every county. Several semis were overturned on I-65 & Route 26. A 92 mph wind gust was measured northeast of Pyrmont in Carroll County, which overturned 2 cars.
$1/4 million dollars in structural damage was done from the straight-line winds in the city of Lafayette, alone.
Golfball-sized hail fell in Rochester & Roann.
June 5, 1805
A significant round of tornadoes occurred in Missouri, Illinois & Indiana. Early settlers of Montgomery County a few miles southwest & south of Crawfordsville found a massive path of leveled & “prostrated” forest. In this path trees of largely black walnut had sprung up. The giants that had been toppled in the tornado path were still not totally decayed. The age of the new trees matched up with the tornadoes of June 1805. Another such path existed across Marion County between Eagle Creek & White River. The trees were all the same age.
A similar path existed in parts of Illinois & Missouri where a large, violent, long-lived tornado passed on June 5, 1805.
For years afterward, the area southwest, south & southeast of Crawfordsville was called “the fallen timber country” by aging early settlers.
June 6, 2010
6 tornadoes occurred during the early morning hours, injuring two & causing damage from near Monticello to Yeoman, Walton, Deacon & Bunker Hill. The strongest twister, an EF3 occurred in Cass & Miami counties.
June 7, 1965
Swath of golfball-sized hail damaged crops from Tippecanoe County to north of Frankfort. Winds gusted to 63 mph at Green Hill (between Pine Village & Shadeland). An F2 tornado produced $25,000 in structural damage near Atlanta (1965 dollars).
June 8, 1859
Tornado hit Monticello on this Wednesday, which damaged buildings & destroyed a doctor’s office. “The storm did no damage away from the immediate vicinity of the town. “Only one man was injured”, according to local press. “The citizens of Burnettsville not injured by the tornado are contributing to repair the damage.”
Just the day prior, the same storm system produced a violent storm with a damaging tornado at Council Bluffs, Iowa. The storm produced “torrents of hailstones….three wagons were smashed to atoms”. A tree was reportedly carried 7 miles by the twister, but no deaths were reported.
June 9, 1897
Early season heat wave continued with 98-102 on this date in the viewing area. Kokomo hit 104 on June 8 with 102 at Lafayette & 101 at Logansport. On this date, temperatures were as high as 106 in central Illinois.
A “Ring of Fire” pattern was in place with violent storms with flooding rainfall & damage reported (even one killer tornado) in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan to Ohio & the mid-Atlantic June 3-14 (5 rounds of severe, violent storms). An upper ridge with cap & intense heat occurred underneath the upper ridge in our area.
June 10, 1939
Tornado raced through Newton County with 7 people injured on 5 heavily-damaged farms. Damage amounted to nearly $1/4 million dollars (1939 dollars)
June 10, 1963
Severe weather outbreak in Indiana produced an F1 tornado near Romney. Winds of 86 mph were measured just west of the Purdue University Campus.
June 11, 1971
Widely-scattered, (likely elevated or slightly-elevated) supercells along a warm front, separating temperatures in the 70s with dew points in the 50s from temperatures in the mid 90s & dew points in the mid 70s, pelted Clinton County with a tremendous hailstorm. North & northeast of Frankfort, baseball-sized hail wiped-out corn crops over hundreds of acres.
This & other storm gelled on the boundary from Frankfort to Indianapolis. At Indianapolis International Airport, a t’storm wind gust was measured to 63 mph.
June 12, 1858
The Great Flood of 1858 was in full swing with a crest of 28’ on the Wabash River at Lafayette. As of 2011, the June 11 crest is the 5th highest crest of the Wabash at the Brown Street overlook. Numerous covered bridges were destroyed from Peru to Logansport to Lafayette to as far south as Terre Haute. The Wabash was in flood early May to late June 1858. South of Perrysville, at Eugene, Indiana, the Wabash is said to have been “28’ above low water mark”. This was “1’ above the 1828 flood”. The 1858 floods were especially high & destructive in the viewing area with aqueducts, bridges & dams of the Wabash-Erie Canal destroyed around Wea, Shawnee & Wildcat Creeks.
June 13, 1851
A tornado in Bethlehem & Adams Township, Cass County, tore a path through forest, uprooted the apples tree of an orchard & the ripped the roof off Isaiah Kreider’s barn.
June 14, 1880
The town of Cyclone, in Clinton County, was named for a destructive tornado that struck the area on June 14, 1880. A 1913 county history states,
“[It was] the most destructive storm that ever visited the county, either since its settlement or in traditional history. It was a genuine cyclone with a “funnel shaped cloud,” which swept over a curved path of over forty miles in this and adjoining counties, leaving desolation in its wake. It was estimated to have done $200,000 damage in this county. The present town, which was located about that time as a railroad station, was in the path of the storm and was named for it.”
18 people were killed in central Indiana by tornadoes on this day. At least five violent twisters were documented with significant damage.
June 15, 1950
Widespread damage occurred in Tippecanoe County from straight-line winds. “Hundreds of trees” were felled by winds of up to 65 mph at West Lafayette & Lafayette. The heaviest damage occurred in Shelby Township where tree, crop, power pole & building damage was extensive.
June 15, 1975
Crop damage was immense from baseball-sized hail & two F0 tornadoes in Benton County on the 14th. F0 tornadoes were also confirmed in White & Fulton counties with surveys conducted on this date.
June 16, 2010
Clean-up & damage surveys continued on this date after (on June 14) a classic supercell produced two microbursts of 100 mph embedded in 60-75 mph winds in Benton County. The microbursts were accompanied by grapefruit-sized hail that totally obliterated crops over thousands of acres. Several large trees were snapped at the base with some farm buildings destroyed. The same supercell turned southeast into southwest Tippecanoe County, producing golfball to orange-sized hail, two microbursts (65-75 mph) & two gustnadoes. Crop damage was significant here also with a home damaged & a hog barn destroyed.
June 17, 1992
Spring & early summer 1992 was quiet severe-weatherwise. The first severe weather event of the season did not occur until June 17, but it was a substantial one. Widespread straight-line wind damage & tornadoes occurred in Indiana with an F1 tornado (9-mile path) in Carroll County doing $1/4 million in damage (1992 dollars). Golfball-sized hail was also reported in Carroll County with wind damage from speeds of 60-70 mph reported in every county of the viewing area except Pulaski & Fulton.
June 18, 2010
A derecho passed with winds of up to 80 mph on this evening. Originating in central Nebraska near 5 a.m., the matured derecho reached the viewing area by 5 p.m. & continued to central Ohio before weakening in central Ohio at 10 p.m. Trees & powerlines were reportedly toppled in every county. Numerous large oak & hickory trees were uprooted northwest of the Purdue University campus. A measured wind of 64 mph occurred at WLFI.
June 19, 1897
4 killed, 5 injured in barn collapse at Lincoln, Illinois. Severe storms OK, KS, MO, NE 17th & early a.m. 18th “with no decrease in intensity.”
Severe storms in “the mountain regions of PA” on June 19.
A tornado hit Lafayette, picked up a young boy, carried him 20 feet & threw him unto a gutter on Fourth Street, while the wind caused a chimney to collapse into a building on North Sixth Street. Southwest of town, heavy damage was done to farms & homes with many barns destroyed & crops obliterated. The tornado was accompanied by “hail & torrents of rain”. No one was killed, however.
June 20, 1974
Between 7:20 & 8:35 p.m. a fast-moving squall line produced straight-line wind damage in every single county in the viewing area. Winds gusted 63-75 mph. The storms began as supercells & multi-cells in far northern Indiana that produced F3 & F1 tornadoes in Lake & Porter counties.
June 21, 1951
Large, 1-mile wide violent F3 tornado tears through Pulaski & Fulton County, injuring 2 people & producing $2.5 million in damage (1951 dollars).
June 22, 1992
An unprecedented June frost occurred with some damage to corn, soybean & other warm-weather crops. Attributed to the Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption in late 1991 (which lowered the global temperatures due to the ash cloud reflecting sunlight), 1992 had a cool, wet summer, overall. Crawfordsville dropped all the way down to 33°, Kokomo dropped to 34°, West Lafayette to 35°, Tipton 35°, Wheatfield 35°, Whitestown 35°, Delphi 36°, Winamac, Frankfort 36°, Jamestown 36°, Romney 36°, Rochester 37°, Logansport 38°, Attica 38°, Perrysville 39°, Rensselaer 39°.
June 23, 1874
June 1874 was hot with persistent upper ridging in the eastern U.S. It ranked up with 1934 for record hottest. 90s occurred over most days after June 15 in the viewing area. To this day, 1874 was the hottest June on record at Indianapolis & several other Midwestern cities have a toss-up between 1874, 1933, 1934 & 1952 for the hottest June on record.
June 24, 1934
The torrid June of 1934 rolled on with the hottest days ever recorded for June. This occurred just one year after a June that was near record hot in 1933. It ended up as the hottest June on record for Frankfort, Kokomo, West Lafayette, as well as Whitestown.
June 25, 1978
4 right-turning supercells producing 7 tornadoes, golfball hail & microbursts in eastern & central Illinois moved into Indiana during the evening. Two F3 tornadoes with path lengths of 18 & 9.4 miles roared through Tippecanoe & southwest Clinton counties. An 80 mph microburst was produced east-northeast of Lebanon. Another supercell produced 1” hail & a funnel cloud in Tipton & Clinton counties. A long-lived supercell with a history of microbursts produced 0.88” hail at Covington before weakening.
My father-in-law explained to me how the storms took the roof off of their grain dryer factory at Beech Grove, Indiana & that the wind blew grain dryers unto I-465, which shut the interstate down.
June 26, 1988
The horrendously dry & hot June rolled on. The NWS Kentland COOP weather station measured just 0.45” of rainfall for June 1988, the driest June on record.
It was this weather station’s data that was used to prove the dryness in the June-August period. It was this data that allowed $6 million dollars to be awarded to stricken farmers in the northwest Indiana region. This Kentland COOP form was thus named “The $6 Million Form” by NOAA’s National Climatic Center.
June 27, 1812
“Violent tempest of the whirlwind order” reported in Cass County.
This was the day of significant tornado event in Indiana & Ohio. Destruction was reported near the southeast of present-day Indianapolis. Other tornadic activity with destruction to timber & structures occurred “eight miles north of the town” [Dayton, Ohio] with a width of ½ mile. It was regarded as “one of the most dreadful tornadoes ever experienced in this state [Ohio]” at the time. Areas near the fledgling town of Xenia were hard hit with “everything in its course destroyed or blown down” by a tornado of “half mile in breadth”. Pine, laurel, chestnut & cypress branches were found along the tornadoes’ paths. The closest populations of cypress were in southwest Indiana, laurel & chestnut south-central Indiana & pine, far southern Illinois. The area was sparsely settled but “several deaths” were reported. “The timber was so torn and splintered that it was utterly useless, and the path, about half a mile wide, could be plainly seen for many years.”
June 28, 1870
It was “uncommonly hot” in late June 1870. The high temperatures were 95-100 June 24-30th. Extremely high humidity accompanied the heat. On June 28 at 11 p.m., observer recorded a temperature of 87 degrees at Rensselaer. On June 29, the temperature was 85 at 7 a.m. at Rensselaer. July 16-28th had 90s at Rensselaer with readings around 100 on 4 of those days.
June 28, 1836
The summer of 1836 & 1837 was extremely wet. Timothy Horton Ball in his History of Northwestern Indiana 1800 to 1900, stated that 1836 was “a very wet summer” & 1837 “was an excessively wet one”. David Owen, early Indiana state geologist, wrote about flooding during the summer of 1837 with frequent bouts of heavy t’storms.
June 29, 1902
According to the Indiana Monthly Weather Review from the Weather Bureau, the statewide rainfall of all 57 stations in June 1902 averaged out to an extraordinary 12.45”, which is 8.73” LESS than the statewide average of 3.72” for June of 1903. Delphi recorded 13.14” of rain for the month, while Winamac had 12.94” (still the wettest June on record) West Lafayette 8.18”, Marion 7.99”, Kokomo 7.63”, Whitestown 6.38” & Crawfordsville 6.29”.
June 29, 1890
A severe t’storm with very high winds unroofed the “main building” (University Hall?) on the Purdue University campus. 2.61” of rainfall also fell. Numerous trees were damaged & downed in West Lafayette by the storm.
It is written that the storm’s wind damaged shade trees in the city of Lafayette & that lightning struck several structures & caused fires.
At least four people were shocked by strikes of lightning nearby. Lightning burned out a switchboard at Brush station, dynamos were fried & several electric poles & wires caught fire.
June 29, 1870
Intense heat wave underway. At Rensselaer, temperature measured 85 degrees at 7 a.m. & 98 degrees at 2 p.m. Mean temperature for the last 7 days of June was a record 84.5 with several days near/above 100.
June 30, 1877
Largest hailstones & most destructive hailstorm on record for the Lafeyette area occurred in the late afternoon hours.
“Extraordinary hailstorm” lasting “5 minutes” pounds far eastside of present-day West Lafayette to Lafayette on this date with stones of ping-pong to softball-size. Though “the average size of the stones was between a hen’s & goose’s egg” (2-3” diameter). Damage was immense to trees, crops, gardens & structures. Some of the stones reportedly weighed one pound.
Of the stones picked up, examined by residents & measured, the following measurements were made:
St. Nicholas: 1.5” diameter = 6” circumference = weighed 3 oz.
Taylor’s Lumberyard: 2.25” diameter = 9” circumference = weighed 5 oz.
Picked up directly off main street: 4” wide & 5” long.
Some stones were “as large has half brick” in parts of the city.
All skylights in the city were busted & all greenhouses had their glass panes shattered. Almost every south & west side of every building had their window panes shattered. Southwest of the city on the Wea, goose egg hail was reported (3” diameter), but the hail at Stockwell was reportedly much smaller. The intense storm did not extend to much beyond the east side of the city limits at that time, however.
“Violent t’storms” occurred across eastern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana & Ohio with tornado east of St. Louis & one particularly devastating tornado in southeast Illinois & southwest Indiana.
July 1, 1845
A tornado crossed the Eel River and damaged numerous homes & buildings in Logansport, including the unroofing of the new Cass County courthouse. The first market house in the city was reportedly destroyed west of 5th Street between Broadway & North & the Methodist church was heavily damaged. According to resident Enion Kendall, the “whirlwind” caused much “gasp & stare”………”it stretched its course toward the ski [sky] and swept the river nearly dri [dry].”
July 2, 1978
On the northern edge of an outbreak of damaging winds & some tornadoes, a F2 tornado tracked from southeast of Mulberry to near Frankfort, or 8.3 miles. The tornado was over farm fields most of the time, though $25,000 in damage was done to farm structures.
July 3, 2011
Rare heat burst occurs in Tipton County at midnight. Decaying line of t’storms collapses with downdraft rain evaporating in the dry air, which hits the ground with gusts of 40-45 mph. Temperature near Atlanta suddenly rose from 73 to 81 & dew point dropped from 71 to 62. Other heat bursts occurred in the Indianapolis area.
July 4, 2009
The coolest Independence Day since 1869 occurred with highs only in the upper 60s. Rain fell most of the day with temperatures falling to around 62 with a cool east wind.
2009 was a cool summer, overall, with parts of the viewing area seeing its coolest July on record. Most pools were closed for much of the summer with many days in the 70s & many nights in the 50s.
July 5, 1921
Early morning derecho blasts through northeast half of the viewing area with widespread straight-line wind damage. Winds reportedly gusted 60-100 mph. Windows were blown out of homes east of Walton & a cottage was heavily damaged at Lake Cicott. Damage was reported in Cass, Fulton, Miami, Carroll & Tippecanoe counties with narrow strips of intense damage embedded in widespread less substantial damage. This occurred after highs of 98-104° on July 4.
July 6, 1844
Major flooding occurred on all river systems in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky & Arkansas in early summer 1844. Peak crests on the Missouri & Mississippi at Kansas City & St. Louis occurred in late June. At Lafayette, the main Wabash flood was in early July. According to an observer in Lafayette, “This past week has been one of disaster. The rain has descended in torrents much of the time-and the streams have been swollen to a most unprecedented height. On Friday morning at the feeder lock at Wildcat commenced giving away, and in a short time some two thousand cubic feet of embankment were swept away……………..”Wildcat is said to have been higher than it was ever known”. The mills & bridges are said to have “suffered greatly” by the flooding Wea Creek. “The Wabash has been all over the bottomlands……….three people drowned”. The Wabash-Erie Canal was “closed for two months” due to the flood.
July 7, 1957
A swath of golfball-sized hail northwest & north of Newtown caused heavy crop damage, while winds gusted to 70 mph in Montgomery County. A F2 tornado did 25,000 to a farm on Route 32 a couple miles east of Lebanon, but mainly roared over fields. The path through fields destroyed the corridor of corn.
July 8, 2001
A significant derecho, originating in eastern Nebraska, blasted through Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina & northern South Carolina before diminishing.
Wind gusted to 69 mph at Fowler & Enos, 68 mph at the Purdue University Airport, 67 mph 3 miles south of Wolcott & 64 mph at Greentown. Gusts of 70 mph were reported in western Boone County. An embedded microburst produced an unconfirmed gust to 100 mph near Bunker Hill. Widespread wind damage occurred with trees & powerlines downed with some barn & roof damage in nearly every county. In Clymers (Cass County) a garage was blown off of its foundation & 5 homes were damaged. Windows were blown out of the Howard County courthouse. In Lafayette, a girl’s neck was broken when a tree fell on her car. A measured gust of 81 mph was recorded at the Anderson, Indiana municipal airport & a gust of 85 mph was recorded in southern Madison County with damage to a farm. Indianapolis International Airport measured a wind gust to 60 mph.
The derecho continued on to produce winds of 60-80 mph in southern Indiana & Kentucky. Even at Asheville, North Carolina a measured gust of 81 mph occurred as the derecho passed.
July 8, 2003
Historic flash flooding occurred after waves of torrential t’storms pounded the viewing area. Up to 15” fell in Cass County. Many, many roads collapsed &/or were closed due to flooding. 10.27” of rainfall occurred at Flora with much of the town submerged. Other totals included 10.10” at Flora, 9.92” Francesville 9.57” at Delphi, 6.49” Chalmers & 3.84” at Boswell.
July 9, 1950
A 600’ wide F1 tornado struck Fountain County, hitting a farm northwest of Waynetown. The tornado was on the ground for 4.3 miles & did $25,000 in structural damage (1950 dollars).
July 10, 2003
The great summer flood of 2003 transitioned from flash flooding to a large river flooding event.
Some of the worst summer flooding on record occurred on the Wabash River & Wildcat Creek areas. The Wildcat was just one foot shy of the all-time record crest set in 1913. Deer Creek inundated parts of Delphi & the Tippecanoe River flooded severely. Several waves of torrential t’storms along a stationary front during the week dropped a total of 7” of rainfall on Lafayette with isolated locations in Cass County receiving 15” of rain.
July 10, 1861
Severe weather outbreak occurred in Illinois & Indiana. It appears straight-line wind damage occurred with a damaging tornado west of here at Champaign, Illinois.
July 11, 1838
“Exceeding drought.” Ohio River was not navigable July 1838-January 1839 due to low levels & Wabash was said to be “extremely low” at Lafayette. Rev. T.H. Ball stated, “So scarce was water that musk rats driven out by their usual haunts were found wandering about in search of it and even went into houses and about wells to find some water to quench their thirst”. There were numerous days at or above 100° in the St. Louis observational data set at Jefferson Barracks.
July 12, 1923
An apparent microburst flattened a 1.5-mile radius near Mulberry. On a 25-acre field, not anything was reportedly standing, “beat down like a heavy roller over it.” Hail of golfball-size also slammed the area. Shovel fulls of hail were still scooped up well after the storm (still 0.75-1” diameter even then). It was said to be the worst storm in the Mulberry area since May 1883.
Heavy rainfall caused the Wildcat to flood, as it went up 11’ very quickly. Flooding rainfall resulted in 3 washouts of railroad track between Lafayette & Mulberry, about 100’ in length.
The storm was was not as violent in Lafayette, but 1.72” rain still fell in just 1.5 hours.
July 12, 1995
14 people were killed in Indiana directly from an intense heat wave known for its extreme heat indices (dew points) & very warm overnights. Dew points were as high as 83 degrees. This, combined with temperatures near 100, resulted in some of the highest heat indices ever experienced (+120 degrees). 6 consecutive days were in the 90s with 2-3 days near 100 in the viewing area.
Kentland peaked at 103, City of West Lafayette, Delphi & Morocco hit 101, Rensselaer & Logansport 100, Perrysville, Boswell & Maron 99 with Winamac & the Purdue Agronomy Farm peaking at 98. The morning low on July 14 at West Lafayette was just 81 degrees, one of the warmest overnights on record & the warmest overnight low since 1983.
July 13, 1858
After a very wet spring of floods, it turned off very dry & hot from July to August. On July 8 & July 9, the temperature is said to have hit 100 at Lafayette & Logansport. Even a diary from Crown Point, Indiana read, “July 8th and 9th-Mercury 100”. Crops, which were planted very late, are said to have been suffering with ground “hard as stone” by late July.
July 13, 1883
Two people were killed, including a tweleve-year old boy on horseback, as severe storms blew up in the central parts of the the area in the late afternoon. Arriving from the west, severe wind did heavy damage to barns, crops, trees & fences in northern Tippecanoe & southern White counties. Heavy damage to crops, trees & barns was also done from Stockwell & Clark’s Hill to Frankfort & Rossville.
Torrential rainfall accompanied the storms with flooding reported in White, Tippecanoe & Clinton counties. Although Lafayette proper did not see the serious wind damage, they saw the torrential rainfall with flooding streets & overflowing sewers.
July 14, 1881
In the midst of an historic heat wave, a severe storm with likely microburst hit Lafayette’s Springvale cemetery area. Trees were torn up, snapped & uprooted, while fences were damaged.
July 14, 1936
An unprecedented, historic heat wave reaches a climax with an all-time state heat record of 116 near Rensselaer (Collegeville). Wheatfield & Whitestown hit 112, West Lafayette 111, Kokomo & Delphi 110, Crawfordsville 109, Rochester & Marion 108.
Rensselaer remarkably reached 110 or greater on 7 days July 6-17 of 100 or greater. In a stretch of 13 consecutive days at or above 100, July 12, 13 & 14 hit or exceeded 110. At Wheatfield, of 11 days at or above 100 degrees, an amazing 6 days were at or above 110. Exceptional drought gripped the region & many deaths were reported from the heat.
July 15, 1868
July 1868 was very hot with several days with temperatures of 99-104 in the viewing area. The hottest day appears to be July 15 with 105 at Rensselaer & 103 at Lafayette.
July 15, 1995
An extreme microburst hit Miami County with an unconfirmed 136 mph wind gust recorded at Grissom Air Reserve Base, the highest wind gust ever measured in our viewing area (Montmorenci had a measured gust of 103 mph in September 1999). Lightning struck 2 homes in Kokomo, leading to $90,000 in damages. Damaging winds downed trees & powerlines around Buck Creek, in the city of Kokomo & at Monticello, which capped off a deadly heat wave for the area.
July 16, 1954
Extreme heat affected the area as drought continued. Some of the warmest readings since 1936 occurred parts of the area. Delphi peaked 107, while West Lafayette, Fowler & Crawfordsville peaked at 106 degrees. Kokomo reached 105, Kentland 104, Rensselaer & Rochester 103, Frankfort 102 & Wheat & Winamac 101.
July 16, 1863
An incredible light frost in low places was reported at Rensselaer with 40 degrees measured at sunrise, after 90 at 2 p.m. on July 9. One factor of the cold night was the extreme drought’s on-going dry air over the parched earth, which allowed the temperature to crash at night.
Streams & creeks were reportedly very low with vegetation drying & withering away rapidly. It rained very, very little in June 1863 & July 1863 had little relief. Only 0.18” of rainfall was recorded in June, which occurred as three instances of 0.06”. Even September 29, weather diary from Rensselaer read, “very warm creeks streams & wells very low.”
July 17, 2010
A wet macroburst with a diameter of 2.8 miles produced winds of up to 82 mph on the northwest side of West Lafayette. A brief, intense gust of 75 mph was clocked at WLFI with heavy tree damage on the station grounds. Numerous large limbs were strung through the back lawn & parking lot of the station. After a preliminary count of 22 homes/buildings damaged, a final tally revealed 31 homes & 10 apartment buildings & businesses near & northeast of the station with minor damage with heavy damage done to trees & power lines.
July 17, 1860
A “violent” storm of high winds was reported at Rensselaer at 1:30 p.m.
July 18, 1859
A heat wave with 100° or greater 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 & 18th came to an end. Rennselaer had 106° on the 15th & Crown Point, Indiana recorded (12) 104°, (13) 104°, (15) 105°, (16) 102°, (17) 100°, then (18) 104°.
July 19, 1846
The summer drought of 1846 sparked the “Attica & Covington War”.
The summer of 1846 was hot & dry with +100 readings in June & July on several days. Heat is said to have peaked in Cass County in mid July with 5 days above 100 with well-below normal rainfall that withered away vegetation. At Crown Point, Indiana it was called “a very hot, very dry summer”. With deaths from the heat & wells low & typhoid rampant, it was a rough June-August.
The extreme drought caused the “Attica and Covington War”, which was further enhanced by short tempers from the extreme heat & deaths. Unfortunately, the canal was to be opened in this hot, dry summer. At the time of its opening, the water was so low in the Wabash, there was only enough water to fill the canal to Attica & not Covington & the first boats were grounded at Covington. Unknowingly, Covington residents thought Attica used the lock to purposely block canal use to Covington. Covington Senator Hannegan (home from work in Washington D.C.) got folks together to go up to Attica & physically unlock the gate in the night, but could not do so. Next morning Senator Hannegan and 300 townsmen and farmers armed with clubs again ran up the river to Attica. Before the battle & dispute ensued, Attica was overtaken & the Covington citizens opened the flood gate.
No one won from this………there was so little water, by the time it got to Covington, it was a few inches of mud & no commerce could take place. Appreciable rains arrive by early fall & the canal was filled beyond capacity.
Addingly, 1846 was reportedly the warmest year of the 19th century until 1878 at Minneapolis. 1846 ranks as one of the warmest in St. Louis & Chicago in the 1800s. 1846 also ranked as one of the hottest summers in the 1840-1900 period, comparable to 1838, 1839, 1841, 1881 & 1887.
July 19, 1934
This marked the beginning of a historic heat wave that was the worst on record until 1936. For 6 consecutive days, temperatures hit or exceeded 110 in the viewing area. Rensselaer hit extreme highs of 112, 113, 112, 111, 112 & 111 July 20-25. Delphi hit 112 on July 21 & 24. Kokomo hit 108 on the 21 & 24, while Crawfordsville had 107, 107 & 108 July 23-25. West Lafayette was 1 degree away from the all-time record high of 111 with 110 on July 23 & 25. Even Wheatfield topped 112 on July 22 & 23.
Extreme to Exceptional drought also burned the viewing area.
July 20, 1905
Deaths reported from intense heat, including a man from Kokomo who passed “from heat prostration”. However highs were “just” 91-95. The problem was very high humidity (likely 77-81 dew points), from heavy rain & flooding making soils wet in June-early July.
Two people were killed by lightning in Indiana as severe t’storms broke the heat. The storms produced wind damage in the viewing area & extremely high rainfall rates. 1.93” of rain fell quickly at West Lafayette. The high on July 21 was just 81 (& much less humid) at West Lafayette after 93 on the 20.