Remembering 1974 Super Outbreak

April 3rd, 2014 at 3:10 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

On this April 3, 1974 a violent, long-lived HP supercell produced large, violent, multi-vortex tornadoes from Decatur, Illinois to Ontario.  All along the path, sporadic large hail was produced, as well.

Damage began near Rainsville with rapid formation of F3 tornado.  Tornado lifted & new, violent F4 rapidly developed west of Brookston, barely missing Chalmers, before hitting Monticello squarely.  Significant damage continued all the way to Talma & near Rochester.

Violent tornado formed at triple point of system.

Another long-lived supercell tracked from Boone to Tipton counties  with two F2 tornadoes.

Below are two pictures taken of supercell moving toward West Lafayette at Purdue University.  You can see an obvious wall cloud in first image.  Second image is gust front on leading edge of supercell.  No tornado was confirmed from this particular storm.  The really violent one was just north of this particular supercell, it appears.

Fish were reportedly sucked out of the Tippecanoe River & strewn in fields & railroads ties were picked up & thrown long, long distances by the Monticello tornado.

Any stories of your experiences regarding experiences from this outbreak are appreciated!

3132PURDUE 1974 IIPURDUE 197428

9 Responses to “Remembering 1974 Super Outbreak”

  1. maybelater says:

    @Bud, there doesn’t seem to be enough scientific evidence about animals predicting bad weather. This said, the tsunami that smashed into Southeast Asia on Dec. 26, 2004;(though scientifically unproven) phenomenon — even though the tidal wave killed more than 200,000 people, almost no wild animals perished (with the exception of caged or confined animals within the wave’s path).

    So I think animals do know something……perhaps your observation of animal behavior today may prove out.

  2. Jason says:

    The left Purdue pic is looking west south west and the right one is looking almost due west.

  3. Jan says:

    Bud, sounds like the animals are waiting for Noah’s Ark to arrive!

  4. Jim says:

    The Arc is built. Kentland Rain totals. 1.60

  5. Bud says:

    That is what I was thinking Jan. But if he hasn’t upgraded his boat to include heating, ac, a couch, and a 24 hour treat buffet, I know two dogs who will not sail with him.

  6. Jan says:

    Funny Bud. A certain other two would need a sound proof room and a king size bed. Looks like we’re staying.

  7. Jeana says:

    I have shared this story before. I was only 4 but I remember it well. I remember the sound like a freight train & my ears popping. We lived right in town by the old hospital. It tore off part of our roof, some siding & the worst part for a 4 year old……sucked away my swing set. I still have dreams about hiding in a closet & hearing that sound. Almost hard to describe but very loud & ominous. I remember getting in the car with my dad & driving around town to see damage. Very scary indeed

  8. Russ says:

    I was about 7 years old and in a mobile home on a hill. One end was 6 feet off the ground to make it level. Remember all the leaves plastering the windows as the storm blew through, and driving through town afterwards and being amazed at the damage to the limestone courthouse with such big blocks. Wikipedia has a special entry on this 74 tornado with lots of pics as well. The local newspaper published a 8 1/2 X 11 softcover book with all the pics. I still have a copy. Pretty amazing to look at. Driving past the damage to Henryville a year or two ago was pretty amazing also. Unbelieveable to see the trees wrapped up in the overpass going over 65, and parts in the median. Cannot underestimate what any tornado can do.

  9. Tim north of Veedersburg says:

    Chad after this tornado in 74 their was a slight shaking of our house on north side of Monticello. The white county courthouse clock was found in a field several miles to northeast of Monticello. A van was crossing Washington street bridge and was tossed in the river- which was the main casualties in this tornado.

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