European settlers transformed America’s Northeastern forests. From historic records and fossils, researchers know the landscape and plants are radically different today than they were 400 years ago.
But little direct evidence exists to prove which tree species filled the forests before they were cleared for fields and fuel. Swamp-loving plants, like sedges and tussocks, are the fossil survivors, not delicate leaves from hardwood trees.
Now, thanks to a rare fossil discovery in the Pennsylvania foothills, scientists can tell the full story of America’s lost forests.
The fossil site is a muddy layer packed with leaves from hardwood trees that lived more than 300 years ago along Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County, Pa. The muck was laid down before one of Pennsylvania’s 10,000 mill dams, called Denlinger’s Mill, was built nearby, damming the stream and burying the mud and leaves in sediment.
Researchers from Penn State University discovered the fossil leaves while investigating the lingering effects of milldams. The thousands of small dams — which powered mills, forges and other industry — changed the water table, altering the plants growing nearby and eventually changing the landscape from wetlands to deeply incised, quickly flowing streams.
Before Europeans arrived, American beech, red oak and sweet birch trees shaded Conestoga Creek, according to a study the researchers published today (Nov. 13) in the journal PLOS ONE. Some 300 years later, those trees are gone. The same spot is now home to mostly box elder and sugar maple trees, said Sara Elliott, the study’s lead author and a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology.
“This is a very unusual opportunity to compare modern and fossil forest assemblages,” Elliott told LiveScience. “It’s like you’re time traveling,” she said.
Elliott carefully peeled apart hundreds of leaves stuck together by mud and layered like a pile of sticky notes. Washing the leaves in a variety of chemical baths helped Elliott determine the leaves’ structure and species.
Other kinds of trees found in the fossil layer that have since vanished from North America include the American chestnut, which was attacked by an imported fungal disease called the chestnut blight. Leaves from swamp plants also appear in the mud, confirming that the forested spot was on the upslope edge of a nearby wetland. [Image Gallery: Plants in Danger]
“We had a valley margin forest growing right next to the valley bottom in conjunction with all these wetlands,” Elliott said. “I think we really have a rather complete picture now of what the landscape was like in this region.”
The three dominant tree species found in the fossil forest leaves still exist today in the Northeast, but in different proportions and in different places, Elliot said.
The scientists hope that identifying similar fossil tree-leaf sites will help the massive milldam restoration projects underway throughout the Northeast. The dams left a legacy of toxic sediment piled up behind their walls, as well as reshaped the landscape.
“Having a more complete and enhanced understanding of this past dynamic and complex landscape will help in restoring an ecologically diverse and functional system,” Elliott said.
A cold pattern is moving in & may be with us to the end of the month.
Temperatures will run more like mid-late November than October mid-late week with the potential of an even stronger surge of cold air next week. At least it will warm up some in-between with 50s next weekend.
In terms of snow/mixed precip, some wet flakes & sleet are possible with the cold rain showers (with potential of changeover to all snow in places briefly) Tuesday night-Wednesday. A few more snow/rain/sleet showers (brief changeover to all snow possible in part of area) are possible Wednesday night-early Thursday. It also appears some flurries/snow showers may occur around October 30.
A warm-up is likely around Halloween, but I doubt it will reach that surge of 67-72, as first thought. Warmer, yes (50s to even 60s), but it appears the strong upper trough may hold pretty firm across the area, keeping us cool to cold.
The Draconids will appear around & right after dusk this evening, unlike most other meteor showers which appear after midnight to dawn.
Though they are not as dazzling as other meteor showers, occasionally, surprisingly will produce a great show. Most of the time there are 6-10 per hour, but there have been years with unantipcated surges of dozens per hour.
Also, the moon, Venus & star Antares will be easily visible in the southwestern sky at dusk. The two bright objects & crescent moon will form a triangle.
BIT COLDER & SNOWIER THAN NORMAL WINTER, BUT NOTHING OUTSTANDING……
Coldest & snowiest since 2009-10, but that was the snowiest winter since 1981-82, so its not the best comparison.
I base this on:
1. Increased Arctic sea ice
2. Increased volcanic activity
3. Increased early snowpack in Siberia
4. Overall colder Pacific, but North Pacific very warm
5. Neutral ENSO (if anything slight La Nina)
6. Wet western soils, dry Plains soils, wet Southeast & Northeast soils
7. Gulf, Atlantic temps?
8. Decreased solar output
9. Saharan dust
10. MJO pattern
Warmer-than-normal fall overall, colder-than-normal winter overall with slightly above-normal snowfall (34″)
Two 6″ or greater snows. One in January & one in February.
One minor ice storm
Spring normal with rain, temps, snow
NOTE: I have other events to add to this list from 1952-1978……….It will likely be a Top 20 when I finish it.
As we approach fall, severe weather tends to see an uptick in activity October-November as the jet winds increase & the warmth of summer tries to hold on, while battling with winter’s intrusion. These are the top fall severe events & outbreaks 1980-2011.
VINTAGE NOAA SEVERE WEATHER PUBLIC PREPAREDNESS HAND-OUT FROM 1950:
September 21, 1950
A severe weather outbreak of wind & large hail heavily damaged parts of the viewing area during the mid to late afternoon hours on this Thursday.
Route 25 was blocked by large amounts of large hail (up to 3″ in diameter in Carroll & Cass counties), as well as trees & power poles. According to local press, “Full damage to crops on rich farm land outside the [city]. The earlier rain backed up sewers and flooded the High Lincoln and Ruey junior highs and Webster Grade.”
All of Montgomery County was reportedly hit by the severe storms with Crawfordsville taking a big hit. Trees were uprooted & snapped & power poles & lines felled. Hail, in combination with the high winds shattered numerous windows. A section of the Monon railroad was blocked by fallen trees & power lines.
Culver Hospital operated under emergency lighting provided by the fire department. Water was shut off & at one point during the storm streets were under two feet of water.
Heavy damage from hail & wind occurred in Howard County, specifically north & west of Kokomo. Windows were shattered in farmhouses & structural damage occurred to some homes & many barns. Corn, soybean & tomato fields were stripped & laid flat by the wind & hail of the storms. “200 telephone poles” were toppled in a swath, while over 2″ of rainfall accompanied the severe wind & golfball- to baseball-sized hail stones. Areas south of Kokomo to Tipton county reported just minor damage from the wind & hail. Reportedly no hail occurred at Tipton, however.
Hail & wind damage also occurred at Deer Creek to Sycamore (Carroll to Howard counties).
Other heavy damage occurred in Miami County, especially near Bunker Hill. The Kokomo Tribune reported:
“area just south of the Bunker Hill Air Base line practically all windows in homes and barns facing the north [were] shattered by the large hail stones. Mrs. Fred Buschbaum, Bunker Hill, [said] the windows in her home which aces north were shattered. The hailstones tipped through the window blinds and tore curtains into shreds. The [hailstones] as large as golf balls shot approximately 24 feet after they entered her home. She took several from under a dining room table and placed them in a freeze.”
“A.N. Kelly, a neighbor of Mrs. Buschbaum, reported considerable damage to the shingles on his roof as well as having all windows facing north shattered. His soybean crop was leveled with many pods completely shelled by the hail. The windows in the home of Kenneth Douglas, who lives on the old Murphy farm next to Kelley were shattered.”
A tremendous, devastating hailstorm pummeled Logansport in this late Thursday afternoon. Damage estimates amounted to $11 million (1950 dollars) as hailstones of 2” diameter (driven by strong winds) broke windows, damaged homes & buildings & broke out street lights. It is considered one of the worst hailstorms on record for the city.
Reports of baseball-sized hail (2.75″ to even 3″ diameter) in other parts of Cass County were reported in newspapers. Large hail was also reported from Anoka to Walton & Onward. “Considerable damage” was reportedly done to Walton High School. The smokestack was partially “ripped off” & water poured into classrooms & the gymnasium as structural damage let the 2″ rainfall event inside. 6″ of water was reportedly on the gym floor after the storm.
No tornadoes were confirmed in this outbreak, but lots of wind & large hail blasted the area. It appears supercells gelling into multi-cell clusters in the warm sector of the storm system produced all of the damaging weather.
November 15, 1955
September 28, 1959
Late September 26-28, 1959 was an extremely active & deadly time in the Midwest & eventually mid-Atlantic with severe weather & tornado outbreaks. On September 26, at least 21 tornadoes were confirmed by the Weather Bureau (pre-cursor to the National Weather Service) from Wisconsin & Illinois to Missouri & one tornado in southern Indiana (supercells on warm front). A violent tornado of F4 strength was confirmed in Missouri with most of the tornadoes in Illinois at F2 strength. The very next day, tornadoes occurred from Oklahoma to Illinois with two tornadoes in our area on September 28, one north of Rochester (F1) & one in Cass County (F2). Damaging wind & hail also occurred in the viewing area. On September 29, tornadoes occurred North Carolina to Virginia. Ivy, Virginia was directly hit by a significant tornado with major damage & 11 fatalities.
Looking at parameters, they were certainly Moderate to High Risk days September 26-28 in the Midwest.
In Cass County, the F2 tornado (winds up to 157 mph) did damage north of Logansport, while damaging winds & hail of up to 1.25″ diameter occurred over most of the viewing area on September 28. The other tornado, an F1 (with winds up to 112 mph) did damage north of Rochester from U.S. 31 to Michigan Road.
September 14, 1965
In the very, very active severe weather year of 1965, an unseasonable tornado outbreak occurred in the viewing area as a rather strong surface low pivoting through central Wisconsin, dragged a surface cold front through the area. Supercells & multi-cells popped in the late evening & gelled into a squall line as they pushed southeastward overnight out of the viewing area. We weren’t the only ones hit hard, Illinois was, too. The northwest side of Peoria was struck by a tornado. Injuring 30 people, the tornado destroyed 3 homes & heavily damaged a school & industrial buildings (damage at $2.5 million [1965 dollars]). A damaging tornado also occurred in Starke County, Indiana.
A tornado, with a peak width of 1200’, touched down ¾ mile south of Shadeland on County Road South 250 West & tracked northeastward, crossing present-day U.S. 231/Route 25 intersection. It lifted near the Elston/Old Romney Road intersection, with damage to numerous homes amounting to $¼ million (1965 dollars).
Another F2 occurred northwest of Camden, in Carroll County. Winds gusted to 65 mph in Howard, Miami, Tipton counties. Wind damage was reported in nearly every county with some hailstones up to 1.25″ in diameter.
An upper jet streak in pretty unseasonably strong upper flow caused a surface low over Missouri to deepen rapidly & race north-northeast before it occluded over northwest Illinois to central Wisconsin.
November 19, 1985: Squall Line: Swaths of Straight-line Wind Damage…….Flooding & Delays to the Filming of “Hoosiers”
Supercell t’storms popped ahead of a strong cold front in central/east-central Illinois on the afternoon of November 19, 1985. Four confirmed tornadoes with damage upwards of 1 million dollars & hail up to 2″ in diameter, in addition to several cores of damaging winds occurred. These gelled into a squall line with small-scale bows of damaging straight-line winds which then progressed through the WLFI viewing area. There were NO tornadoes in the WLFI as the directional shear decreased as the storms moved eastward.
Corn was broken/flattened by the winds, as alot of it was still in the field due to the wet fall.
As the line began to orient itself to mid & upper level steering winds, it began to train, dumping 2-6″ of rain in a short period of time. This, after a wet month, caused flash flooding & river flooding. The Wabash in Fountain & Vermillion counties crested 6-10′ above flood stage.
In fact, the wet November of 1985 caused big film delays while Hoosiers was being filmed at New Richmond, Knightstown & Ninevah (much of the film was originally going to be filmed in Waveland). This is referenced by Angelo Pizzo & David Anspaugh, who wrote & directed the movie. The corn standing in many of the scenes from late October & November depict the very late harvest in November of 1985. In a few of the scenes, the corn is laying down or rather flattened due to the wind from this outbreak of severe weather.
The gray, damp scenes in the movie show scenes of this wet, stormy month.
There is one sunny scene in the movie that was filmed a couple of days before this severe weather outbreak, when temperatures were up around 70. Also, one of the scenes shows a sky of altocumulus castellanus in, indicating increasing instability aloft a day prior to the severe weather outbreak. Another scene was of heavy rainfall. This was filmed the night of November 19 just as the line of severe storms had passed.
September 26, 1981
A bow, embedded in a squall line of storms, of widespread damaging straight-line winds of 60-70 mph swept through parts of the WLFI viewing area September 26, 1981. Trees & powerlines were knocked down in Newton, Jasper, Benton, White & Pulaski counties.
A viewer from White County sent me an email & explained that he was on a school bus headed home when this bow hit. He told me that it was a tremendous storm with the bus completely evelloped in dust off the surrounding plowed & unplowed soybean fields. The bus had to sit at a standstill until the worst of the storm passed.
November 16, 1988 QLCS
A cool-season QLCS blasted through the area with widespread damaging straight-line winds in mainly the northwestern half of the viewing area during the evening of November 16, 1988. Widespread power outages occurred & winds gusted 60-75 mph. For example, winds were measured at 70 mph in Newton County & 64 mph in Benton County. Winds of 70-75 mph were measured in Kankakee & Iroquois counties in Illinois.
No tornadoes were confirmed in the WLFI viewing area, but 6 tornadoes occurred in Illinois with two of them being F3′s, which resulted in millions of dollars in damage (in 1988 dollars), according to the National Climate Data Center archives. 16 people were injured & 1 person killed just by the damaging winds felling trees & damaging structures in Illinois. No injuries or deaths from the tornadoes occurred, however.
It appears, it was a typical QLCS with small-scale bows of damaging straight-line winds & rain-wrapped tornadoes in “S”-shaped LEWP’s in the line.
November 22, 1992 Tornadoes
Two damaging tornadoes tore through Montgomery County on November 22, 1992. Striking in the late afternoon, one twister produced $2.5 million in damage & was rated an F3 with winds up to 200 mph. With a funnel width of one half mile, twister tore through farm after farm in its total 8-mile path, accompanied by ping-pong- to golfball-sized hail on the north flank of the supercell.
The same supercell also produced an F1 tornado with wind up to 125 mph, causing $250,000 in damage. This tornado had a 2.5-mile damage path & maximized its width at 600′. After injuring one person, the tornado lifted southeast of Crawfordsville. Even though the supercell moved northward into Tippecanoe County, it weakened as it out-ran the best instability centered over our southern counties. F3, F2 & F1 tornadoes occurred in Hamilton County with other tornadoes in eastern & south-central Indiana.
This event was vaguely similar to a severe event on November 11, 1885 in our area. After morning rain/storms, the sun appeared in our southern counties in the afternoon, the cumulus bubbled up & supercells initiated quickly. Luckily, Lafayette & northward never really got into the sunshine & unusually warm air (70s).
October 17, 1996 Squall Line with Embedded Supercells
A QLCS with three embedded supercells produced several intense microbursts & macrobursts. 10 homes were heavily damaged near Newport. 5 homes were damaged near New Market & Mace in Montgomery County. One homes was moved 1/2 foot off its foundation & structural damage occurred to a factory. Wind damage was reported in Crawfordsville to near Manson in Clinton County from a narrow swath of straight-line winds north of the microburst & macroburst.
A macroburst occurred near Logansport & injured 3 people via flying debris driven by an estimated 90 mph wind gust. Several homes & businesses were damaged in Logansport & the roof was blown off a church. The worst damage was around the church. There, wind gust likely peaked at 95 mph. It would take such a gust to totally remove the roof from the church.
No hail or tornadoes were produced.
October 29, 1996 QLCS
A QLCS with small LEWPs within it passed through the WLFI viewing area 7:50-10 p.m. on October 29, 1996. In the bulging appendages of the “S’s” or LEWPs, the winds were maximized. The very strong low-level winds that caused those bulges in storm lines, often make it to the ground.
Widespread straight-line wind damage was reported countywide in Newton, Jasper, Pulaski, Fulton, Benton, White, Fountain & Tipton counties with damage in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Numerous trees, tree limbs, powerlines & power poles were downed by the winds & literally hundreds of farm buildings sustained damage area-wide.
A home’s roof was heavily damaged in Crawfordsville, trees fell atop a camper at Concord (Tippecanoe County), hundreds of trees were snapped or uprooted at Newtown. Rensselaer, Monticello, Rochester, Crawfordsville, Russiaville, Lebanon & Windfall all reported significant damage to the communities” trees with numerous homes reporting roof damage. Grain augers were overturned by the winds at Lebanon.
September 28, 1999 – The Autumn HP Supercells
Three high-precipitation supercell t’storms popped on the outflow boundary from morning/afternoon rain/storms to the north & west amidst a hot, humid airmass on September 28, 1999. Ahead of a strong fall cold front that was to usher in the first light frost of the season & under strong jet stream winds amidst substantial wind shear, the cells very rapidly pulsed up & became severe. The first report of severe weather was a 58 mph wind gust at Pine Village. This was the beginning of a long track of destruction across the heart of the WLFI viewing area from as the three supercells evolved into a cluster, then bowing line segment. Flash flooding was an issue with these high-precipitation supercells & 3 corridors of substantial flash flooding developed as extreme rainfall rates occurred. You can certainly understand why this event is one of the top autumn severe events. Imagine +100 mph downbursts, 2-3″ per-hour rainfall rates & golfball sized hail.
Supercell #1: Pine Village to South of Yeoman
Reports of extremely high winds began in northeastern Warren County, then continued east-northeastward, blasting Montmorenci, West Lafayette & Klondyke. The highest measured non-tornadic wind gust on record in our viewing area occurred from this storm with a 103 mph gust near Montmorenci. Hundreds of acres of corn & soybeans that were about to be harvested were totally flattened by the apparent macroburst (damage diameter greater than 2.5 miles). A 5th-wheel camper was overturned, injuring the occupant & 2 dozen homes received damage.
The storm continued east-northeastward & dropped an F1, 105 mph tornado on the southwest corner of the supercell, which tracked 4 miles to east-southeast to near Buck Creek. Up to a half-mile wide, it produced over $300,000 in damage. 3 farm tool sheds were totally destroyed with the structural debri found in the tops of trees as far as 1-2 miles away. With the tornado touchdown, golfball-sized hail began to fall from the storm. A second downburst (in this case a microburst) belched from the storm with a measured wind gust of 64 mph at Buck Creek. There is evidence of wind gusts to 80 mph east of Buck Creek. This combined with golfball hail caused siding & roof damage to several homes & destroyed fields of unharvested crops all the way to western Carroll County. Gaping holes were ripped in roofs by the wind-driven large hail. Route 225 was impassable due to fallen trees.
Supercell #2: South of Attica to Flora
Golfball-sized hail began to fall with this supercell southwest of Lafayette. In Lafayette proper, $100,000 in damage was done (largely to cars). Large hail continued with the storm with northeastward progression. Golfball hail was reported at Radnor & Flora. The first downburst (microburst) with this storm occurred near Radnor with a 64 mph wind gust measured & an 80 mph gust causing substantial tree damage. A barn was destroyed by this microburst.
In White County, southwest of Brookston, the large hail core accumulated a snow-like covering several inches deep. Radnor, in Carroll County also reported golfball-sized hail with substantial hail accumulation with a wind gust to 64 mph, as a third microburst was belched from the storm. A barn was destroyed east of Radnor with estimated microburst gusts around 80 mph. Golfball-sized hail was reported at Flora.
Supercell #3: South of Otterbein to Brookston to Fulton (Storm Continued Northeastward with Sporadic, But Impressive Damage to Near Fort Wayne)
The third severe supercell popped just south of Otterbein, tracked into White County & began to produce a prolific golfball hailstorm. Hail accumulated several inches near Brookston. Entire fields of crops were destroyed & trees were totally stripped of leaves. The storm continued northeastward with several inches of golfball hail in northwest Carroll County. The first downburst (in this case microburst) was belched out northwest of Logansport with a 75 mph wind gust that caused tree & power line damage with crops fields damaged. The storm then belched out the second extreme macroburst of the evening with 100 mph wind gust doing heavy damage southwest of Fulton to Nyond Lake & South Mud Lake. This macroburst alone produced over $125,000 in structural damage. This storms second gust, a microburst, produced tens of thousands of dollars in structural damage north of Macy in Miami County. This same storm produced winds up to 80 mph in Whitley, DeKalby & Allen counties. Significant damage to trees & powerlines occurred in Columbia City with many homes receiving minor structural damage. Much of the city had no power for at least 24 hours.
The damage costs to these supercells were phenomenal. In Tippecanoe County alone, just the hail caused over $100,000 in damage to structures. Damage to automobiles was upwards of an additional $100,000 (Tippecanoe County, alone). +$100,000 was done to structures via damaging winds. $300,000 in damage was incurred by the tornado. Crop damage in Warren, Tippecanoe, White, Carroll, Cass, Fulton & Miami counties mounted into the tens of millions of dollars as thousands of acres of crops were flattened or completely destroyed.
October 24, 2001 QLCS
A QLCS with passed with a main, large swath of significant wind damage in the heart of the WLFI viewing area.
Structural damage was reported in every township in Benton County with many farm buildings heavily damaged or destroyed. A 72 mph wind gust was measured at Fowler. This wind damage swath extended into White County with substantial straight-line wind damage to structures, trees & powerlines occurred in the southern half of the county to as far north as Monticello, where a 70 mph wind gust was reported. A television & radio tower was toppled by the winds at Chalmers, while trees were blocked by fallen trees & powerlines in Monticello. Crops that were not yet harvested were flattened by the wind & all blown down in a west to east orientation by the hundreds of acres. There was no evidence of tornadoes or micro/macrobursts, or gustnadoes, but hundreds of thousands of dollars in crop & structural damage was incurred in Newton, Benton & White counties alone.
Kentland & Roselawn in Newton County were hard-hit with numerous large trees & power poles snapped off & several homes with minor roof damage. A brief EF0 tornado touched down in a harvested field at the intersection of Route 26 & U.S. 41, west of Pine Village with no damage. Another brief EF0 tornado touchdown was reported in a harvested field near Buck Creek with no damage.
At Crawfordsville, the wind caused at least $10,000 in damage to roofs with numerous trees & powerlines blown down at Delphi, Twelve Mile (Cass County), Kempton & Attica. Southeast of Tipton, $10,000 in damage was incurred to several farm buildings & grain elevators. Wind gust to 100 mph (apparent microburst) occurred on the Fulton, Marshall County line, while an F1 tornado injured 14 people & caused 2.5 million in damage in Marshall County.
There were 4 hail reports: Lafayette & Frankfort with 0.75″ diameter or penny-sized hail & Converse (Miami County), as well as Fowler with 1″ diameter or quarter-sized hail.
October 26, 2010 Severe Weather Outbreak (QLCS)
Several discrete, storm line segments occurred ahead of a strong to severe squall line this morning in our area, producing structural damage in four distinct areas & scattered tree & powerline damage area-wide.
Straight-line winds of up to 80 mph occurred in the WLFI viewing area with an EF0 tornado confirmed just east-northeast of Kokomo. Winds with the tornado were up to 85 mph (see storm reports below).
Randy Rogers took these pictures of straight-line wind damage at a home 1 mile east of Frankfort off of Route 28:
These Kokomo wind damage pictures were taken by Jason Thompson:
Howard County EF0 Tornado:
South of Crawfordsville: Ag industrial building under construction unroofed
Wheatfield: Numerous tree tops snapped off
Wheatfield: Trees down & debris on roads in the Rustling Oaks subdivision at 1100N & 400 W
East of Remington: Power pole snapped
1 Mile East of Frankfort: Garage blown off of foundation & flag pole bent over by severe wind gust
2 Miles Northeast of Frankfort: Barn unroofed & 5 homes partially unroofed with building debri blown into trees
2 Miles Northeast of Frankfort: Radio tower toppled unto house
2 Miles Northeast of Frankfort: Trees down with bird house pole bent at 90-degree angle by the severe gust.
Semi overturned on I-65
6 Miles West of Lebanon: Route 32 closed by fallen power lines, trees & debri with grain bin damaged.
6 Miles West of Lebanon: Semi overturned on Route 32
5 Miles West of Lebanon: 70 mph wind gust measured.
I-74 partially closed due to debri in highway at mile marker 49
U.S. 52 partially blocked due fallen tree
3 Miles East-Northeast of Kokomo: Shed & home damaged from sighted, reported, brief tornado.
3 Miles East-Northeast of Kokomo: Trees & powerlines down from reported brief tornado.
Southeast of Greentown: 72 mph wind gust measured
Southeast Howard to Grant County: Numerous trees & tree limbs down
Kokomo: Trees & tree limbs down.
Just north of Atlanta: 66 mph wind gust measured
1 Mile North of Amboy: Power pole down on Route 19
2 miles east-northeast of Rochester: Trees down
Macroburst = Diameter over 2.5 miles
Microburst = Diameter 2.5 miles or less
3 wet downbursts (2 macrobursts & 1 microburst) occurred late afternoon yesterday with three core of decent wind damage in the form of trees & limbs downed with some roof damage. A camper was tossed & destroyed south of Frankfort.
The roof damage & destroyed camper, as well as the worst tree/crop damage occurred where the downbursts smashed the ground. All of the other damage fanned out from these central points of more substantial damage & decreased away from these points.
January 29-30 Night-Time-Early Morning QLCS Squall Line
QLCS squall line raced through in the form of one short segment in our northwestern areas & then the main squall line over most of the viewing area January 29-30. Timing of the lines occurred generally between 9 p.m. & 1:30 a.m.
Sporadic severe wind gusts accompanied the line as high as 65 mph. One tornado velocity signature was seen in Carroll County, but rotation signature was largely mid-level & did not drop enough to low-level to warrant tornado warning per NWS.
Trees were reportedly felled in Montgomery County & Tipton counties with an aluminum shed in Carroll County damaged. A trampoline was blown a considerable distance at this site, with limbs & small trees downed northeast of Flora.
Damaging gusts tended to occur where dew points reached 60-61, while much of the intense wind remained a few thousand feet off the ground in areas with dew points below 60 as buoyancy prevented enough updrafts to tap into strong winds close to the ground & bring them to the surface.
Think of an improperly inflated balloon. No matter how much you try to force it upward, it never tends to rise high on its own (lower dew points, bit cooler air). A properly inflated balloon will rise & tap into air currently well above it & float (dew point 60 or 61 & bit warmer air). Same applies to dew points & their associated surface instability.
+80 mph low-level jet & influx of warmth & higher dew points caused the squall line to organize quickly with +115 mph winds at upper levels aiding in lift. Additionally, record warmth preceded the QLCS squall line in the 60s & heavy rainfall accompanied the line & lasted for several hours behind it. This resulted in 1-3″ of rainfall over the 2-day period with areas of minor flooding.
High-resolution model wind projections several hours prior to event:
Precision 18 Doppler radar wind data during event:
Below shows actual measured wind gusts & a few estimated gusts from spotters:
April 10-11, 2013: Day-time Multi-Cellular Hailers & Night-time QLCS Squall Line
Severe weather event unfolded April 10-11 in two parts. 1-3.5″ of total rainfall fell during the two rounds, resulting in areas of flash flooding. River flooding event occurred several days afterward with Wabash cresting 6-8′ above flood stage Lafayette to Covington. Many other rivers & streams reaching either bankfull or over flood stage during & after event.
24-hour rainfall totals for these days are 7 a.m. to 7 a.m.
3 cluster of largely elevated multi-cellular storms passed through north of a surface warm front in the afternoon-evening of April 10. A few were surface-based south of the warm front, where some gusty winds were able to make it to the surface & accompany the large hail. The multiple rounds also trained over the same areas, leading to some locations receiving over 2″ of rainfall. This led to areas of flash flooding particularly in northern Warren, northwest Clinton, southeastern Carroll.
Trees Down – 1.5 Miles Northeast Kirklin
0.25″ Hail – South Lafayette
0.25″ Hail – Klondike
0.25″ Hail – Battle Ground
1.00″ Hail – Kokomo
1.00″ Hail – Converse
0.25″ – Greentown
0.50″ – East of Greentown
1.00″ Hail – 2 Miles Northeast of Dayton
1.00″ Hail – 2 Miles West of Darlington
0.88″ – Darlington
0.88″ Hail – South of Dayton
1.00″ Hail - East of Dayton
0.25″ Hail – Windfall
1.00″ Hail – New Ross
M51 mph Gust – Crawfordsville
E45 mph – Ladoga
0.50″ Hail – WLFI-TV
A QLCS squall line of t’storms raced through the area Wednesday night-early Thursday morning 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. Several small bow & LEWPs formed in the line, mainly in the southeastern half of the viewing area. There, it warmed up to near 61 ahead of the line.
One particular bow produced sporadic wind damage from south of Covington to Hillsboro to near Crawfordsville to near Rossville. This bow developed an LEWP in the line that produced a low-level rotation signature, prompting a tornado warning for northeastern Montgomery, southeastern Tippecanoe, Clinton, southeastern Carroll & Howard counties.
This line dumped additional rainfall that resulted in a total of 1 to 3.5″ of rainfall across the viewing area. Some roads were flooded by the rainfall in Carroll & Clinton counties.
Trees, limbs down near Hillsboro & farm shed damaged with 3 power poles leading
Many trees & some powerlines down near Mulberry
M64 mph: Rossville WLFI Tower Site Weather Station
Several large limbs down south of tower site weather station
E58 mph: 6 ESE Covington
M52 mph: Crawfordsville
M60 mph: Frankfort
M45 mph: Kokomo
M43 mph: Kokomo Municipal Airport
M38 mph: Burlington
M37 mph: Grissom Air Reserve Base
M34 mph: Pine Village
M33 mph: Michigantown
Damage pics from near Hillsboro in Fountain County (courtesy of Tyler Snider & Sam Harding):
APRIL 17, 2013 SOUTHERN SUPERCELL LARGE HAILERS
Several supercell t’storms formed near/on warm front during the evening of April 17. Producing hail as large as golfballs, gusts of 50 mph also occurred with the storms. One particular storm showed a very pronounced, strong low-level rotation signature. Spotters did reports a rotating wall cloud with this feature, but no funnel developed.
Storms brought torrential rainfall of up to 1″ in a short period of time.
1.75″ Hail 1 Mile South of Ladoga
1.50″ Hail Ladoga
E40 mph Gust Ladoga
1.50″ Hail 3 Miles North of New Ross
1.50″ Hail 2 Miles North of New Ross
1.00″ Hail New Ross
E50 mph Gust Ladoga
Rotating Wall Cloud New Ross
1.50″ Hail Mackie
1.25″ Hail Northeast Mackie
1.00″ Hail 3 Miles Northeast of Ladoga
1.00″ Hail Thorntown
0.25″ Hail Advance
Rotating Wall Cloud 3 Miles Northeast New Ross
Rotating Wall Cloudy 3 Miles Northwest of Advance
0.25″ Hail Antioch
0.25″ Hail Rensselaer
0.25″ Hail Kentland
0.25″ Hail WLFI
APRIL 18, 2013 TWO SQUALL LINES
Squall line on the morning of April 18 produced severe gusts & wind damage in Newton, Jasper, Benton, Warren & Fountain counties. The heaviest damage was in Earl Park where several buildings, including a retirement home, were damaged (along with trees & powerlines).
Weak low-level rotation signature was evident on radar with LEWP in the squall line around Earl Park. However, damage all points towards straight-line wind damage of 80 mph in a narrow corridor embedded in a broader swath of 55-65 mph wind gusts.
This particular LEWP’s bow (tornado signature was embedded in the middle of the “S”-shape of LEWP) did produce a gust to 61 mph at Kentland with trees & limbs downed.
After this, waves of showers & t’storms continue all day, but were not severe.
Second squall line in the evening produced wind gusts of up to 50 mph & torrential rainfall.
The training of this line & heavy bouts of rainfall since the evening before, produced the widespread, significant flooding in the area by the morning of April 19 with the Wabash at Lafayette reaching its highest level since June 14, 1950 & at Covington since January 7, 1950. The Wildcat at Lafayette reached its highest level since July 7, 2003. Record flooding occurred on creeks in Howard, Tipton & Boone counties, while Oakdale Dam discharge caused minor flooding downstream. Widespread field & road flooding also occurred area-wide, specifically in our southeastern counties where rainfall totals ended up being the highest.
A wet winter, snowy March & wet mid-April caused this flood to be significant.
Earl Park Trees & limbs down, powerlines down & building damage……….grain bin downed
Earl Park Part of roof of retirement home collapsed
Earl Park Shed blown onto U.S. 41
Mt Ayr Several power poles blown down onto County Road 200 south between Meridian Road & County Road 100 West.
E60 mph Mt. Ayr
M65 mph Morocco
M64 mph Near Dunn’s Bridge
M61 mph Kentland
M60 mph 4 Miles Southeast of Fowler
M53 mph Pine Village
M52 mph Rensselaer
M49 mph Rensselaer High School
M49 mph Winamac
M44 mph Jasper County Airport
M41 mph Frankfort
M40 mph Attica
M37 mph Covington
M37 mph Purdue University Airport
M37 mph 5 Miles Northwest Rochester
M37 mph WLFI-TV
SQUALL LINE GUSTS:
M50 mph Covington
M50 mph Crawfordsville
M48 mph Atlanta
M45 mph Frankfort
M44 mph Michigantown
M44 mph Kokomo Municipal Airport
M41 mph Kokomo
MAY 21, 2013 SQUALL LINE
Supercells from major tornado & severe weather outbreak gelled into a squall line that raced eastward with a couple of bows in the early, early morning hours of May 21.
Sporadic straight-line wind damage occurred with highest wind seemingly about 3 miles south of Burlington, where 2 chicken houses were reportedly destroyed. There, it appears microburst with winds of 85 mph occurred.
An EF0 tornado was confirmed just south of the Montgomery/Putnam County line near Roachdale. Trees were knocked down, a barn & shed was damaged & irrigation rigs were overturned.
There were 3 reports of hail in Benton & Newton County from penny-size at Kentland, dime size north of Earl Park & pea-sized south of Morocco.
1 Mile Southwest of Hillsboro Barn Destroyed & Trees Down
New Richmond Trees Down
Northwest Boone County Trees Down
Flora Trees & Powerlines Down
Tipton Trees Down
3 miles south of Burlington 2 chicken houses destroyed.
Bringhurst Trampoline in the field. It had been picked up, taken over livestock fence and dropped in the field about 1/4 mile.
Middlefork Trees & Limbs down
MAY 31, 2013 LEWP & BOW WITH BOOKEND VORTEX
An LEWP in the evening, followed by a large bow with a Bookend Vortex at the top of the bow overnight. Both produced damaging straight-line winds & tornadoes in our viewing area & eastern Illinois. Heavy rainfall was also produced.
An EF0 tornado with winds to 85 mph & a 0.5-mile path occurred in Benton County 1 mile north of Templeton.
An EF1 (winds up to 95 mph) occurred 13 miles southwest of Covington near Westville, Illinois.
Otherwise, damaging straight-line winds of up to 72 mph were reported with some isolated small hail.
Emily Stover video:
Joshua McKenzie video:
STORM REPORTS FROM EVENING STORMS & OVERNIGHT LINE:
M=Measured Gusts E=Estimated Gusts From Spotters
EF0 Tornado on ground for 1/2 mile: South of Fowler
M72 mph: 4 Miles Northeast of Lebanon
M71 mph: East of Earl Park
M71 mph: 1 Mile West of Earl Park
M63 mph: Jasper County Airport
M62 mph: Morocco (From Evening LEWP)
M60 mph: Kentland
M59 mph: Fowler
M59 mph: Rensselaer
M56 mph: Burlington
M55 mph: 2 Miles East of Lafayette
M55 mph: Covington
M53 mph: Grissom Air Reserve Base
M52 mph: Attica
M48mph: Pine Village
M48 mph: WLFI-TV
M47 mph: Monticello
M47 mph: Purdue Airport
M47 mph: Frankfort
M44 mph: Morocco (Gust from Line)
M43 mph: Cass County Airport
M40 mph: Crawfordsville
Chalmers: Minor roof damage to home
Rensselaer: Limbs down
Burlington: Trees & limbs down
Near Buck Creek Fire Department: Tree Down
Colburn & Buck Creek: Tree Damage
10 Miles West of Kokomo: Limbs Down
4 Miles Southeast of Kokomo: Limbs Down
3 Miles East of Chili: Damage Along East 600 North East of Paw Paw Pike. Large Tree Uprooted, Roof Off House, Hog Barn Partially Destroyed
Burlington: M60 mph
Morocco: M58 mph
Rensselaer: M51 mph
Jasper County Airport: M43 mph
Cass County Airport: M40 mph
North of Rensselaer: 1″ Hail
Kentland: M70 mph
Kentland: Pea-Sized Hail
10 Miles West of Winamac: 0.88″ Hail
West of Rochester: Rotating Wall Cloud
Near Fowler: Siding Off House
1 Mile Northwest of Kewanna: 1″ Diameter Hail
Sitka: Funnel Cloud
North of Georgetown: Brief Tornado Touchdown Reported
Rossville: Trees Down Over Roads
Denver: Route 19 Closed Due to Fallen Trees & Powerlines
Delphi: 1″ Diameter Hail
5 Miles East of Rochester: 3′ Diameter Tree Branch Fell On House
Francesville: E50 mph
Francesville: Pea-Sized Hail
Gust 80 mph near Onward
Twelve Mile: Large Branch On & Into House
Macy: Many powerlines down
Peru: M69 mph
Camden: Trees & Lines Down
Brief Tornado Touchdown Reported North of Monticello
Wind gust of 80 mph measured near Indiana Beach with trees & powerlines down.
Wolcott: M65 mph………….45 mph Sustained for 15 Minutes
Mt Ayr: M69 mph
Mt. Ayr: 2-8″ Diameter Branches Down.
Monticello: M48 mph
Trees down in Goodland.
Wheatfield: E60 mph
Fulton County Airport: M46 mph
Siding torn off house Southeast of Fowler.
Southeast of Fowler: M64 mph
Monon: E70 mph
North of Kokomo: M70 mph
JUNE 24, 2013 SQUALL LINE
A squall line with pockets of damaging straight-line passed on the evening of June 24, 2013. Winds were measured as high as 71 mph with the line with several pockets of substantial straight-line winds damage done, mainly to trees & powerlines.
2 Miles West of Otterbein: Trees & Powerlines are Down
Fowler: Large Branch Down
South of Delphi Near Radnor: M61 mph
South of Delphi: Tree Down Over U.S. 421
6 Miles North of Lafayette: Trees down
Battle Ground: Tree down on power line at 200 block of Jewett Street
Klondike: Tree down at Point West II
Mt. Ayer: M71 mph
Sumava Resorts: E70 mph
7 Miles Northwest of Enos: E65 mph
3 Miles North of West Lafayette: E50 mph
Mt. Ayer: Limbs, trees & power poles down between 500 N & 800 N on Route 55. Powerlines down across vehicle with occupant trapped on Route 55.
Morocco: M54 mph
Lake Village: Trees down
5 Miles East of Fowler: E58 mph
WLFI-TV: M51 mph
Southside of Lafayette: E40 mph
Morocco: Powerlines down
Jasper County Airport: M31 mph
Rensselaer: M41 mph
Fowler: M55 mph
Monticello: M30 mph
Winamac: M31 mph
Attica: M36 mph
Fulton County Airport: M50 mph
JULY 10, 2013 MORNING MCS WITH DOWNBURSTS & ONE TORNADO
An MCS passed late morning-early afternoon on July 10, 2013. Sporadic damaging winds were produced by the MCS, with two notable macrobursts & one tornado.
Macroburst with winds to 90 mph were produced on the west & northwest sides of Peru into west-central Miami County. Another macroburst with winds to 80 mph was produced in western Cass County Onward to Walton.
A broad swath of strong to severe straight-line winds at 50-70 mph produced widespread wind damage in the southern portion of Miami County.
Otherwise, sporadic bursts of gusts of 45-60 mph were produced by the MCS in the west-central, central & east-central parts of the viewing area.
NWS survey confirmed EF1 tornado (winds to 95 mph) southwest & on the far southwest to southeast sides of Peru. With a 3.5-mile path, width reached 200 yards at its widest point.
It appears that the tornado occurred on the south side & of the Peru macroburst & east side of the Cass County macroburst in an area of horizontal rolls. Also, a truck with a trailer was overturned & several cars were flipped. Enhanced Fujita Scale explains that cars/trucks are flipper at the beginning of EF2 strength (111 mph). In 2011, storm survey at Oakland City, Indiana (Paducah NWS) revealed 110 mph macroburst, but no cars were overturned. Thus, NOAA data point that where those cars & that truck & trailer were flipped, winds may have briefly exceed EF1 strength.
Regardless, this brief tornado was interesting in that it occurred as two storms merged & two macrobursts’ horizontal rolls merged. With this, I honestly thought it may be a gustnado at first, especially since rotation on radar was very subtle & unusually (nearly) non-existent for an EF1, perhaps briefly EF2 tornado. Tornado-like damage produced when tornado signatures are not visible point towards gustadoes or horizontal rolls of a macroburst. I have seen gustnadoes completely destroy mobile homes, but Tornado Warnings are not issued for gustnadoes.
A supercell just north of the MCS produced 2.00″ hail in Kankakee County, Illinois & 1.75″ hail just north of the Kankakee River near Route 2 & I-65 interchange. This storm just skimmed by northern Newton, Jasper & Pulaski counties.
The heaviest rains with this MCS occurred in Cass, Carroll & Miami counties with the rest of the area receiving a trace to 0.80″
Prior to the MCS, a hot, tropical, unstable airmass was in place with temperatures near 80 the night before at 11 p.m. & highs the previous day as high as 92 with heat indices to 104. Dew points reached as high as 75 degrees on the morning of July 13, just prior to the MCS.
Following the MCS, surface cold front passed & ushered in a cooler, less humid airmass.
Radar image from that morning as severe weather passed:
Cass/Miami radar velocity data at time of macrobursts & tornado:
Yesterday, it poured at a July 4th gather we attended at my wife’s aunt’s house near Brownsburg. On the south side of I-74 at Brownsburg, the pavement was wet with puddles & just north of I-74 interchange, pavement was dry. We also hit wet pavement in Boone County periodically. It was extremely hit or miss & any rain in our viewing area was isolated.
Today was the third morning with patchy/areas of dense fog & more is possible Saturday morning.
Today will feature cumulus towers, partly to mostly cloudy skies, highs well into the 80s & spotty storms with 25-30% coverage.
We are sandwiched between two heat waves. With Heat Advisories & Excessive Heat Watches east & northeast of our area & extreme heat to the west, we are in the middle with pretty seasonable temperatures & humidity.
That said, there is A LOT disturbed weather in the Gulf & far eastern Pacific with one Tropical Depression, one Tropical Storm & the potential of a Tropical Depression/Storm developing in the central Gulf.
All of the moisture is being transported north in this very stagnant, tropical regime in the eastern U.S. So, scattered storms are the story for the next 8 days with highs generally in the upper 80s to near 90 moving in & lows only near 72 each night. High humidity will accompany the warmth each day.