Tornado drill tonight and Indiana tornado history

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This evening, a statewide tornado drill will be conducted around 7:30 p.m.  Do you have your severe weather plans in place?  This is the time to review what to do when severe weather develops.  Tornado frequency nationwide will increase from March through June.  “Severe weather season” is considered the Spring months but tornadoes can strike at any time of the year.

Tornado Frequnecy by month

Tornado Frequency by Month in the U.S.

Two drills were conducted today, the first directed mainly at schools and for businesses.  Tonight is the time you need to review with your family.


On average annually, 22 tornadoes will touch down in the state of Indiana.  Last year started fast but shut down quickly – around May 1.  The demise of La Nina and the onset of the drought had plenty to do with the drop off in severe storms.  In 2012, 18 tornadoes touched down, below average but early Spring warmth spawned the Henryville EF-4 killer tornado.  The La Nina-fueled 2011 season would produce a record number of tornadoes for the state with 72.

Two of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history encompassed the state of Indiana.  They include the 1974 Super Outbreak and the deadliest Indiana tornado outbreak, the Palm Sunday 1965 tornado outbreak.  These two terrible days have left a strong impression on Hoosiers.  The 1974 Super outbreak was the worst in U.S. history until 2011.  In Indiana, 21 tornadoes touched down, killing 47 and injuring 800.

1974 Super Outbreak

SUper Outbreak
Xenia, OH 1974

Palm Sunday 1965 was the deadliest in Indiana history.  The outbreak of tornadoes came fast and furious.  Thirty-seven tornadoes over six states killed 258 people and 3,000 were injured.  In Indiana, 137 were killed (84 in Elkhart County) and 1,800 were injured.  The number of tornado reports to the then-U.S. Weather Bureau were so high the office issued an all-out tornado warning.  It was the first and only time a blanket warning has ever been issued.

Palm Sunday

Twin F-4 tornadoes Elkart, IN April 11, 1965

The events that unfolded that day would go on to help produce and structure the current watch and warning system we use today.