46 years ago today, on this date the Super Outbreak of 1974 began – part of the largest tornado outbreak in U.S. history. 148 tornadoes occurred in thirteen states with over 300 fatalities. This was the first time that it was recorded that one hundred tornadoes occurred in under 24 hours. At one point, 15 separate tornadoes were ongoing at one time.
In Indiana, 21 tornadoes struck the state, 47 died with over 800 injured. 3 F5 Tornadoes touched down in the state, the only time since 1950 that F5 tornadoes occurred in Indiana.
The Super Outbreak of 1974 produced the ‘longest’ tornado track in Indiana history (amid some debate and further research). The “Monticello tornado” track was 121 miles.
Below, the historic F5 Xenia, Ohio tornado. The tornado ravaged the town and claimed 32 lives.
April can bring on wild swings in temperatures and that often fuels the severe storms that can hit during the month. In Indianapolis, April has produced a all-time high of 90° set in 1942 while the coldest came in 1997 at 18°.
Severe weather season begins to spread north this month into much of the central U.S. State-wide, the average number of tornadoes grows from one in March to four in April.
April is also the month for another historic tornado outbreak – The Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1965. We will be talking more about that later next week.