Remarkably, the month of November is not considered tornado season, but in 2017 a swarm of tornadoes dipped from the sky on this date


The setup was prime for an outbreak of severe weather and the threat of large and long-lived tornadoes was highlighted 24 hours before the storms erupted. The Storm Prediction Center issued a rare HIGH-RISK outlook on Saturday, Nov. 16 for the entire state of Indiana. Meteorologists here just knew we were going to have a very difficult Sunday.

November 17, 2013, was unseasonably mild, reaching a high of 66°, but what was more unusual were the ingredients available to go on to produce 30 tornadoes across the state.

Sixteen tornadoes touched down within the National Weather Service of Indianapolis CWA (County Warning Area). Most of the activity occurred northwest of Indianapolis, including Boone, Carroll and Tippecanoe counties.

There was one EF-0 tornado and six EF-1 tornadoes within the Indianapolis (FOX59) viewing area.  Eight of the tornadoes were ranked as an EF-2 (Scale out of 5).

The strongest tornado in Indiana that Sunday was an EF-3, originating southeast of Lafayette. It traveled about 29 miles through southern Carroll County with the path ending within southern Cass County. A survey conducted by the National Weather Service estimated its peak wind speed at 140 MPH.

Thankfully, there were no reported deaths within Indiana from the Nov. 17, 2013 tornado outbreak.

Is it unusual to see tornadoes in November in Indiana?

No. Is it likely? Also, no. Climatologically speaking, there is only a 1% probability of any tornado occurring in Indiana and that likelihood decreases as the month goes on.  In Indiana, out of the 70 years of recorded data, 17 years (24%) recorded at least one tornado in November. The highest months were in 2013 with 30 tornadoes, in 1992 with 15 tornadoes, and 8 in 1965.

Below is the updated average number of tornadoes by state since 1999. Over the past 24 years, Indiana now averages two tornadoes.

Many may recall the early November 2005 tornado in downstate Indiana that produced nine tornadoes and sadly 24 fatalities along with 270 injuries in the counties of Vandenburgh and Warrick.

As recently as 2017, an EF3 tornado dipped down near Eaton, Indiana, on Nov. 5. The powerful and large EF3 traveled 39 miles northeast through southeast Blackford, Jay, and much of Mercer County, Ohio. The tornado was one-quarter to one-third of a mile wide and tracked for just over one hour!