An outbreak of tornadoes occurred on this date in 1990 and stands as the largest single-day outbreak on record.

Tornado neat Loogootee June 2 1990 (Source: NWS Indianapolis)

Thirty-three years ago, a tornado outbreak tore through Indiana, destroying homes and killing eight people.

The June 2, 1990 tornadoes set the record for the most amount of tornadoes in a single day in Indiana. Thirty-seven tornadoes were reported, with Petersburg, Indiana. getting hit the worst. Six Hoosiers died there with a total of eight in the state. Twelve people died across the Midwest. More than 300 homes were destroyed from the outbreak.

It was the worst tornado spawn of tornadoes that we’ve ever had on record (37) and it happened in a short period of time, in only a matter of hours.  5 Tornadoes were classified (at the time and before the enhanced scale) as F4 with winds of over 200 mph. The month would end with a total of 44 tornadoes state-wide.

That outbreak helped set the standard for tornado outbreaks during spring and summer months.

April, May and June are when we have our highest occurrences of tornadoes across the Nation. On average there are 5 tornadoes annually in the state in June.

This year has been on a very heavy pace with 39 tornadoes across the state to-date, the most in a year since 2016. Most (23) occurred in the outbreak on March 31st. The last was a landspout in Carroll county on May 8th. We average 22 tornadoes in Indiana annually.

Landspout in Carroll county May 8th 2023

While June is the most popular month for tornadoes, a recent pattern change has brought on drier than normal weather. Very little rainfall is in the forecast for the next seven days.

Violent tornadoes and tornado outbreaks in Indiana don’t only happen in June. In November 2013, a tornado destroyed homes and buildings in Kokomo, Indiana.  That outbreak was the second largest ever in state history with 30 tornadoes November 17.

It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is to have a massive tornado outbreak. Whether it’s June, like we had in 1990, or November, like we had back in 2013.

There will be tornadoes and there have been tornadoes in each and every month during the year in Indiana – January and even in December when we have some of those rare unique storms. In 2021, the one and only tornado watch issued for the year was in early December.