When weathermen look back in history on tornadoes in Indiana, the outbreak on March 2, 2012, will rank as one of the deadliest and earliest to hit Indiana. Ken Scheeringa, assistant state climatologist, says that other events that come to mind in that category include the April 3, 1974 tornadoes that struck north of Madison and tore up Monticello, the April 9, 1965 Palm Sunday tornadoes in north-central Indiana, an outbreak in early June in the early '90s that rocked Petersburg, and some older events. But the March 2012 event won't soon be forgotten, he asserts.
In a recent document written for weathermen, he followed the path of the storm. Here are the highlights. Four verifiable tornadoes did the damage in southern Indiana. There was an EF2 on the ground for six miles south of Wadesville in Posey County, but no one was killed.
The most deadly was an EF4 monster, which covered 49 miles in Indiana through Washington, Clark, Scott and Jefferson Counties, killing 11 people. An EF4 ranks in the top 2% of all tornadoes, Scheeringa says. The person that invented the original F-scale called an F-4 'devastating.'
This EF4 demolished the home of Terry Jackson south of Hanover, killing Terry, his wife, and great grandson. Read more about the Jackson family and the havoc the tornado caused in the May issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer.
An EF1 tornado covered 6.5 miles in 3 places in Clark County, but no one was killed. It actually hit Henryville, but there was nothing left after the EF 4 for it to tear up!
The second most deadly tornado of the day was an EF3 on the ground for about 9 miles in Ripley County. It killed 2 people near Holton.
There appeared to be adequate warning for these tornadoes, but an EF3 or an EF4 is destined to do lots of damage no matter what, Scheeringa concludes.