Monday, April 09, 2012

Palm Sunday tornadoes 1965

Twin funnels on Palm Sunday Image ID: wea00217, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Collection. Location: Indiana, Elkhart. Photo Date: 1965 April 11. Photographer: Mr. Paul Huffman. Category: Monsters/Tornadoes/

The Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak occurred on April 11th, 1965 with the violent storms tearing through much of the Southern Great Lakes Region and Northern Ohio Valley. The worst hit states were Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. It is the second biggest tornado outbreak on record; 47 confirmed tornadoes resulted in 271 people killed and 3,400 people injured in just a twelve hour span. Damages from the storms mounted to more than 200 million dollars (1.1 billion/2003 dollars). Only the "Super Outbreak" of April 3rd, 1974 was worse.

In the half-day that the event lasted, twisters tasted the ground from Cedar County, Iowa eastward 450 miles to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and from Kent County, Michigan southward two hundred miles to Montgomery County, Indiana. Six states and four dozen counties had tornadoes within their borders. Fifteen weather offices had a busy Sunday as the tornadoes swept through their areas of responsibility.

It had been twelve hours unlike any the region had ever seen before. Nature's most powerful force was displayed with appalling brutality as buildings were reduced to rubble, years of hard work were obliterated in a matter of seconds, and possessions were scattered for miles across the countryside. Twelve hours of terror, of destruction, of death. Tornadoes grew to over a mile wide and F4/F5 intensity as they scoured the landscape clean of human endeavor.

Palm Sunday tornadoes 1965

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TEXT CREDIT: National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Northern Indiana

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