We were long overdue for severe weather here in Lafayette and nature made up for some lost time. You see the ominous wall cloud picture above that were captured by Eric Graham near Otterbein. It was part of a supercell thunderstorm we tracked on Live Doppler 18 all the way in from near Champaign, Illinois. This supercell would play havoc with our weather here at home over the next four hours. It would touch down two tornadoes, down hundreds of trees, pound some of us with a month's worth of rain in only two hours and pummel us with quarter size hail. Numerous roads were blocked with trees, especially in the Battle Ground area and even along state road 25. Other roads and fields were turned into rivers. Those roads included state road 18 in Benton County and state road 43 in White County.
The video below really tells the story. Here is some video taken by Jim Leonard near Cambridge Estates off of state road 38. Jim was shooting north toward Battle Ground when that area was being hit with vicious wind gusts estimated at 70 to 90 mph.
If you look to the right hand side of the video as it plays it looks like there was a microburst or a rain-cooled area of dense air that helped push those high upper-level winds to the ground. This would explain why Battle Ground had so many reports of downed trees and actually looked like a battle zone after this storm moved through. Residents were told to stay in their homes due to huge areas of debris blocking roads and if that wasn't enough, 2 to 3 inches of rain flooded the roads that were not blocked with debris. It reminded us all of when Dayton was shut down after the tornadoes moved through that town back in 2004. In this case though we did not have any tornado reports, but most likely it was caused by straight-line winds. This is a good example of how straight-line winds can cause just as much damage as a tornado sometimes here in Indiana. Here are some more pictures of the incredible supercell as it moved across our area.
Audrey Hardebeck shows what torrential rains can do. She reported 4.5 inches of rain just north of Fowler. Mary Anne in Remington said it reminded her of January 2008 as she recorded 3 inches of rain. Kentland had 2.72 inches of rain while Bruce Baldwin in Burlington recorded 1.8", but at one point the rain was coming down at a rate of 5 inches per hour. It is a good thing that heavy burst only lasted 10 minutes. More pictures being inserted between now and 3:30 a.m. Do not go away just yet!
Thanks Donna, I am glad you are safe and sound!
Laura Bisner shows this wall cloud traveled right along US 52 as this was taken in the Montmorenci area. It is almost as if this supercell had eyes and followed the main highways right into town AND DID IT LOOK NASTY IN LAFAYETE.
Richard Beedle sent in another picture from the corner of State Road 26 and Creasy Lane. One interesting note is that he may have caught a funnel cloud trying to develop right along the wall cloud. If it was rotating it may have been the first picture of a funnel I have seen so far. Take a look at the possible funnel below.
Brad Busse shows a picture that makes it look like the sky is falling. Why folks are in their cars and heading West right into the storm. I will never know. Is that my wife in one of those cars? It would not surprise me. :)
I will let our long-time friend and blogger that now goes to Ball State describe what he saw in southern Carroll County when he was storm chasing.
Last but not least, I wanted to thank you so much for being our weather team's eyes and ears with all your great pictures and e-mails. I cannot say enough about our bloggers. You did a super job! A Julie update: My wife is safe and I knew we were in trouble when I not only saw the sunshine this morning, but found out she was going shopping. She told me she was evacuated to a shoe storage area at the mall so she was in heaven. Whenever my wife is at the mall during severe thunderstorms the chances of having tornadoes in our viewing area must be something like 80%. It never fails. I will warn you again next time she goes shopping on a busy weather day. My daughter Abbey called from Grandma's in Wisconsin during the severe weather. She was crying and worried about everybody at home but quickly gathered herself and is now doing just fine. We all know how sensitive she is about the weather and she is glad everybody is safe and heeded the warnings and most of all got inside when the tornado sirens went off.
This day reminded me a lot of Memorial Day 2004 when we had 4 tornadoes in Tippecanoe County and an amazing 12 tornadoes in our viewing area in one day. Yesterday, we had at least 3 super cells move through the area. In all on Friday we had 3 confirmed tornadoes with two of those tornadoes reported near Pyrmont or just north of Ockley in Carroll County and another tornado in Cates in extreme southern Fountain County. June looks to bring warmer weather and this year it will likely bring most of our severe weather so this was only a tune-up. We will continue to work as a team and in turn hopefully keep everybody safe. You have the all clear this weekend. Have a wonderful one and I will post more storm notes and pictures as they come in. God bless you and Indiana!