Thursday, June 5, 2008

Families of Funnels & Tennis Ball Size Hail Strike North of Lafayette

While Lafayette was spared a repeat performance as expected last night, it was anything but routine in our northern counties. In this pattern we knew that not only thunderstorms could form, but they could turn severe in an instant and that is exactly what happened. This was sent in by Roger Ness and Nick Clayton right at the Interstate 65 and State Road 24 Exit. It was one of at least two funnel clouds spotted in the Remington area on Wednesday evening. There were several more funnel sightings in Benton County. Take a look at one of the other ones captured just to the northwest of Talbot. Kyle and Nicole sent this my way and apparently it was one of at least three funnels they saw.

They said it may have briefly touched down. Here is what the Benton Emergency Management director had to say.

NWS issued a Tornado Warning at 20:14 (8:14 ET), for a cell expected to reach the area around 21:00 (9:00). The Tornado warning siren in Earl Park was sounded at 20:20. As the suspect cell entered western Benton County at 20:52, directly west of Earl Park, a distinct wall cloud formation with rotation was identified by two train spotters. The wall cloud produced several instances of rotating funnel clouds in a short period of time, though none developed or approached the ground. The EP siren was again sounded. Newton County was also notified by Benton EMA of the situation approaching them. The system continued moving to the north, out of Benton County by 21:12 (9:12 ET). No damage has been report at this time.

The good news is that most of these funnels apparently stayed in the sky. There was only one confirmed tornado last night that was reported by the Chicago National Weather Service. The tornado touched down 3 miles east of Rensselaer. The best news of all was that nobody was hurt or injured and the tornado touched down in an open field. This is just how us Hoosiers like our tornadoes. The other big story was incredible hail that hit the area near Francesville and Medaryville. Here was the TENNIS BALL SIZE HAIL sent in by Larry and Lisa Brady.

These monster hailstones fell just southeast of Medaryville along state road 14 and 1100 West in Pulaski County. You know you have strong storms when hail gets this large. It takes tremendous updrafts to allow chunks of ice this large to grow. Right along the Pulaski-Jasper County line the thunderstorm that dropped the largest hail pictures I have seen in at least two years in our area also produced a funnel. This funnel may have briefly touched down as a tornado, but the Sheriff's Department could not confirm this. There was plenty of damage done to cars. Cars had cracked windshields and were badly dented. Homes were pummeled and had plenty of roof and siding damage. Get ready insurance companies for a big post-storm damage assessment. The Bradys' show us another picture of how nature turned Pulaski county into its very own driving range.

Here in Lafayette we were counting our blessings and we could see the power of nature in awe from a distance. Monty Sloan treats us to one of his vintage pictures out at Wolf Park last night.

We finally have a break in nature's fireworks for all of us today and it could not come soon enough. We have a July high taking over our pattern. This will push the battle zone to our north and west just like we see during our summer months. Check out the map below.

So if any storms do fire up by late Friday and over the weekend, they will be more of those typical summertime thunderstorms that do not last very long nor create hours and hours of severe weather warnings. This does depend on how much this Bermuda high builds into the area and this forecast could still change. I will have more on this tonight on the news. Our first 90 degree day looks to be today and it arrived just about right on cue. Our average first 90 degree day in Lafayette over the past 10 years is June 3rd. Will this hot weather be a sign of things to come for the rest of our summer? I will have these and more answers coming your way. Have a great day!


renee said...

The whole time I drove from Fort Wayne back to Lafayette there was constant flashes and some nice lightning bolts.I was driving down 24 and the flashes were constant. I got home about 1:30am.

I need to learn surrounding towns and counties.I will look them up tomorrow,time to sleep if I can get my boy to sleep.Thanks for the updates and photos..hope all are sleeping well tonight.

Ja said...

Beautiful shot of the lightening! One of these days I'll finally catch a shot myself!

Mike, Thanks for buring the midnight vampires! You do a fantastic job!!!

(you friedly vampire! haha)

ps: keep your eyes out for the volcanic ash advisories!! HAHA!!

Jacki S. said...

oooookkkkk....the sleep deprevation has finally gotten to me!! I should have proof-read my last post. Please let me rephrase was suppose to say "thanks for buring the midnight oil with us vampires"!!

soooo sorry about the mistake!! guess that's what being over tired does to you!!!

Anonymous said...

I live in Lafayette was outside looking north the clouds were amazing and what a light show! Around 9:00pm the sky was very dark but you could see orange, under the clouds,as the sun was setting, that was in the northeast! I wanted to take photos but too many trees in the way, and there was not a chance I was going to get in my car and drive in that direction!
My family that lives in Jasper County and Newton Co. were keeping me informed!What a night for those folks.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone hope all you are safe and a BIG thanks to mike for everything last night.
Dose anyone know were I can buy radar software?

Justin in Lafayette.

Dogmom Cheryl said...

We'd all better catch up on our sleep tonight. I just looked at the SPC's updated map for tomorrow and we're now in a moderate risk for severe WX. Does that mean a Frantic Friday for the weather team?

Dogmom Cheryl

Anonymous said...

Justin, If you goole Weather Radar software, comesup with a lot, There is a reall cool one that is $39.00 also gives you a list of stores, however i would reccommend that you order one line! Best deals! You can sign for a paypal account,use your cc#

I did not know such software was out there! now you have me intrested!


Anonymous said...

If storms fire off tomorrow, I'll be off work by 3:30 ready to chase if anyone is down...I like to stay in a 45mi. close to home. I'll be taking my tahoe, cameras, laptop and phone...

Jim said...


Another plug for GRLevel3 Radar Software. There is no better radar software available that the average person can afford. It is extremely customizable and reliable.

Anonymous said...

It's the software of choice by those who know at
Or maybe Mike would just let us in the studio...
We could call it live as we see it ;)

Anonymous said...

I live in Remington and let me tell you the storms that hit on Wednesday were rather spectacular and scary all at the same time. Me and my wife are both avid storm watcher and try to take pictures and video when ever we can, except Wednesday evening. As the tornado sirens sounded I was almost in a panic for my house has no basement! Lucky we live across the street from the First Christan Church and they were having a bible study that evening. So I rushed my wife and daughter over there and asked the minister if it was alright to share the basement with the bible study group. He was more than willing to have us stay. As we stood in the church more and more residents from close by had the same idea to head for the church's basement. I helped usher in several people that were coming to the church. Needless to say most of them were younger people that were coming from the local trailer park area. All were scared to death and the children were absolutely terrified! The sirens in town must of stayed on for a good 30 to 45 minutes. I am just glad that everyone was safe and that there were no damages or worse. The residents here are still rebounding from the devistating flood that hit here in January, I think that was the last thing they needed was to be ravaged by a tornado as well!