By: BSU News—
A weather pattern that resulted in at least 22 tornadoes in Indiana — with as many as eight in the Kokomo area — on Wednesday was a puzzling development, says David Call, a meteorology professor at Ball State University.
“Yesterday’s weather pattern typically does not result in a tornado outbreak,” said Call, who annually leads storm chase classes across the Great Plains during the early summer months. “That is why most forecasters and computer models did not project them. In fact, there were doubts that thunderstorms would form at all.
“The equivalent of this type of major breakout is in sports when a major underdog upsets a favorite or a long shot wins a horse race,” he said. “We remember the big upsets because they are notable, but they are actually quite rare.”
In addition to the 22 observed tornadoes, there were two funnel cloud reports in Indiana.
Howard County suffered the most damage when a tornado with an EF-3 rating (winds up to 165 mph) ripped through Kokomo, according to the National Weather Service.
This is the second time in the last several years that Kokomo has suffered significant tornado damage. On Nov. 17, 2013, the community was struck by a EF-2 tornado (winds to 135 mph), which damaged hundreds of homes and commercial businesses.
“It is most likely Kokomo has simply had a run of bad luck,” Call said. “There is no reason that I know of why they would be more tornado- or wind damage-prone than other nearby cities.”
David Call may be reached at email@example.com or 765-285-1768.