JULY 5, 1943 WET MACROBURST WITH EXTENSIVE DAMAGE

A swath of extensive wind damage, up to 5 miles wide, struck Cass County. A tornado was reported southwest of Waveland. This was part of a changing weather pattern from cooler & wetter to very hot & dry in the summer of 1943.

Posted: Jul. 6, 2018 3:55 PM
Updated: Jul. 7, 2018 3:02 AM

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This is a good lesson that it doesn't have to be a widespread event for storms to still produce localized, pretty significant severe weather at times.

On July 5, 1943 (around 5 p.m.), a core of intense severe storms developed & produced a swath of extensive wind damage up to 5 miles wide & 8 miles long in Cass County.  Large to very large trees were heavily damaged or snapped off, crops were flattened & some damage occurred to farmhouses & farm buildings.  Large poles of high-tension wires were reportedly toppled.  Torrential rainfall occurred with some areas experiencing impressive flash flooding.

Damage also occurred in Logansport from the wind (trees & powerlines/poles), but more than 3" of rainfall in a short period caused already flood-weary residents (historic flooding occurred in June) great apprehension.  This flash flooding was widespread in Logansport & in the corridor of the worst winds southwest & south of the city.  The wind damage was likely the worst in Logansport until the great June 1949 & September 1950 wind & hailstorms & then the highly-damaging storm wind event of July 3, 1960 in the city.

All reports point to this being a wet macroburst (type of downburst with diameter greater than 2.5 miles).  Intense water-loading likely aided in these intense gusts reaching the surface as temperatures soared to 90 & very high dew points (from the wet ground & lush vegetation of all the early summer flooding).  There was likely a bit of shear & wind field enhancement aloft as surface low & cold front approached.

Such damage mentioned above is very similar to that experienced in a macroburst southwest of Evansville in the summer of 2015.  National Weather Service storm survey revealed a gusts stimated at 95 mph.  This was the only severe weather in that area that day in 2015 & this was some of the only severe weather reported in our viewing area on that July 5 of '43.

The only other severe weather report nearby our area was a tornado at Judson, in northeast Parke County (southwest of Waveland).  This funnel was sighted moving northwest to southeast.  Only minor crop damage was produced, meaning this was an EF0.

The only other report from Indiana is from Pike County, in the southwest part of the state, where "buildings and trees" were damaged by severe storm winds.

Late July 1943 included the "Surprise Hurricane" that made landfall in Texas & several clusters of severe storms in late July, including a storm on Lake Wawasee that killed 6 & injured 8.  This intense severe storm quickly overtook them while out on the lake.

The heat increased & expanded northward gradually, leading to a very hot, dry late summer-early fall in the area.

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Rain and thunderstorms continue through the weekend - non severe.
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