Local Weather History: December Severe Weather In Two Consecutive Years

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Posted: Dec 6, 2019 6:08 PM
Updated: Dec 6, 2019 10:38 PM

1966 & 1967 saw multiple late severe events to outbreaks in & near our viewing area.  They were also very wet Decembers with record daily rainfall for the events in some areas.  Two Decembers saw unusually warm, wet weather.  Both years saw payback in January with big blizzard for part of the area in January 1967 & heavy snow & record cold in January 1968.

In 1967, even between the December 11 & 21 outbreaks in Indiana, severe weather occurred elsewhere in a very active, spring-like period.  Two damaging tornadoes hit Huntsville, Alabama alone on December 18.  2 were killed & many other injured.  Early on December 19, tornadoes hit the Birmingham, Alabama area.

January 24, 1967 saw another tornado outbreak with highly-unusual winter F4 at near St. Louis, Missouri.

On December 8, 1966,  rare December severe weather event produced F2 tornadoes in Jasper & Montgomery counties. 1 person was injured in Jasper County with additional straight-line wind damage in White & parts of Montgomery County. The wettest December day on record occurred at Logansport with this event when 3.20” rain fell.

Warm front surged northward, bathing us in 60s with dew points as high as 61.

Training storms along & ahead of the strong cold front hit the area midday through afternoon.

Highs in the 60s were widespread over the viewing area & region.  Even Grand Rapids, Michigan hit 64 & Detroit 66.  Rochester, New York hit an impressive 69.

On December 11, 1967, 7 tornadoes are confirmed in Indiana along with damaging straight-line winds as strong low pressure moved north-northeastward from Memphis, Tennessee to northwest Michigan. One person was injured from an F1 in Putnam County & wind gusts to 65 mph occurred in southeast Montgomery & Boone counties. 

After such a wet, cool fall, 30-40% of the soybean & corn crop in Indiana & Illinois was still unharvested. Tornadoes & damaging winds damaged & even flattened acres & acres of crops. Structural damage from the tornadoes alone amounted to $2 million (inflation-adjusted). Many other tornadoes, wind & hail occurred in the southeastern United States with damage in the tens of millions of dollars. Just 10 days later, another significant severe weather outbreak would occur in the same regions of Indiana with more heavy rainfall, which continued to delay the harvest.

This system was unusual in that it originated in the Gulf of Mexico & moved north.

December 21, 1967 was the wettest December day on record for several locations accompanied by the second rare December severe weather event in a week in Indiana. Straight-line wind damage occurred in Montgomery County with an F3 tornado in Grant County. At least 4 tornadoes were confirmed in Indiana with damage amounting to $2.3 million (inflation-adjusted). 3 people were injured in Grant & Wells counties.

The rain & storms also produced heavy rainfall. December daily rainfall records were set with 3.94” at Kentland, 3.48” Frankfort, 3.15” at Winamac & 3.01” at Peru. 1967 ended up as the wettest December on record at Delphi with 7.02”.

A warm front surged northward through the area in the early morning hours of December 21.  Note how it was an impressive 66 with a dew point of 63 at 1 a.m. at St. Louis & Springfield, Illinois reported a t'storm with 63 & a dew point of 61.

Highs in the 60s were widespread over the area, but once the cold front passed, temperatures tanked.  Chicago dropped from 61 to 19, while Indianapolis dropped to 26 after reaching a high of 67.  La Cross, Wisconsin reached 55, then dropped to 10 around midnight.

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9268539
Lake3320168
Cass15826
Allen130966
St. Joseph120534
Hendricks113067
Hamilton111592
Johnson1086104
Elkhart105728
Madison58258
Porter49021
Bartholomew48133
Clark46138
LaPorte41522
Tippecanoe3753
Jackson3671
Howard36519
Delaware35735
Hancock32127
Shelby31521
Floyd31438
Boone28835
Morgan26224
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery23117
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19121
Noble18921
Harrison18721
Dubois1852
Greene16724
Warrick16426
Dearborn16421
Henry1619
Monroe16011
Vigo1477
Lawrence14423
Miami1391
Putnam1337
Jennings1274
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Kosciusko941
Carroll922
Daviess8216
Steuben802
Marshall761
Newton7410
Wabash722
Wayne715
Fayette684
LaGrange602
Jasper581
Washington521
Fulton471
Rush452
Jay440
Randolph433
Jefferson411
Whitley402
Pulaski390
Clay391
Owen341
Brown331
Sullivan321
Starke313
DeKalb311
Perry260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton251
Benton250
Wells240
Crawford230
Blackford211
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Spencer171
Posey170
Parke170
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion90
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0154
West Lafayette
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Kokomo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 65°
Frankfort
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 67°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Some more storms ahead....
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