LOCAL WEATHER HISTORY: "THE WORST STORM IN MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS"

An intense round of highly-destructive severe storms reportedly blasted through four counties of our viewing area in the early morning hours of July 3, 1960. Roads were completely impassable in many areas from the trees, power lines to other debri. Angela Todd experienced the storm & has her own account & pictures of some of the damage on her street.

Posted: Jul. 6, 2018 7:13 PM
Updated: Oct. 9, 2018 2:34 PM

"The worst storm in more than a hundred years".  That was the overall headline regarding the round of very intense severe storms that swept White, Cass, northern Carroll & Miami counties in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 3, 1960.  In examining storm report records for that area, it was the worst since the July 1921 derecho, in terms of the scope & areal coverage of such substantial to significant damage.  At Logansport, it appears to be the worst since the great wind & hailstorms of September 1950 & June 1949.

These are pictures taken by Angela Todd at the time (hours after the storm hit) courtesy of her & incass-inmiami.org.  Thank you Angela!  It is because of you picking up your camera on that morning that we as meteorologists can truly understand the magnitude of the storm experienced in Logansport.


Angela's interesting account of the storm is here:

http://incass-inmiami.org/cass/photos/landscapes/1960storm.html

The July 3 surface map at 1 a.m. indicated a complex (bow?) or MCS moving into the viewing area. 

Note the triple point (where warm front, cold front, occluded front meet) at Chicago.  As the storm system further occluded, that triple point migrated southeastward & ended up producing an unusually long-track F1 tornado in the MCS (nearly 24-mile track) from near Joliet to near Manteno, Illinois.

This does not appear to have been a derecho.  Nonetheless, the severe weather seemed to greatly ramp up as it moved through our area.  This may have been a time in the evolution or life span of the MCS where the strong low-level jet maxed & the storms were best-able to transfer that wind momentum to the ground. 

The core swath of significant damaging winds of likely 60-110 mph occurred in our area, but wind damage was reported as far east as Mercer County, Ohio (just northeast of Portland, Indiana).  The wind reports were much less widespread east & southeast of our area.

Storm reports suggest that these highly-damaging winds began in White County & continued east & southeastward through northern Carroll, Cass & Miami counties.  The swath average 8 miles in width & tracked up to 48 miles.

There may have been other severe weather that occurred, but in 1960, spotter networks were pretty sparse & only the worst, concentrated severe weather seemed to be reported.

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