National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

September usually brings tranquil weather to Indiana. Not so on September 20, 2002, when several tornadoes struck the state. The biggest tornado rampaged through rural and urban parts of Indiana for 112 miles, becoming the second longest tornado track in Indiana history after the Monticello tornado of April 3, 1974. The long track tornado reached F3 intensity in Ellettsville, Martinsville, and Greenwood, with winds of at least 160 mph. The tornado began in Ellettsville at 12:59 PM EST and roared northeast through Martinsville, the south and east sides of metropolitan Indianapolis, Anderson, and finally lifted near Hartford City, 2 hours and 21 minutes later at 3:20 PM EST.

No deaths occurred, despite $156 million in property damage, 45 schools being impacted, and 130 injuries. The tornado was enshrouded in rain for much of its life.

The same thunderstorm that produced the long track tornado also produced other tornados. One was an F2 rated tornado that struck near Poseyville, and another was also rated F2 and struck near Monroe City.

Continue below for more information on this event. The Storm Prediction Center's archive has additional information as well.

 

Tornado Track Map Weather Setup Radar Images Damage Picture Links

 


Tornado Event Timeline. 

Zoomed in map is now a separate link.

Timeline

 

    The Fujita Scale

F Scale Wind Damage
F0 40-72 MPH Light
F1 73-112 MPH Moderate
F2 113-157 MPH Considerable
F3 158-206 MPH Severe
F4 207-260 MPH Devastating
F5 261-318 MPH Incredible

 

Weather Setup

Weather Setup Map
Atmospheric Setup valid at 7:00 AM September 20. Click to enlarge.
 

1:00 PM Surface Map.
Surface Map valid at 1:00 PM EST September 20. Click to enlarge.

An upper system along with a surface cold front brought widespread rain to central Indiana on September 20.

 

Radar Images

 

Radar Overview:

Radar at 12:04 PM EST. Click to Enlarge. Radar at 1:04 PM EST. Click to enlarge. Radar at 2:04 PM EST. Click to enlarge. Radar at 2:59 PM EST. Click to enlarge.
Radar at 12:04 PM EST. Click to enlarge. Radar at 1:04 PM EST. Click to enlarge. Radar at 2:04 PM EST. Click to enlarge. Radar at 2:58 PM EST. Click to enlarge.

 

Closer Views of Tornadic Storm.

Click any image for a larger version.

Radar image Monroe County Radar image of storm in Morgan County
Radar image of storm as the tornado nears Ellettsville. Radar image of storm as the tornado nears Martinsville.
Radar image of storm in Johnson County. Velocity image of Johnson County storm
Radar image of storm as the tornado moves into Johnson County. Velocity image of the Johnson County storm. Radar is at circle labeled KIND. Green is motion toward the radar, red is motion away.
Radar image of storm in Marion County Velocity image of storm in Marion County
Radar image of storm as the tornado moves into the east side of Indianapolis. Velocity image of the Indianapolis storm. Radar is at circle labeled KIND. Green is motion toward the radar, red is motion away.
Radar image of storm in Madison County
Radar image of storm as the tornado moves through Madison County.

 

 Damage Picture Links

 
Click on a link below to see damage pictures from that area
Knox County
Ellettsville
Martinsville
Greenwood
Beech Grove
Indianapolis East Side
McCordsville
Madison County
Delaware County

 

 

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