National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

10 Year Anniversary of October Tornado Event


 This October marks the 10 year anniversary of the deadly October 24th 2001 tornado outbreak which spawned 10 tornadoes across our area of northern Indiana, southwest lower Michigan and Northwest Ohio. Two people died during this event and numerous others were injured. Early warnings and proactive measures helped save countless lives. 

A summary of the October 24th, 2001 event, including damage surveys and a timeline of events can be found on our webpage at

October 24th 2001 Tornado page .


The Fall months provide a secondary severe weather season across our area. While Spring and early Summer are considered the prime time for severe weather outbreaks, Autumn can also see significant severe weather episodes. As a matter of fact, the largest and deadliest tornado outbreaks over the last 30 years have occurred in the Fall. The two strongest tornadoes to occur in our County Warning Area (CWA) of northern Indiana, southwest lower Michigan and northwest Ohio since 1980 have been EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Both of these strong tornadoes occurred in Van Wert Ohio, one on November 10th, 2002, and the other on February 18th, 1992.  Since 1980, there have only been 7 fatalities from tornadoes in our CWA. However, 6 of these 7 occurred in the months of October and November. This proves you need to be ready for severe weather and tornadoes in any month!

Since 2001, there have been other significant October tornado events. Nappanee Indiana saw an EF3 tornado occur in the late evening on October 18th, 2007. This tornado moved through the eastern half of the town, destroying many homes and businesses. Fortunately there were only minor injuries. On October 26th, 2010, an outbreak of 13 tornadoes occurred across the KIWX CWA. While the number of tornadoes exceeded those of the October 24th, 2001 event, the damage rating associated with these tornadoes were not as high. All 13 tornadoes in the 2010 event were rated EF0 (5) or EF1 (8). No strong tornadoes (EF2 or higher) occurred. Despite the large number of tornadoes, no fatalities were recorded. More information on this event can also be found on our website at 
October 26th 2010 Tornadoes Page .    

Take this time to review your plan of action in the event of severe weather. Remember to be prepared and pay attention to Hazardous Weather Outlooks leading up to a severe weather event, Severe Weather Watches issued hours before the event, and Severe Weather Warnings when severe weather is imminent or occurring. Don't take warnings for granted, take them seriously.