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Map of Tornado Tracks 

Damage Survey Results

Storm Reports

Precipitation Totals

Radar Loops of Event

Outlooks & Warnings

What Caused This Outbreak?


Below is a map of the 16 tornadoes that occurred across the NWS Northern Indiana forecast area during the November 17, 2013 severe weather outbreak. This includes one tornado that continued from NWS Chicago's area (Tornado #2) and one tornado that continued from NWS Indianapolis' area (Tornado #6).

30 tornadoes have confirmed in the state of Indiana for this outbreak. These findings indicate Sunday, November 17, 2013 is in second place for the number of tornadoes in one day in state history. 


Date                             Number of tornadoes (statewide)
June 2, 1990                37

November 17, 2013    30
April 19, 2011               29
May 30, 2004               24
May 25, 2011               22
April 3, 1974                 21

Damage Survey Reports

Widespread wind damage was reported across much of the area. NWS damage survey teams traveled across the region to survey areas of extensive damage. The final results of the surveys are below. 

Click on the hyperlink for each tornado to get detailed information on each tornado such as path maps, radar images, and photos.


1. Pulaski County IN: EF1 (click for tornado information)



2. Benton/White County IN: EF2 (click for tornado information)



3. White County IN: EF2 (click for tornado information)



4. White County IN: EF2 (click for tornado information)



5. White County IN: EF1 (click for tornado information)



6. Carroll/Cass County IN: EF3 (click for tornado information)



7. Cass County IN: EF0 (click for tornado information)



8. Cass County MI: EF1 (click for tornado information)



9. Miami County IN: EF1 (click for tornado information)



10. Kosciusko County IN: EF1 (click for tornado information)



11. Grant/Wabash County IN: EF2 (click for tornado information)



12. Wabash/Kosciuscko County IN: EF2 (click for tornado information)



13. Kosciuscko County IN: EF1 (click for tornado information)



14. Grant County IN: EF0 (click for tornado information)



15. Wan Wert County OH: EF1 (click for tornado information)



16. Paulding/Putnam County OH: EF2 (click for tornado information)



Storm Reports

Below is a map of the storm reports we received during the event. The red 'T' shows preliminary tornado reports, but not necessarily a confirmed tornado. Multiple reports were received for a single tornado path.

To see a detailed list of every storm report, please click here to view a PDF.

Precipitation Totals

Radar Loops

Click on the images below to enlarge (could take a few minutes to load)

KIWX WSR-88D Reflectivity Loop - 11/17/2013 beginning 2:25 PM EST & ending 4:26 PM EST

KIWX WSR-88D Storm Relative Velocity Loop - 11/17/2013 beginning 2:25 PM EST & ending 4:26 PM EST

 The map below shows a plot of rotation tracks based off of NWS Doppler Radar.

Outlooks and Warnings


Storm Prediction Center Day 1 Outlook Issued Sunday Morning


Storm Prediction Days 2-4 Outlooks

Issued Thursday (Nov 14th) for Sunday

Issued Friday (Nov 15th) for Sunday

Issued Saturday (Nov 16th) for Sunday


NWS Warnings Issued on November 17, 2013
National Local (NWS IWX)

The animated loop below shows regional warnings overlayed on the radar reflectivity.

What Caused This Outbreak?

 A strong low pressure system moved through the region on November 17, 2013. Storms began to fire in central Illinois ahead of a strong cold front during the early afternoon hours and quickly reached severe limits. Initially, the storms fired as distinct supercells moving at  forward speeds of 50-60 mph! Eventually, the supercells merged into a squall line that raced across Indiana and into Ohio during the late afternoon to early evening hours.

The setup was ideal for severe weather, not to mention a widespread outbreak with multiple tornadoes. To sustain themselves and become severe, thunderstorms need heat and moisture (which creates instability), wind shear (strong winds that change direction with height), and forcing (such as a cold front). Environments necessary for thundstorms are typically found in the Midwest from late spring through summer, but a secondary peak in severe weather does occur in the fall. For this particular event, there was enough instability and strong wind shear present ahead of a strong cold front to produce thunderstorms that quickly became severe. These parameters were extremely high for any time of the year, especially the fall, so long-lived and significant tornadoes occurred across the region.

The images and descriptions below gave a depiction of the mesoscale atmospheric conditions present at 3 pm EST (20Z) on Sunday, November 17, 2013.


Surface analysis (21Z) shows a cold front entering the area from the west with a low pressure center across northern Michigan. Surface dew points ahead of the front were in the 60s providing moisture to fuel the thunderstorms. 850 mb analysis shows a low-level jet (~50-65 kts) pumping warm, moist air into the area ahead of a low pressure center. This helped to fuel and sustain thunderstorms as they developed in central IL and moved into the local area. 500 mb analysis shows a mid-level trough of low pressure just to the west of the local area. This, coupled with a mid-level jet stream rounding the base of the trough, provided forcing for the thunderstorms to fire to the west before moving into the local area.


Effective Bulk Shear: A measure of the difference between winds at the surface and aloft in the atmosphere. Supercells become more probably as the effect bulk shear vector increases in magnitude through the range of 25-40 kt and greater. Values across the local area were in the 60-70 kt range, which is quite impressive! 0 - 1 KM Storm Relative Helicity (SRH): SRH is a measure of the potential for rotating supercells. Values of 0-1km SRH greater than 100 m2/s2 suggest increased threat of tornadoes with supercells. Values across the local area were in the 400-600 m2/s2 range with storm motion of 50-55 kts! Significant Tornado Parameter (STP) : The STP is a multi-ingredient index that is calculated to determine the potentital for significant (EF2+) tornadoes. A majority of sig. tornadoes have been associated with values greater than 1. STP values across the local area were 1-2.


Updated 03/18/2014 11am