National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


August 24th, 2016 Tornado Outbreak


Photo Photo Photo Photo
Image 1. Receipt traveled 30 miles 
into Marion, IN-from the Kokomo, IN EF-3 (Trained Spotter Lisa Rhoton)
Image 2. EF 3 near Woodburn, IN
(NWS Storm Survey)
Image 3. Tornado damage near Roberts/Doty Roads-Woodburn, IN
(Scott Jordan Drone Footage/NWS Storm Survey)
Image 4. Tornado SE Van Wert, OH
(R. Contreras)


Working Together to Save Lives

The tornado outbreak on August 24th, 2016 was a great testimony to how strong partner and public relationships save lives during active weather. There were 14 tornadoes in the IWX Forecast Area on August 24th. Amazingly, there were NO fatalities and only one reported minor injury. Communication between emergency managers, trained spotters, media personnel, the public, and the National Weather Service was crucial to preventing the loss of life. Timely and accurate reports sent in to IWX during the event helped us to make more effective warning decisions. Reports, videos, and pictures quickly sent to us after the event helped us to identify where to start surveying the damage. Thanks to those who provided drone footage/support and fly overs for quick and thorough tornado track and damage assessment (Scott Jordan for assistance with the Woodburn and Cecil tornado surveys, storm spotters,eyewitnesses,law enforcement, Emergency Management, and the Civil Air Patrol). 

Thank you to our surrounding offices for supporting operations while we completed damage surveys. NWS Grand Rapids, MI provided service back up on August 25th so that we could send more survey teams and start work on this webpage. Thank you to NWS Indianapolis and Detroit for conducting/assisting with damage surveys. Thanks to NWS Central Region Headquarters and the Quick Response Team for their assistance with the Woodburn, IN EF-3 Tornado rating.


Quick Summary: August 24, 2016 Tornado Outbreak

  • On August 24, 2016 there were a total of 22 confirmed tornadoes across Indiana and Ohio. 11 occurred in Indiana, and 11 occurred across Ohio. For NWS Northern Indiana's forecast area (IWX), there were a total of 14 tornadoes (four in northern Indiana, ten in northwest Ohio). For details on each tornado in the IWX forecast area, including tornado path maps and survey results, click the "tornadoes" tab under the detailed summary section
  • The highest rated tornado in the NWS Northern Indiana forecast area was the EF-3 Woodburn, Indiana Tornado. Max wind speed was 160 mph, path length was 5.66 miles, max width was 500 yards. Time: 11 minutes-from 5:27 pm EDT-5:39 pm EDT. 
  • There were no reported fatalities and only one reported minor injury for the NWS Northern Indiana forecast area
  • Why did this happen? A unique combination of extreme low level moisture and a passing upper level disturbance provided the trigger for severe storms. Even though the clouds remained in place for most of the day and it did not get very warm, there was just enough instability to allow storms to develop. There was also a high degree of shear in the lowest levels of the atmosphere, which allowed multiple tornadoes to form. For more details, see the "Environmental" tab under the detailed summary section
  • NWS Northern Indiana Warning Statistics: 26 tornado warnings issued during the event. Average lead time: 16 minutes. Probability of Detection: 100%. For more information, see the "additional" tab under the detailed summary section


Help the National Weather Service Build a Weather Ready Nation

NWS Northern Indiana Storm Spotter Training & Online Training

Weather Ready Nation Ambassador

Thunderstorm and Tornado Safety

Page last updated at 1 PM EDT August 28th, 2016


Detailed Summary

nws logo Media use of NWS Web News Stories is encouraged!
Please acknowledge the NWS as the source of any news information accessed from this site.
nws logo