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Two EF-0 tornadoes have been confirmed in St. Joseph county Indiana, on the south/southwest side of South Bend from October 12th, 2016. These two tornadoes were embedded within two larger areas of straight line wind damage associated with a microburst.  Showers and isolated storms developed across the area during the afternoon of Wednesday October 12th.  The storm that produced the microburst and two tornadoes developed immediately ahead of a cold frontal boundary advancing through the area.

A National Weather Service damage survey team from this office was dispatched to investigate storm damage on the south side of South Bend. Two EF-0 tornadoes briefly touched down and details regarding these tornadoes can be found below.  The only other severe weather report outside of St. Joseph County was in Elkhart County near Goshen were some tree damage was noted at a residence.


Tornado 1: 3.5 miles SW South Bend, IN
St. Joseph IN County

Date October 12th, 2016
Time (Local) 6:26-6:27 PM EDT
EF Rating EF0
Est. Peak Winds 60-65 mph
Path Length 1.26 miles
Max Width 30 yards
Injuries/Deaths 0


Video evidence and spotter reports indicate a brief EF-0 tornado occurred. The start of the damage path is associated with a video depicting the tornado at the intersection of Route 23 and the bypass. A second observation of the tornado occurred just to the southwest of the intersection of Calvert Street and Renewable Road where a narrow corridor of corn damage was found near the end of the damage path.  Damage along the tornado path was classified as EF-0. This tornado was embedded within a larger area of wind damage associated with a microburst. In addition, some straight line wind damage was observed on West Indiana Avenue.

Track Map

Track Map EF-Scale


Tornado 2: South Bend, IN
St. Joseph IN County

Date October 12th, 2016
Time (Local) 6:30-6:30 PM EDT
EF Rating EF0
Est. Peak Winds 60-65 mph
Path Length 0.04 miles
Max Width 40 yards
Injuries/Deaths 0


The National Weather Service concluded that a second weak EF-0 tornado occurred on the south side of South Bend in the Belmont Avenue vicinity. A small area of tornadic wind damage was found centered in the Belmont Avenue/Sunnyside Avenue vicinity. Some convergence of the tree damage was noted in this area indicative of tornadic winds. Large tree limbs were tilted with several large limbs downed. A large tree limb fell on a shed and lifted it up on its side. This tornado was embedded within a larger area of wind damage associated with microburst. The larger area of straight line wind damage extended from Northside Blvd just north of Beyer Avenue, to Longfellow Road just west of Twyckenham Drive. Tree damage and some damage to shingles at a residence were noted along this larger damage path associated with the microburst.

Track Map

Track Map EF-Scale


The Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories:


65-85 mph
86-110 mph
111-135 mph
136-165 mph
166-200 mph
200+ mph

Radar Loop -South Bend

Radar Image Loop

KIWX Radar Loop from 6:06 - 6:52 PM EDT on 10/12/2016

This radar loop contains reflectivity and storm relative velocity. An embedded cell within a larger line began to intensify as it moved Northeast from Crumstown, IN towards South Bend, IN and had a broad circulation as seen by radar storm relative velocity. The storm was just southeast of South Bend, IN around 6:27 pm when the first tornado touched down and one minute later it lifted. The second tornado touched down at 6:30 pm and lifted within one minute. Both tornadoes were associated with a larger microburst event that led to strong winds at the surface. While the velocity couplet is broad at most times, it is likely that for a short period it tightened and hence produced both short lasting tornadoes. 

Photos - South Bend

Photo Photo Photo
Shed lifted off its foundation Large tree blown over Tree branches snapped
Photo Photo Photo
Tree fell on top of a pickup truck

Shingles blown off roof


Aerial view of tornado damage




Showers and isolated storms developed across the area during mid/afternoon hours ahead of lead short wave trough.  Storms formed along a line with mainly 25-40 mph winds as they lifted northeast across central/northeast portions of the forecast area.  Additional showers/isolated storms developed closer to the approaching cold front early in the evening.  One of these storms produced significant wind damage (fairly localized) on south side of South Bend. Narrow pre-frontal moisture axis lifted into the area, with fairly strong low/mid level flow ahead of the front (40-50 knots).  Lead short wave appeared to aid in convective development along weak instability axis (200-500 J/kg). Effective shear was on the order of 30 knots, although low level shear was in the 20-25 knot range along narrow pre-frontal axis in the South Bend vicinity.

Environment Environment Environment
Figure 1: SPC 22Z 0-1km shear Figure 2: SPC 22Z Precipitable Water Figure 3: SPC 22Z Surface Based CAPE

SPC Products

Figure 4: SPC Day 1 Convective Outlook 4:00pm October 12, 2016

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