June 1990 Lower Ohio Valley tornado outbreak

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F4 tornado
Max rating1 F4 tornado
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

The June 1990 Lower Ohio Valley tornado outbreak spawned 66 tornadoes, including seven of F4 intensity, in southern Illinois, central and southern Indiana, southwestern Ohio, and northern Kentucky on June 2–3, 1990.

In Indiana, 37 tornadoes formed, breaking the single-day record of 21 set during the Super Outbreak on April 3, 1974.[1]

Meteorological synopsis[edit]

On June 2, an unseasonably intense surface low over eastern North Dakota brought with it a cold front across the Mississippi Valley. Ahead of the front, a highly unstable air mass combined with a strong jet stream that increased the synoptic-scale lifting favoring supercell development. Meanwhile, backed southerly low-level winds brought moist dew points well into the region.[1] The National Severe Storms Forecast Center in Norman, Oklahoma, put out a high risk for severe weather over much of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and northern Kentucky. A notable feature of this outbreak is that there was a sector of weak tornadoes north of Terre Haute, Indiana, while a sector of strong and violent tornadoes developed south of the city.[1] This could perhaps be attributed to the storms in central Indiana having weaker helicity—a measurement of storm rotation—resulting in many of the storms farther to the north being left-moving supercells.

Confirmed tornadoes[edit]

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 16 21 17 5 7 0 66

June 2 event[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Iowa
F0 SW of Cantril Van Buren 1635 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
Minor damage reported to a farm.
F2 SW of Manchester Van Buren, Delaware 1743 10.5 miles
(16.8 km)
Tornado struck a building housing 500 hogs, killing two of them.
F1 S of Maquoketa Jackson 2012 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Trees snapped and transported 100 yards (300 ft).[2] One shed was slightly damaged as a door was ripped off and the power cut off.
Arkansas
F1 S of Greenwood Sebastian 1700 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Roof damage to homes and outbuildings[2] with severe damage to 29 homes.
F0 SE of Clarkedale Crittenden 0305 0.1 miles
(0.16 km)
Brief touchdown sighted with no reported damage.
Minnesota
F1 S of Goodhue Goodhue 1750 4 miles
(6.4 km)
A barn was destroyed but without damage to the equipment inside. The tornado also uprooted trees and damaged three farm sites.
Illinois
F2 Westervelt to Findlay Shelby 2130 8 miles
(12.8 km)
Tornado struck Findlay, where 16 homes were destroyed and 60 others were damaged. Two people were injured.
F0 SW of Arcola Douglas 2147 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
No damage reported.
F1 N of Casey Cumberland,[2] Clark 2205 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
A mobile home was destroyed and trees were damaged.
F1 Grandview area Edgar 2230 8 miles
(12.8 km)
Four homes were unroofed and two others were damaged.
F4 Rinard to S of Olney Wayne, Clay, Richland 2245 23 miles
(36.8 km)
Three mobile homes were destroyed, including two that were completely disintegrated. A permanent home was also destroyed, and heavy oil tanks were rolled. Two injuries occurred when a tree fell onto a pickup truck.
F2 SW of Horace to E of Dana, IN Edgar, Vermillion (IN) 2253 17.5 miles
(28 km)
Three farms were damaged, including one where all outbuildings were destroyed and the farmhouse sustained major damage. Trees were also damaged.
F2 NE of Paris to St. Bernice, IN Edgar, Vermillion, IN 2258 8 miles
(12.8 km)
Tornado struck St. Bernice, where 20 homes were damaged and an old brick school building was leveled.
F4 Newton area Jasper 2307 12.5 miles
(20 km)
Seven homes near Newton Lake were leveled to the ground. Two other homes were destroyed with minor damage elsewhere.
F4 N of Aden to SE of Huron, IN Hamilton, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, Knox (IN), Gibson (IN), Pike (IN), Daviess (IN), Martin (IN), Orange (IN), Lawrence (IN) 2320 106 miles
(169.6 km)
1 deathSee section below
F1 Oblong area Jasper, Crawford 2320 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Damaged grain-storage bins and a garage before dissipating.
F0 S of Palestine Crawford 2340 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Little to no damage.
F2 S of Pinkstaff to WSW of Oaktown, IN Lawrence, Knox (IN) 2345 5 miles
(8 km)
Tornado destroyed a mobile home and farm. A man was injured when he hid under a tractor, which was lifted and dropped onto his leg.
Wisconsin
F2 SW of Fond du Lac area Fond du Lac 2200 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Caused $2 million in damage to an industrial park, several businesses, and a farm. A woman was cut by flying glass when here vehicle was struck by a billboard.
F1 SE of La Grange Walworth 2200 0.2 miles
(0.32 km)
Four homes damaged along with trees near Lauderdale Lake.
Indiana
F0 NW of Dana Vermillion 2215 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Brief touchdown.
F0 NW of Annapolis Parke 2223 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
Brief tornado damaged trees.
F0 SW of Byron Parke 2228 0.2 miles
(0.32 km)
Brief tornado along with the Annapolis event. One porch was damaged.
F0 S of Catlin Parke 2245 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
Minor tree damage occurred near Raccoon Lake.
F0 W of Fairbanks Sullivan 2245 0.1 miles
(0.16 km)
Brief tornado. No damage noted.
F2 S of Crawfordsville to SE of Darlington Montgomery 2250 10 miles
(16 km)
14 homes and two mobile homes were badly damaged, with nearby barns leveled. A truck was blown from I-75. Twelve people were injured.
F0 S of Hollandsburg Parke 2300 0.2 miles
(0.32 km)
Brief tornado.
F1 W of Thorntown to SE of Colfax Boone 2310 4.5 miles
(7.2 km)
Windows were smashed with some damage to trees. Two barns were leveled.
F0 Georgetown Cass 2310 0.1 miles
(0.16 km)
Brief tornado hit Georgetown.
F3 SW of Montgomery to N of Loogootee Daviess, Martin 2319 7 miles
(11.2 km)
Metal high-tension towers blown were down, businesses were unroofed, and eight homes were damaged.
F1 SE of Frankfort to Michigantown area Clinton 2325 6 miles
(9.6 km)
Damage to the roof of The Red Barn theater near Frankfort.
F2 WNW of Switz City to E of Worthington Greene 2330 10 miles
(16 km)
Destroyed four homes with others damaged. Trees were snapped and farm buildings were damaged as well. Tornado killed several hogs and 50 rabbits on one farm alone.
F1 SSE of Lebanon Boone 2335 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
Hit two hangars and six planes at the Boone County Airport with losses of $200,000.
F0 W of Gadsden Boone 2337 6 miles
(9.6 km)
Developed just after the previous event, resulting in minor damage to barns, treetops, and limbs.
F1 ESE of Elizaville Boone 2343 7 miles
(11.2 km)
Developed just to the north of the previous event. Also caused minor damage to barns and vegetation.
F4 NE of Bryantsville to ENE of Bedford Lawrence 2350 11 miles
(17.6 km)
1 death — Leveled several businesses alongside U.S. Route 50 and State Road 37, then went on to destroy trailers, metal high-tension structures, trees, and cabins in the Bedford area. A total of 12 homes and 29 trailers destroyed.
F4 W of Union to Petersburg to Alford Gibson, Pike 0017 13 miles
(20.8 km)
6 deathsSee section below.
F0 NNE of Noblesville Hamilton 0020 0.2 miles
(0.32 km)
Uprooted two trees during a brief touchdown.
F2 New Maysville to S of North Salem Putnam, Hendricks 0030 3.5 miles
(5.6 km)
1 death — One death occurred in a destroyed mobile home. Tornado also damaged another mobile home, a farm, and a house. Six people were injured.
F2 W of Merriam Noble 0040 3.5 miles
(5.6 km)
Destroyed two mobile homes and three barns plus a silo. Also severely damaged a third mobile home and displaced a fourth barn.
F1 W of Orleans Orange 0054 11.5 miles
(18.4 km)
F1 E of Reddington Jackson, Jennings 0055 10 miles
(16 km)
F2 NE of Fleming to NE of Zenas Jennings 0105 18 miles
(28.8 km)
F0 NW of Millhousen Decatur 0115 0.1 miles
(0.16 km)
F0 Campbellsburg area Washington 0117 3.5 miles
(5.6 km)
F4 SW of Clear Spring to NW of Seymour Jackson 0120 18 miles
(28.8 km)
Hundreds of trees and ten homes leveled to the ground. 44 homes damaged and 11 mobile homes destroyed with many farms damaged or destroyed. Nine people were injured.
F2 SE of Salem to NW of South Boston Washington 0203 4.5 miles
(7.2 km)
Seven trailers and a barn were destroyed. 15 trailers and several frame homes were damaged as well.
F3 S of Millport to NE of Lancaster Washington, Jackson, Scott, Jefferson 0225 41 miles
(65.6 km)
One home was destroyed and 15 others were damaged.
F2 NE of Nebraska to SE of New Alsace Ripley, Dearborn 0230 23 miles
(36.8 km)
A church built in 1838 was destroyed.
F2 Riddle to N of Carefree Crawford, Harrison 0230 11 miles
(17.6 km)
Destroyed four homes and damaged numerous others; $260,000 in damage to three buildings at a food-processing plant.
F3 NW of Galena to Sellersburg Floyd, Clark 0257 12 miles
(19.2 km)
Tornado first struck Floyds Knobs and Hamburg, destroying over 25 homes and mobile homes. In Sellersburg, the tornado badly damaged a bowling alley and many businesses.
F4 W of Bright to SW of Mason, OH Dearborn, Hamilton (OH), Butler (OH), Warren (OH) 0300 33 miles
(52.8 km)
See section below
F3 SE of Marysville to NE of Bedford, KY Clark, Jefferson, Trimble (KY) 0340 17 miles
(27.2 km)
Half-mile wide tornado badly damaged many buildings, homes, and trailers in Indiana. Tornado crossed into Kentucky and struck Mt. Pleasant, where 15 homes and 25 barns were damaged. Five people were injured.
Kentucky
F1 Flat Gap area Johnson 1900 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Destroyed a food market and a mobile home.
F1 S of Pomeroyton Menifee 2315 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Destroyed a single home with other structures damaged nearby.
F1 Grassy Creek to Cottle Morgan 2325 6 miles
(9.6 km)
Uprooted trees and damaged seven structures.
F3 La Grange area to Jericho Oldham, Henry 0330 10 miles
(16 km)
First clipped the north side of La Grange, where three frame homes and three mobile homes were destroyed. Tornado then struck Jericho, damaging several other homes. Caused $2,500,000 in damage and injured 5 people.
F2 N of Shelbyville Shelby 0414 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Damaged 16 homes and 12 barns on the north edge of Shelbyville. Caused $1,000,000 in damage.
F1 Allensville to Corinth Logan 0434 11 miles
(17.6 km)
Damaged outbuildings and a partially completed home.
F1 S of Burlington Boone 0440 0.7 miles
(1.1 km)
Major damage to four homes in the area.
F1 S of Franklinton Henry 0455 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Damaged many homes and a barn.
Michigan
F1 NW of Oxbow Newaygo 2359 1.5 miles
(2.4 km)
F1 Hanover area Jackson 0030 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
F2 N of Guthrie to NE of Dexter Washtenaw 0110 15 miles
(24 km)
Ohio
F0 Clarksville area Clinton 0445 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Damaged only two homes and some trees.
Source: Tornado History Project - June 2, 1990, Storm Data, Storm Data[2]Grazulis[3]

June 3 event[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Ohio
F2 SW of Saltair Clermont 0550 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Three mobile homes and numerous barns were destroyed. Five homes and other barns were damaged.
Source: Storm Data[2]Grazulis[3]

Notable tornadoes[edit]

Outbreak death toll
State Deaths Total County County
total
Illinois 1 Edwards 1
Indiana 8 Lawrence 1
Pike 6
Putnam 1
Totals 9
All deaths were tornado-related

Albion/Browns, Illinois[edit]

This extremely long-tracked F4 tornado began near Aden, littering I-64 with trees and overturning a truck before striking Barnhill, where 10 homes were destroyed and 10 others were damaged. The tornado then struck Albion, where a factory, homes, and other buildings were destroyed. The tornado then caused severe damage in the Browns area, where one woman was killed in her home. In the town of Mt. Carmel, the tornado ripped apart seventeen homes and severely damaged Wabash Valley College before crossing into Indiana. In Indiana, the tornado passed near Hazleton, Bowman, Petersburg, and Orrville, where a barn was destroyed. In Daviess County, Indiana, the tornado caused $10,000,000 in damage as it destroyed 10 homes and damaged 35 others. A cabin was crushed by a tree as the tornado passed near Shoals, resulting in four injuries. The tornado passed near Whitfield before dissipating near Huron. A total of eleven people were injured by this tornado.[3]

Petersburg, Indiana[edit]

A powerful F4 tornado developed west of Union and proceeded to enter that community from Gibson County. The tornado completely leveled one home, killing two occupants, and also blew another 30 feet (9.1 m) off its base. After passing through a wooded area, the tornado hit Petersburg, killing four people there. Upon entering the town limits, it leveled a nursing home plus an apartment complex and up to ten homes. Having now killed six people, the tornado was the deadliest to hit Indiana since the 1974 Super Outbreak.[2] It then struck the business district in downtown Petersburg and destroyed 19 businesses before going on to level 168 additional homes and damage an elementary school in Petersburg. The town became the hardest hit in Indiana on June 2, 1990.[1] The tornado destroyed half of Petersburg, including the home of the mayor. 60 others were injured by this tornado.[3][4]

Bright, Indiana/Harrison, Ohio[edit]

A violent nighttime tornado began west of Bright, Indiana, with 50 homes destroyed in that area. Four of the homes were of brick construction, yet were completely leveled. The F4 tornado then continued to produce F4 damage in Ohio as it hit the communities of Harrison, Crosby Township, and New Baltimore. In Hamilton County alone, the tornado damaged 800–900 homes and 31 businesses plus three schools; of these, 32 homes were reported destroyed, some so completely that their foundations were left "practically barren".[2] Steel beams, 18 inches (1.5 ft) wide, 75 feet (23 m) long, and 58 inch (0.052 ft) in thickness, were deformed and brought to ground level in Harrison. The tornado continued into the southern part of Fairfield and surrounding areas of Butler County, where 19 homes and four trailers were destroyed, with 58 homes, 22 trailers, and five apartment buildings damaged. The tornado continued into Warren County before dissipating near Mason. A total of 37 people were injured by this tornado.[2][3]

Aftermath[edit]

People erected makeshift shelters in Petersburg as Indiana declared a state of emergency. The tornado outbreak was the most destructive to hit Indiana since the Super Outbreak in 1974.[4] Across Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, the entire outbreak resulted in 313 homes destroyed, 76% of them in Indiana alone, and 892 damaged, fully 75% of them in Indiana.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "June 2, 1990 Tornado Outbreak". Indianapolis, IN: National Weather Service. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Roger W., Tanner, ed. (June 1990). "Storm Data and Unusual Weather Phenomena". Storm Data. Asheville, NC: United States Department of Commerce. 32 (6). 
  3. ^ a b c d e Thomas P. Grazulis (July 1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991. St. Johnsbury, Vermont: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. ISBN 1-879362-03-1. 
  4. ^ a b "Storms Leave 13 Dead in Midwest; Indiana Twisters Worst Since '74". New York Times. The Associated Press. June 4, 1990.