This Day in History, April 11th: Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak (1965)

Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak (1965)

The second Palm Sunday tornado outbreak occurred on April 11–12, 1965, in the Midwest U.S. states of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, with 47 tornadoes (32 significant, 17 violent, 21 killers). It was the second-biggest outbreak on record at the time. In the Midwest, 271 people were killed and 1,500 injured (1,200 in Indiana). It was the deadliest tornado outbreak in Indiana history, with 137 people killed.[1] The outbreak also made that week in April 1965 the second-most-active week in history, with 51 significant and 21 violent tornadoes.

Meteorological synopsis

The tornadoes occurred in a swath 450 miles long (724 km) from Cedar County, Iowa, to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and a swath 450 miles long (724 km) from Kent County, Michigan, to Montgomery County, Indiana. The outbreak lasted 11 hours and is among the most intense outbreaks, in terms of number, strength, width, path, and length of tornadoes, ever recorded, including four “double/twin funnel” tornadoes.

The outbreak was one of the deadliest, and most violent ever documented, with 17 confirmed violent tornadoes (F4-F5 intensity) all of which were rated F4, the second-largest number of violent twisters in one outbreak, after the Super Outbreak of 1974.[2] There had been a short winter that year and, as the day progressed, the temperature rose to 83 °F (28 °C) in the affected area. The tornado outbreak began on Palm Sunday, an important holy day for most Christians. Thus, many people were attending church services, which may explain why some tornado warnings were never received. Read More….

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