Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Tornado Chronicles: Holton, IN Tornado of 3-2-12...

A large, damaging tornado struck Holton, IN and points to the East/Northeast during the afternoon hours of Friday, March 2, 2012.

The National Weather Service (NWS) storm survey has rated this tornado EF-3 intensity, with maximum winds estimated at 145 mph.  The survey indicates that the tornado touched down at approximately 3:53pm EST about 1 mile West/Southwest of Holton, IN.  The tornado then continued to the East/Northeast for approximately 9 miles before lifting approximately 2 miles Southeast of Osgood, IN.  

The tornado caused damage along a path up to 350 yards wide.  Two people were killed and six people were injured as a result of this tornado.

Based on the survey data, the tornado became strongest as it moved near the intersection of US 50 and Versailles Street.  This is the point where the two fatalities occurred (in a mobile home).  Below are some damage photos of the Holton area:

To date I have not been able to find any photos or videos of the actual tornado itself, but there are several damage/aftermath videos posted on YouTube, two of which are shown below:

Radar imagery from the Indianapolis site showed a strong velocity (wind speed and direction) signature just after the storm passed Holton, as shown on the image below:

When examining velocity data, keep in mind that greens show winds blowing toward the radar site, while reds show winds blowing away from the radar site.  The radar site, in this case, is located off to the upper-left hand corner of the image.  With this in mind you can see the strong tornadic signature as noted by the yellow circle on the same image below:

This tornado was just one of many associated with the outbreak that took place across the Midwest, Ohio and Tennessee Valley region on Friday, March 2, 2012.  Please see this post for a "Table of Contents" index listing of the other Tornado Chronicles posts associated with the outbreak.

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