Tornadoes - August 2016

NCEI added Alaska climate divisions to its nClimDiv dataset on Friday, March 6, 2015, coincident with the release of the February 2015 monthly monitoring report. For more information on this data, please visit the Alaska Climate Divisions FAQ.

This analysis is based on preliminary data available from the Storm Prediction Center. Final tornado counts published by the Storm Prediction Center and NCEI's Storm Events Database might differ from this report. For a more detailed climatology, please visit our tornado climatology page.

According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during August, there were 110 preliminary tornado reports. This is above the 1991-2010 average of 83 for the month and the most tornadoes reported during August since 2005. Most of the tornadoes reported during the month were across the Midwest with 28 tornadoes reported in Indiana and 22 in Ohio with 35 of those tornadoes reported during an outbreak on the 24th, ultimately 21 were confirmed. There were no tornado-related fatalities reported during August. For January-August, there were 864 preliminary tornado reports, with 305 preliminary tornado reports awaiting confirmation for June-August. The 1991-2010 January-August average number of tornadoes is 1,035.

On August 24th, an upper level low pressure system moving through the Midwest triggered strong storms along a surface cold front. Extremely high low level moisture provided ample fuel and combined with atmospheric shear created ideal conditions for tornadoes to develop across northern Indiana and Ohio. There were at least 21 tornadoes confirmed across the region including an EF-3 that hit near Woodburn, Indiana. This was the first EF-3 tornado for the region since June 2010. Despite the relatively high number of tornadoes, including the EF-3 and several EF-2 tornadoes, and several damaged homes and businesses, there were no fatalities reported, and only one injury. Long lead times, on average of 16 minutes, of the tornado warnings by the National Weather Service were credited as the reason for the low number of causalities.

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Tornadoes for August 2016, published online September 2016, retrieved on September 30, 2016 from