Newton Tornado of November 15, 2005

Much of the Midwest and Ohio Valley was affected by a late-season severe weather outbreak.  These areas had been designated as being in a "high risk" of severe weather, a designation only used a handful of times each year:

Day 1 Severe Weather Outlook, issued at 11:30 am CST

Tornado probabilities for Nov. 15, 2005, as of 11:30 am

Damaging wind forecast for Nov. 15, 2005 as of 11:30 am

The images above were taken from the 10:30 am CST outlook from the Storm Prediction Center.  The first image represents the outlook broken down into the traditional "categories" (slight, moderate, high).  The high risk area extended from north central Indiana all the way south to the northern half of Mississippi.  The second image is the tornado probability outlook.  Areas with the gray hatching indicate a 10% or greater probability of strong tornadoes (at least F2 intensity).  The third image is the damaging wind outlook, with the maximum possible 45% probability indicated.  Hatched areas indicate at least a 10% or greater probability of wind speeds in excess of 75 mph.

The greatest activity from this outbreak was across the Ohio and Tennessee Valley regions.  Click here for a specific listing from the SPC webpage.


Track of Newton tornado 
Newton tornado track.  Click image to enlarge.

Personnel from the NWS office in Lincoln conducted a damage survey of the tornado that occurred in Jasper County. 

The tornado first touched down in Jasper County around 3:15 PM CST, about 1 mile southeast of Latona, or 7 miles west-southwest of Newton.  The tornado traveled to the northeast, passing north of Newton.  It lifted around 3:23 PM, about 3.5 miles northeast of Newton.

The tornado was rated F1 on the Fujita Scale, with estimated wind speeds of 90 to 100 mph.  The tornado path was 10 miles long and 30 to 50 yards wide.

Damage caused by the tornado was mainly to outbuildings, barns, and grain bins.  Eleven outbuildings were severely damaged or destroyed.  Damage to 3 homes was found, but was minor in nature.  One attached garage was destroyed, with the garage carried 150 yards.  Numerous trees and a few power poles were also blown down.

A separate area of straight-line wind damage was also found.  This area of wind damage extended from 4.5 miles northeast to 7 miles northeast of Newton.  Tree damage was found in this area.

Radar images:

Reflectivity image from 3:19 pm CST

This radar image and subsequent ones were from the Doppler radar located near Owensville, IN (southeast of image location).

3:19 pm reflectivity.  The storms were racing northeast around 60 mph.

Storm Relative Motion image from 3:19 pm CST 3:19 pm Storm Relative Motion
Reflectivity image from 3:25 pm CST 3:25 pm reflectivity
Storm relative motion image from 3:25 pm CST 3:25 pm Storm Relative Motion
 Radar reflectivity image from 3:32 pm CST 3:32 pm Reflectivity
 Storm relative motion image from 3:32 pm 3:32 pm Storm Relative Motion
 Reflectivity image from 3:38 pm CST 3:38 pm Reflectivity
 Storm relative motion image from 3:38 pm CST 3:38 pm Storm Relative Motion


Damage photos:

Pole barn destroyed northwest of Newton
Northwest of Newton

Debris strewn into a field northwest of Newton
Northwest of Newton

Barn severely damaged
West of Newton

Outbuilding destroyed
West of Newton

Map of Nov 15, 2005 severe weather reports is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.