Tornado Facts and Graphs for Southern Indiana and Central Kentucky
1830 to Present

Tornado map of southern Indiana and central Kentucky

Indiana's and Kentucky's Most Violent Tornadoes

Interesting Facts

Graphs

 There have been...
  • 2 F5's
  • 25 F4's
  • 52 F3's
  • 161 F2's
  • 236 F1's
  • 132 F0's
  • Seven of undetermined strength
...for a total of 615 tornadoes!
 How many tornadoes of each F-scale have occurred?
 Both of the F5 tornadoes were recorded on the same day:  April 3, 1974.  Annual distribution of tornadoes, by month
 There are fewer F0 tornadoes than F1 tornadoes listed here because so many F0 tornadoes have historically gone unreported or undetected.  Seasonal distribution of tornadoes
There have been 65 killer tornadoes, resulting in 440 fatalities.  The deadliest was on March 27, 1890, when a tornado killed 76 people in and around Louisville.  The most recent killer tornado occurred on March 2, 2012 when an EF4 tornado killed 11 people in southern Indiana.  Annual distribution of
The longest tornado path ever recorded in this region was 60 miles.  Four tornadoes accomplished that feat:  one on March 27, 1890...two on March 18, 1925...and one on May 9, 1933.  Diurnal distribution of tornadoes
 Jefferson County, Kentucky has had the most tornadoes of any county, with 33.  Nicholas has had the fewest, with only 2.   Actual number of tornadoes each year since 1830
 Harrison County, Indiana, has had the most F5 tornadoes (2).  Jefferson County, Kentucky and Clark County, Indiana have had the most F4's (5).
 The oldest known tornado occurred in June of 1830 near Louisville.  
 Three tornadoes were 1200 yards wide:  one each on March 27, 1890...March 18, 1925...and April 3, 1974.  

The "coldest" tornadoes occurred on March 12, 1986, when three F1 tornadoes were observed while temperatures were in the middle 40s.  There was also widespread wind damage and large hail.  Low pressure was centered over southeast Kanas with a warm front reaching due east, along the Kentucky/Tennessee border.  The tornadoes touched down just north of the front in Kentucky.

On the following dates tornadoes occurred while temperatures were in the 50 to 55 degree range:

 

 

 

Our Worst Tornado Outbreaks

...by Number of Tornadoes

...by Number of Fatalities

All-time:  24 on April 19-20, 2011 All-time:  92 on March 27, 1890
By Month
By Month
*There has never been a tornado-related fatality in July or December.

**Some of the fatalities attributed to the tornadoes above may have occurred before the tornado crossed into this project's geographical area of concern.

***  There are four tornadoes that are thought to have caused fatalities but are not included in these statistics, pending further research to determine exactly how many fatalities occurred.
By Season
By Season

 

Map of Approximate Fatality Locations Since 1830

Number of Tornadoes Per County

Last updated December 24, 2013


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