17 May 2003
Harrison Co., Indiana
Tornado Damage

During the evening hours of Saturday, May 17th, an unusual situation developed across parts of southern Indiana and northwest Kentucky. Ahead of a slow moving upper level low, very strong low-level wind shear contributed to the development of numerous funnel clouds, and a few weak tornadoes, from storms that produced little or no lightning. The following are some damage pictures and other informational materials from that evening, then a report on one tornado touchdown in southwestern Harrison County Indiana.

Remains of a recreational trailer near New Amsterdam that had been blown down a steep embankment into the Ohio River. The mobile home was not tied down, and much of the structure is submerged in the water.

Large tree that was blown over.

Damage to a barn about 2 miles south of New Amsterdam.

Louisville NEXRAD high-resolution (8-bit) base velocity image over Perry County Indiana. This circulation was associated with numerous funnel cloud reports, and at least two brief weak tornado touchdowns, as it moved northwest across the county.

A four-panel reflectivity image shows that this storm over Perry County exhibited a relatively unremarkable reflectivity pattern.

Broad circulation, but slightly stronger in terms of the peak inbound/outbound velocities, as it organized south of New Amsterdam along the Ohio River.

Circulation as it passed near the New Amsterdam area.

Hodograph from the Louisville NEXRAD during the time funnels were being sighted. This clearly shows how the low-level atmospheric shear profile was very conducive for brief spin-ups.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOUISVILLE KY
300 PM EDT MON MAY 19 2003
...STORM DAMAGE ASSESSMENT FOR SOUTHWEST HARRISON COUNTY IN 
SOUTH-CENTRAL INDIANA...
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICIALS CONDUCTED A GROUND STORM DAMAGE 
SURVEY ACROSS SOUTHWEST HARRISON COUNTY IN SOUTH-CENTRAL 
INDIANA...WITH THE MAIN EMPHASIS AROUND THE NEW AMSTERDAM AREA ALONG 
THE OHIO RIVER BANK. 
ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS WERE RIPE ON SATURDAY EVENING FOR FUNNEL
CLOUDS WITH A STRONG UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE SPINNING SOUTHWEST 
OF THE REGION...PROVIDING THE NEEDED COUNTERCLOCKWISE SPIN TO FORM
FUNNEL CLOUDS. THESE TYPES OF FUNNEL CLOUDS ARE OFTEN TERMED "COLD 
AIR FUNNELS"...AND INFREQUENTLY REACH THE GROUND AS WEAK TORNADOES.
* EVENT DATE: SATURDAY MAY 17, 2003
* EVENT TYPE: F0 TORNADO
* ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WINDS: 70 MPH
* ESTIMATED LOCATION: THE FIRST OBSERVED TOUCHDOWN OF THE WEAK    
  TORNADO WAS ABOUT 2 MILES SOUTH OF NEW AMSTERDAM NEAR THE OHIO
  RIVER BANK. THE TORNADO THEN SKIPPED NORTH ACROSS THE COUNTRYSIDE TO 
  THE SMALL TOWN OF NEW AMSTERDAM WHERE ADDITIONAL MINOR DAMAGE OCCURRED. 
  NO ADDITIONAL DAMAGE WAS FOUND TO THE NORTH OF NEW AMSTERDAM. 
* EVENT TIME: THE STORM MOTION BASED ON RADAR WAS NORTH NORTHWEST
  AROUND 15 MPH. RESIDENTS AROUND NEW AMSTERDAM SAID THE TORNADO TOUCHED
  DOWN SEVERAL TIMES FOR ONLY A FEW SECONDS EACH TIME. APPROXIMATE TIME 
  OF OCCURRENCE WAS 530 PM EST (630 PM EDT).
* DAMAGE AREA DIMENSIONS: LENGTH: 2.0 MILES
                          WIDTH: 50 YARDS
* INJURIES: NONE.
* FATALITIES: NONE.
* DAMAGE: A MODERN BARN WAS DAMAGED 2 MILES SOUTH OF NEW AMSTERDAM. A 
  PORTION OF THE ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF AND LANDED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE 
  BARN. ALONG THE OHIO RIVER BANK IN NEW AMSTERDAM, A MOBILE HOME WAS 
  BLOWN INTO THE OHIO RIVER WITH SOME DEBRIS SCATTERED ALONG THE RIVER 
  BANK. THE MOBILE HOME WAS NOT TIED DOWN TO A STURDY FOUNDATION. IT WAS 
  NOT OCCUPIED AND WAS BEING USED ONLY AS A TEMPORARY RECREATIONAL 
  STRUCTURE. A LARGE TREE WAS DOWNED. SEVERAL TREES ALONG THE RIVER BANK 
  WERE TOPPED. 
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