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2003 Indiana tornado family
The strongest tornado of the family in central Tipton County.
Type: Tornado outbreak
Active: May 14, 2003
Duration of tornado outbreak1: 2 hours, 18 minutes
Maximum rated tornado2: F4 tornado
Highest winds Unknown
Tornadoes confirmed: 6
Damage: $11.2 million (2003 USD)
Injuries: 3
Fatalities: 1
Areas affected: Central Indiana

1Time from first tornado to last tornado
2Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

the 2003 Indiana tornado family was a unusual tornado family which occurred on May 14, 2003 during the late afternoon and early evening hours. In total 2 strong (F2-F3) and one violent (F4-F5) tornadoes touched down along with 3 weak (F0-F1) tornadoes.

Meteorological history

On May 14, 2003...the SPC put much of central Indiana under a general risk of thunderstorms with a "SEE TEXT" area, or a modern day Marginal Risk. They were concerning the development of strong supercells that could produce small hail and 50 mile per hour winds and a weak tornado at times. Around rush hour that day a supercell developed in Boone County, the NWS in Indianapolis quickly issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the storm as it moved northeast. Reports of a large funnel in eastern Boone County came in, therefore the Severe Thunderstorm Warning was upgraded to a Tornado Warning. The first tornado, a F1, touched down in Boone County and quickly began moving east. The only documented F1 damage of the tornado was a house with windows shattered. The storm moved into Tipton County and the Tornado Warning expired as it was replaced by a new Severe Thunderstorm Warning. However, radar detected a strong tornadic signature shortly later and a new Tornado Warning was issued, about 10 minutes later, a small tornado touched down. The tornado quickly moved southeast and by 5:45PM radar indicated 180 mph winds in the center of the storm, leading to the Tornado Warning being upgraded to a rare Tornado Emergency as the strong tornado approached Tipton. The tornado's winds reached 210 mph as it moved over Tipton, making it a F4 (or low-end EF5) tornado. The tornado began to weaken as it moved toward the Madison County line and eventually lifted. However, the Tornado Warning was continued on the storm as a third, this time F3 tornado touched down outside of Elwood, Indiana. It completely destroyed a farm and 3 trailers, where the only death occurred, and moved east into more cornfields. It heavily damaged a brick house and wrangled farm machinery, showing possible F4 intensity. The tornado lifted after 3 minutes on the ground, and just 45 seconds after it lifted, another funnel touched down and produced a F0 tornado which caused no damage. Another tornado, this time a F1, touched down in western Delaware County at 6:58PM, it caused light damage to some homes and downed a few trees before lifting at 7:02PM. A final tornado touched down at 7:11PM in central Delaware County and produced widespread F2 damage in Yorktown along with scattered areas of F3 damage. The storm weakened below severe limits around 7:15PM bringing the tornado family to a end.

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