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Indiana’s spring outlook; Severe storms threat on hold until cool spell eases

Spring has been in the air on several occasions this winter with one of the mildest and least snowy on record, spring fever is at a premium. But as thoughts turn to sunny and warmer days, flowers budding and blooming, and nature awakening in central Indiana we are also on the clock.

From bitter arctic blasts and heavy winter storms to unseasonably warm air – the battle of the seasons is fully underway.

11 years ago, the season started fast. On March 2, 2012 – the first killer tornado in the state in years swept across southern Indiana. The Henryville tornado reached maximum winds of 175 mph. Rated an EF4, this tornado tracked 47 miles leaving a path of destruction and more importantly, sadly killing 13.

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As winter retreats and spring tries to take hold, powerful storms come to life and starting in March, nationwide tornado production is ramping up.

The season builds and reaches its peak across the country in May and June.

La Niña conditions have impacted central Indiana winter weather for the past three winters but it is often unclear how our springs are affected.  Each of the past two has varied widely. In 2021 we had little to no severe storms, with not a single tornado warning issued in the months of April and May. The FIRST tornado watch for the city of Indianapolis did not happen until December of that year. This year, completely different! We have had SEVEN tornadoes state-wide this year and we are not even to the midway point of March.

In 2022, the first tornado of the season was in Royal Center in March, and we would go on to have 15 tornadoes in the state. While most of the tornadoes were weak, a tornado in June damaged a volunteer fire department in Shelby County.

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Spring 2023 severe weather outlook in Indiana

Spring looks to continue to favor above-normal temperatures and wetter-than-average conditions, a continuation of our winter pattern. That leads us to believe that this spring will LIKEY be a very active one.

With the recent chilly weather taking hold in weeks two and through week three of March, severe storm production will likely be minimal. However, we expect some powerful southwest storm systems to sweep the Midwest in early spring and severe weather season should get going, spreading north quickly into the Midwest from mid-April through May. These storms are not limited to just tornadoes – there is a growing concern that Flooding and Flash Flooding could be very prominent this spring and into early summer.

As reported by WTTV CBS4Indy