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Severe weather season on display as tornadoes rip through region

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 11:41 AM
By: Eric Elwell

Ohio’s second severe weather season was on display over the weekend as tornadoes were reported from Illinois through the Buckeye State on Sunday.

The hardest hit area was Celina in Mercer County where widespread damage was reported along highway 29 and Havemann Road.

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The National Weather Service confirmed Monday that at least three EF-2 tornadoes touched down in Mercer County. It appears one tornado was at least over 200 yards wide as it moved through Celina. There were other reports of severe storms Sunday scattered across the Miami Valley along with numerous reports of high water and several house fires caused by lightning.

I wrote a week ago about how powerful storms can be this time of year. The battle of the cold and warm are magnified the most here in Ohio in late May and early June, and then again in late October into early November.

Since just the year 2000, there have been over 50 tornadoes reported in Ohio in the months of October and November with a majority of those in western Ohio. Some of those autumn tornadoes have been intense. On Nov. 10, 2002, a massive F4 tornado ripped through the town of Van Wert, killing 4 people.

There were 18 tornadoes across Ohio alone that day, and 83 tornadoes across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. The tornado outbreak caused 36 fatalities region-wide between Nov. 9-11, 2002.

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Even more recently, another fall tornado struck the town of Vandalia on Halloween of 2013. This EF1 tornado caused extensive damage to businesses along National Road and Foley Drive. There were 10 people injured in a Fricker’s Restaurant, mostly due to flying glass.

The good news is that the autumn severe weather season is quite a bit shorter than that of the spring season, and thus the threat doesn’t last long. In fact, it appears much more seasonable temperatures arriving will put an end to the threat for severe storms likely for the rest of the year - or at least we can hope. The unofficial count of tornadoes this year in Ohio is 27, which is above the average of 19 per year.

»WEATHER: Get the latest Storm Center 7 forecast

Next up? Our first significant snow. Any guesses as to the date of our first inch of snow? Send me your prediction on Twitter or my Facebook page.

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.