NWS Summary of 1997 Severe Weather

This year we have seen some significant weather events unfold across the tri-state area. Over the months of January through October, the National Weather Service Office in Wilmington, Ohio issued around 312 severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings and around 175 flood/flash flood warnings.

The most significant flooding event by far was the flooding of early March. Over 12 inches of rain fell in parts of northern Kentucky and southern Ohio during March 1-2, 1997 causing serious flash flooding and river flooding. Rivers such as the Licking River in Kentucky, the Ohio Brush Creek, in Ohio and the Ohio River rose rapidly. River flooding continued in some areas along the Ohio River through March 10 or 11th. Thirteen deaths occurred in NWS Wilmington’s County Warning Area during the flooding.

Ten counties in the Wilmington NWS Office’s Ohio and Indiana County Warning Area were effected by confirmed tornadoes. No tornadoes were confirmed in Wilmington’s Kentucky counties. The tornadoes occurred on May 14, July 2, July 26, and August 17th. The following counties experienced confirmed tornadoes: Dearborn, IN; Clinton, Fayette, Ross, Franklin, Greene, Clermont, Licking, Delaware, and Adams counties in Ohio. No deaths were reported with these tornadoes.

The most significant severe thunderstorm outbreaks occurred on March 28 and July 2. On March 28 most counties in East-Central and Southeastern Indiana received both large hail and damaging winds. Sixteen severe weather events occurred on that day across the 8 county area. On July 2, 33 severe weather events and 3 tornadoes occurred with the worst damage associated with a strong tornado in Clermont County.

No deaths were reported due to lightning and one death was reported due to a severe thunderstorm. This death occurred in Putnam County.

(Mary Jo Parker is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Wilmington NWS office.)