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NWS: EF-0 tornado in Mercer Co. wider, traveled further than first measured


UPDATE @9:18 a.m. (July 14)

New measurements by the National Weather Service indicate an EF-0 tornado that touched down in Mercer County on July 10 traveled longer on the ground and was wider than first believed.

>>VIDEO: Close view of funnel cloud in Rockford

The updated measurements released Friday said the tornado traveled 6.5 miles on the ground, rather than the 3.9 miles the NWS reported on Wednesday. 

The tornado also had a width of 150 yards, also an increase from earlier measurements Wednesday where the tornado was thought to be only 80 yards wide. 

The new NWS measurements also indicate the tornado touched down at 8:14 p.m. before dissipating around 8:30 p.m., five minutes longer than the initial measurements. 

NWS reported the tornado is believed to have touched down near Winkler Road just west of State Route 49. It moved moved east damaging the roof of a home, and nearby trees, on the southwest corner of Winkler and Short roads. 

>>PHOTOS: Funnel cloud, lightning in Mercer

The tornado continued east causing damage to the roof of a house west of Wabash Road and trees on the property. The tornado moved east-southeast across Hill Road, crossing Winkler Road damaging crops and trees along its path. 

NWS reported “cycloidal scarring” was noted in the corn fields adjacent to Winkler Road and Jordan Road. 

The tornado crossed Jordan Road, moving east-southeast to near the intersection of Lee Road and Erastus-Durbin Road, according to NWS. An outbuilding was destroyed and the tornado damaged another area of trees along Township Line Road

The tornado continued east-southeast into open fields north of Rockford West Road before it dissipated at this location, according to NWS.

UPDATE @ 11:17 a.m. (July 12) 

The National Weather Service said an EF-0 tornado touched down in Mercer County Monday night with winds reaching 70 mph, the service said in a release Wednesday. 

The tornado was on the ground for 11 minutes, starting at 8:20 p.m. through 8:31 p.m., the service said in the released measurements of their survey. 

The tornado traveled just under four miles with a maximum width of 80 yards. 

“Based on eyewitness reports, the tornado is believed to have touched down in the vicinity of Hill Road, north of Winkler Road” the weather service said in the release. “From here, the tornado moved generally east-southeast, crossing Winkler Road and damaging crops and trees along its path.”

Surveyors said the tornado also damaged an outbuilding near the intersection of Lee Road and Erastus-Durbin Road. A line of trees was also damaged along Township Line Road before it dissipated in an open field north of Rockford West Road.  

UPDATE @ 12:05 p.m. (July 11)

The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down in northern Mercer County Wednesday, the service said in a statement. 

Additional details on the tornado, including the statistics of its path and wind speed will be released later today or tomorrow from the NWS. 

Mike Robbins, Director of the Mercer County Emergency Management Agency said the damage was contained to a cornfield north of Rockford. 

UPDATE @ 11:47 p.m.(July 10):  National Weather Service investigators could come to Mercer County on Tuesday to verify the claim that a tornado touched down Monday night. Investigators with the Wilmington office will coordinate with county Emergency Management Agency officials to decide whether to visit the county to confirm the twister near Rockford.

>>VIDEO: Close view of funnel cloud in Rockford

>>PHOTOS: Funnel cloud, lightning in Mercer

>>RELATED: Flash flood warnings issued

 "We've seen all the pictures and lots of videos. We had a public report. As of now, there's no proof of any touchdown other than somebody's word,” NWS Meteorologist James Gibson said.

UPDATE @ 9:20 p.m.:  The tornado warning for Mercer expired at 9 p.m., but a severe thunderstorm warning remains in effect for Mercer, Auglaize and Shelby counties until 9:45 p.m.

INITIAL REPORT

At 8:37 p.m., a tornado apparently touched down just west of Rockford, but has lifted. 

There is no word whether the tornado hit anything, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell is reporting. 

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said he has not been made aware of any damage in the county.

Check our interactive radar

At 8:33 p.m., winds of 73 mph were being reported in Mercer County, headed toward Rockford. 

Warnings in area counties

Utility poles are reported down in the area of Winkler Road and U.S. 33 and a funnel cloud was spotted by trained weather spotters, Elwell said. 

Winds clocked at more than 100 mph worked to drive the twister, Elwell said.

The combination of winds coming into and moving out of the Rockford area created “gate to gate shear,” Elwell said. Radar measured an incoming wind of 73 mph and an outbound wind, right next to the inbound, of 33 mph, which was recorded as the maximum wind potential.

There are as many as five tornado warnings issued in northwest Indiana and the system is headed to the southeast, Elwell is reporting.

We have a crew headed to the area. We will update this developing report.

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