As we have seen very recently, severe weather season is in full swing here in Southern Indiana. Severe thunderstorm warnings, and the sirens that can be heard for miles, have become all too common this time of the year. I've gotten to the point where a severe thunderstorm warning doesn't even concern me anymore. I am not even that anxious when a tornado watch is issued - it takes a warning to get my attention these days.

READ MORE: New ‘Tornado Alley’ Now Includes Midwest and Portions of IN, IL, and KY

If it seems like there have been more tornado warnings and tornados touching down each year in Southern Indiana, that's because there have been. A recent study from tracked the increase in high-intensity tornados in cities across the country over the last 20 years, and unfortunately, Evansville has had one of the biggest spikes.

Although low-intensity tornadoes are the most common, high-intensity tornadoes are the most destructive. During the 20-year period ending in November 2023, tornadoes classified as EF2 through EF5 accounted for less than 13% of all occurrences but were responsible for 95.1% of fatalities, 91.2% of injuries, and 91.3% of property damage.

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Since 2003, Evansville, IN has had the fourth-largest increase in high-intensity tornados in America (in small metro areas). Here are some of the alarming figures from the report...

  • Evansville experienced 17 high-intensity tornadoes from 2004-2023, which is 14 more than the previous 20-year period (1984-2003).
  • Tornadoes in Evansville have resulted in 26 fatalities and 244 injuries.
  • The Evansville metro area faced average annual damages of $7,568,380 (after adjusting for inflation) each year of the study period.

The research shows that over the past 20 years, high-intensity tornados have spread farther into the Southeast and Midwest, which means we are likely to see a continued increase in tornado activity.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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