INDIANAPOLIS - When Tuesday began, severe weather was not expected. A variety of factors came together to produce confirmed EF-1 tornado that struck Plainfield.
Thunderstorms were in the forecast for Tuesday, but they were not expected to become severe.
The Storm Prediction Center did not have Indiana or any other area of the Midwest in a risk zone for severe weather.
That underscores the inexact science of weather forecasting. Sometimes, elements come together to cause severe weather that can't be seen far in advance.
The storm that hit Plainfield and then weakened as it entered Marion and Hamilton counties was fueled by several factors, including but not limited to a nearby low-pressure area, ample moisture, twisting winds with height and pockets of sunshine to fuel instability.
A storm formed and quickly picked up strength in Morgan County. Radar picked up rotation in the storm, but as it moved toward Marion County, that storm weakened.
The second storm formed a little north of the first one, quickly developing a rotating wall cloud and lower-level rotation.
Within minutes, a tornado dropped from that storm.
"At 2:32 was the first report of a touchdown with debris," said StormTeam 6 Chief Meteorologist Kevin Gregory.
The storm raked the eastern side of Plainfield before apparently lifting as it neared the Marion County line, possibly dropping again before lifting and weakening.
No severe weather watches were ever issued, and the conditions that caused the tornado did not last long.
Forecast: Warmer weekend
Chances for White Christmas increasing! Storm to watch Tuesday/Wednesday.
Be 'Aware:' Snow may impact travel next week
A more active weather pattern is setting up, and the timing perhaps isn't great.
PICS: Tsunami-struck area, 10 years later
See how things have changed in the tsunami-struck areas of southeast Asia in the almost decade that's passed.
Severe weather records broken in 2014
For fans of severe weather, 2014 has been a dud. With less than three weeks left in the year, 2014 may possibly be considered one of the…
Typhoon Hagupit makes lanfall in Philippines
Aid workers and news agencies credit widespread evacuations with saving lives during the slow-moving storm.
Misery Map: Website tracks flight delays
Even if you're not traveling for the holidays this map is really informative.