I haven’t updated the weather blog recently, but I think I have a pretty good excuse. We’re finishing up what has seemed like non-stop severe weather over the last two weeks.
Take a look at these staggering numbers…
Between May 16-29, there were 476 tornado reports, 2122 high wind reports, and 1183 large hail reports in the United States. These numbers as of writing this are preliminary and will likely drop a little once multiple reports are filtered out and the data is quality checked.
Locally, we had 7 confirmed tornadoes in this time-frame. There were additional tornado warnings that did not produce a tornado, and some storms that produced funnel clouds but did not make it to the ground.
The 7 confirmed tornadoes were:
5/23 – An EF-1 tornado moved through southwestern parts of Logan County just west of I-55. Its estimated peak winds were 110 mph.
5/23 – Another EF-1 tornado touched down just north of Lincoln in Logan County. Estimated peak winds with this tornado were 90 mph. This was just a few miles away from the National Weather Service office in Lincoln.
5/24 – A tornado touched down 5 miles west of Lewistown. (No other available data or map)
5/25 – Two EF-1 tornadoes touched down near Green Valley in Tazewell County. Both had estimated peak winds of 90 mph.
5/27 – Two EF-0 tornadoes briefly touched down in Knox and Woodford Counties.
(All maps above are from the National Weather Service in Lincoln, IL)
In addition to these confirmed tornadoes, we saw many reports of high winds and large hail across the Heart of Illinois.
The high amounts of severe weather were thanks to a weather pattern that featured an active jet stream that moved northeast through the plains and Midwest.
You can see the wide range of severe weather reports across the United States. Here are the last three days, which were also the three most active days of severe weather. Each day had at least 350 reports of severe weather.
This graphic shows all of the Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service from 5/23-5/29.
Thankfully the weather pattern will be changing as we head into the weekend and next week. That doesn’t completely eliminate the chance for wet weather or even potential strong/severe storms, but I am not expecting widespread and consistent severe weather like what we’ve just seen.
-Chief Meteorologist Brian Walder