Five Tornadoes Confirmed Monday in Central Illinois

Local News

MECHANICSBURG, Ill. (WCIA) – The National Weather Service confirmed five tornadoes touched down in Central Illinois Monday evening.

Tornadoes are rated based on estimated wind speeds. To make an estimate, damage has to occur to a structure, trees, powerlines, signs, or a number of damage indicators used by the National Weather Service. The scale goes from 0 (weak) to 5 (catastrophic). Most tornadoes are weak, just like the tornadoes we saw yesterday.

However, in the scenario where no damage occurs when a tornado happens, it receives an EF-U rating, or EF – “Unknown”. There’s no damage to trees, fences, buildings or anything else, because the tornadoes remained in open fields and away from where people live and work. Rather than assign a “0” to the rating, they use “U” to describe this situation. Had the tornado even knocked over a sign, a number could be used. But these tornadoes didn’t even do that.

While there was no damage, there were plenty of videos from spotters confirming that tornadoes were down during yesterday’s storm. That’s why tornado warnings were issued, and is a great reason why storm spotters are important to the warning process. Had the tornadoes occurred in slightly different spots, it could have caused damage to someone’s property and gotten a rating with a number.

Here’s a summary of the tornadoes that were confirmed by the National Weather Service Office in Lincoln;

Cass County:
– #1 Arenzville Tornado (3 mi ENE)
Rating: EFU
Path Length: Estimated 0.5 miles
Path Width: Estimated 50 yards
No injuries/fatalities

– #2 Virginia Tornado (3 mi S)
Rating: EFU
Path Length: Estimated 1.5 miles
Path Width: Estimated 100 yards
No injuries/fatalities

Sangamon County:
– #3 Pleasant Plains Tornado (2 mi W)
Rating: EFU
Path Length: Estimated 0.3 miles
Path Width: Estimated 50 yards
No injuries/fatalities

– #4 Dawson Tornado (1 mi ESE)
Rating: EFU
Path Length: Estimated 0.3 miles
Path Width: Estimated 50 yards
No injuries/fatalities

– #5 Mechanicsburg Tornado (1 mi ESE)
Rating: EFU
Path Length: Estimated 0.3 miles
Path Width: Estimated 50 yards
No injuries/fatalities

See the National Weather Service’s assessment, a list of complete storm reports and more on their storm survey page.

Check out viewer photos from the storms in Central Illinois here.

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