GIBSON CITY, Ill. (WCIA) – The National Weather Service spent much of the day Wednesday looking at the damage left behind across Central Illinois from an early season rash of tornadoes.

“We look at that damage to try and estimate how strong the winds were with the tornado, the details, how far the track was, how long it was on the ground, path width and some of the other specifics,” said Mike Bardou, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Chicago.

Tornadoes were investigated across Ford, Logan, Macon and Sangamon counties by his office and the National Weather Service Office in Lincoln.

That information can eventually lead to a better understanding of not just how tornadoes form, but also the potential intensity of those tornadoes.

“The more we learn about tornadoes, the further we can advance the science of them. In terms of trying to forecast them, not just are they going to occur or not, but also even their potential intensity. And that’s kind of where the science is going, estimating the potential for the magnitude of tornadoes even before storms develop.”

January tornadoes are rather rare this far north in Illinois. Tuesday’s tornadoes were the first tornado since a single tornado touched down in Southern Illinois on January 11th, 2020.

This is also the most tornadoes for a January event in the State of Illinois since eight happened on January 7th, 1989.