CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Unusual tornadoes struck parts of Central Illinois on Monday morning.
The National Weather Service has confirmed 3 tornadoes touched down in Ford and Champaign Counties.
The first tornado briefly touched down near Staley Road and Cardinal Road in Northwest Champaign. No damage was reported.
The second tornado touched down near the Market Street Exit north of Champaign along I-57. No damage was reported.
The third tornado touched down and passed east of Paxton through the Clarence area. No damage was reported.
A funnel cloud was also reported near Rantoul during the event.
Here’s some statistics about the unusual tornadoes in Central Illinois this morning:
Statewide, 5 tornadoes were reported. 3 were in our area, 2 more touched down in the Chicago Metro.
This is the first confirmed tornado in Champaign County in the month of February since modern records began in 1950. There were two today.
This is the first confirmed tornado in Ford County in the month of February since modern records began in 1950. There was one today.
Pending the outcome of a tornado survey from the National Weather Service in Chicago, this could be the second February tornado in Iroquois County since 1950 if the Clarence tornado is found to have traveled into Iroquois County from Ford County. The other Iroquois tornado occurred on February 16th, 2006 at 4:35 p.m. local time. It was rated an F1.
In our WCIA 3 Viewing Area from 1950 to 2022, we have reported just 23 tornadoes in the month of January/February. In 2023, we have counted 12.
Only 17 tornadoes have occurred in the WCIA 3 Viewing area in the month of February since 1950. Today’s 3 make that number climb to 20.
This is the most tornadoes to start a year on record in the WCIA 3 Viewing Area since 1950, with the 12 we have recorded this year eclipsing 2014’s 10 tornadoes through March 1st.
Last year we reported only 5 tornadoes in the entire year. This year we are up to 12 so far.
In addition, what makes today’s tornadoes even more unusual is the time that they occurred. A vast majority of our tornadoes occur in the afternoon hours in the state of Illinois. This morning’s tornadoes happened in the morning hours, some of least likely times for tornadoes to occur.