Active Weather Sunday: Tornado in Serena, IL; Festivals in Northwest Suburbs Suspended by Severe Thunderstorm


A tornado sighted about 6:42 p.m. Sunday September 1, 2013 was confirmed near Serena, located about 70 miles southwest of Chicago. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning Sunday evening about 6:30 p.m. for northwestern Grundy County, southwestern Kendall County and northeastern LaSalle County, which expired 7:30 p.m. Strangely the storm that produced a tornado drifted north over Aurora and into Geneva, Illinois. While over Geneva, the thunderstorm produced two lightning bolts that struck two homes — first at 999 Sunset Road at 7:18 p.m. and then at 1565 Keim Circle at about 7:42 p.m. The homes are located about one mile apart. In the first fire, a natural gas supply line ignited. In the second fire, the lightning struck the roof, which resulted a fire involving the attic and roof.

Photo by Allie Rohrer submitted to ABC 7 Chicago’s Facebook page showing tornado near Serena, Illinois.

Video of tornado in Serena, Illinois submitted by Allie Rohrer
to ABC 7 Chicago’s Facebook page —
(WARNING: some graphic/tornado-sighting-like language).

Two hours later a separate line of thunderstorm approached the northwest suburbs and passed through Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, and Schaumburg from about 8:30 p.m. until about 9:00 p.m. The storms intensified as they approached in Lake County but quickly weakened by about 9:00 p.m. Two festivals — Buffalo Grove Days and Schaumburg Septemberfest were suspended while the storms hit. This second line of thunderstorms was north of Milwaukee when the tornado was sighted near Serena, Illinois — west of Minooka, southwest of Sandwich, Illinois, and about 25 miles southwest of Aurora, Illinois.

The second line of storms produced a lightning strike about 9:00 p.m. Sunday that damaged the roof of a townhouse at 1621 Partridge Court in Arlington HLeights. Homeowners smelled smoke before the fire had much chance to spread. Firefighters found the fire in a confined attic space with help from firefighters that were on the roof. The firefighters on the roof poked a hole in the roof so they could located the fire below and pinpoint the location. Then interior attack firefighters pulled down the ceiling and attacked the fire from the inside.

A storm that passed through northeast Illinois on Friday evening involved lightning that was most intense west of the northwest suburbs — in Kane County. Arlington Heights had very little lightning during Friday evening’s storm. A lightning strike at the Romeoville National Weather Service Chicago radar facility in Will County knocked out the radar. The radar was still down for maintenance as of Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

Awesome photo of tornado and wall cloud in Sheridan, Illinois about 6:40 p.m. — submitted by to ABC 7 Chicago’s Facebook page by Brian Humphrey.

Photo from “Sara Cardinal” in Sheridan — submitted to ABC 7 Chicago’s Facebook page — shows wall cloud, too (click on picture).

A 15-minute radar loop centered around the time the tornado may have touched down. Early in the loop, a broad and weak circulation is noted just west of Sheridan. The red outbound colors indicate movement away from the radar, while the green inbounds indicate movement toward the radar. The circulation tightens up briefly as indicated by the brighter red and green couplet.

Notice not much was expected from the Storm Prediction Center on Sunday …

Less than 2% all areas for the TORNADO OUTLOOK for September 1, 2013. Click the picture to see a few more outlooks for Sunday regarding severe weather.

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