Tornado Damage Images for Coal City and Braidwood Area in North Central Illinois

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As search and rescue teams continue their work Tuesday morning from last night’s storms, the National Weather is planning to conduct damage surveys on Tuesday, June 23rd to assess the number, tracks, and intensity of tornadoes and straight line wind damage in Illinois.

Initially, forecasters expected an afternoon full of severe storms in Chicagoland on Monday. A line of very intense thunderstorms developed across Iowa early Monday morning and moved into northwest Illinois around 9 AM CDT. The line of storms initially produced wind gusts in excess of 70 mph across portions of eastern Iowa near Davenport, but quickly weakened as it moved eastward across northern Illinois.

By about 1:00 p.m. Monday conditions led to an early expiration of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for northern Illinois, and the activation of Tornado Warning for north central Illinois and western Illinois.

Morning convection produced considerable cloud cover which lingered most of the afternoon for all of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana. The forecasted high temperatures were not reached.

Toward evening, tornadoes were spawned by a one long tracked, cyclic supercell thunderstorm (a supercell thunderstorm which produces a series of tornadoes over a period of time). The cyclic supercell thunderstorm was observed to have multiple inflow notches on the east side of the storm, which indicates possible multiple tornadoes.

The atmosphere was primed for severe weather, with very warm, humid conditions, low pressure moving north of the region, and a strong jet stream aloft. Upper winds pushed storms from northwest to southeast, compared to the more common southwest to northeast flow of tornadoes. The NWS Storm Prediction Center indicated a 10 percent likelihood of a tornado in a 50-mile range across northern Illinois and north central Illinois.

Tornado warnings were activated the entire path of the cyclic supercell thunderstorm path with the first of several evening Tornado Warnings in Illinois started at 6:52 p.m. — a warning for Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison. In Illinois, the first tornado significant damage reports came out of Amboy, Mendota and Sublette at about 8:00 p.m. Later significant damage was reported in the Coal City and Braidwood area, including the downing of high-tension lines across Interstate 55. The lines were downed when high-tension towers collapsed near the Braidwood nuclear power plant south of Reed Rd/Kennedy Road.

In addition to tornado and wind damage, slow moving storms brought torrential rainfall of locally up to 3 to 5 inches to portions of Lee, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee counties, resulting in widespread flash flooding. The rain fell on top of soil already saturated from repeated heavy rains over the past few weeks.

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