Spring has finally arrived, but the colder weather can still occur into April. This map shows the median date of the last spring freeze in central and southeast Illinois. Most of the area favors the period around the middle of April. (click image to enlarge)
Illinois' 10th deadliest tornado outbreak on record took a path across the central part of Illinois, killing 21 people. The first tornado touched down near Hardin, traveling northeast through Carrollton, then skimmed the south side of Springfield. At Carrollton, a teacher was killed as she held the door of the school shut, saving the lives of her students. The second tornado, peaking at F4 intensity, touched down on the southeast side of Springfield, then moved to affect the towns of Riverton, Buffalo Hart, Chestnut, and Cornland. In Buffalo Hart, only 3 houses were left standing, while the northern half of Cornland was leveled. The tornado track was 65 miles, ending in Ford County.
A significant outbreak of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms occurred across Illinois during the afternoon and evening hours. In central Illinois, 20 tornadoes moved across the area. One severe thunderstorm spawned several tornadoes from west of Jacksonville, to just west of Springfield, through Decatur and Urbana, and east to Ogden. The Decatur area, which had also been hit by a tornado the night before, sustained about $9 million damage with 27 people injured. Further east, up to $11 million damage occurred in Urbana, where 30 homes were destroyed and 80 more were damaged. Another tornado moved through Ogden, destroying 68 homes and numerous other businesses and public institutions. One person was killed just east of Ogden, when a semi was overturned on I-74. Strong tornadoes were also reported in Mason and southwest McLean Counties.