Severe Weather and Heavy Rain of August 16, 2012

 

(Click here to jump to rainfall reports)

Strong to severe thunderstorms developed across central Illinois on August 16.  One area of stronger storms moved across roughly the northern third of the state during the early to mid morning, producing heavy rain and some hail up to the size of dimes around Peoria.  The main severe weather activity developed during the early afternoon, along boundaries left over from the morning storms. The hardest hit areas were from storms that tracked from northern Montgomery County eastward to around Charleston/Mattoon.  Extensive damage occurred to trees and power lines, especially around Pana and Windsor.  A storm chaser measured a 78 mph wind gust near the Moultrie/Coles county line.  As the storms pushed to the I-70 corridor, they produced a 74 mph wind gust at the Effingham airport.  The storms were largely out of southeast Illinois by around 6 pm.

Here are some preliminary reports of severe weather.  Additional reports will be added later.  Click here for an interactive Google map of reports.


PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
837 PM CDT THU AUG 16 2012

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0150 PM     TSTM WND DMG     ST. JOSEPH              40.11N 88.04W
08/16/2012                   CHAMPAIGN          IL   STORM CHASER

            5 TO 6 INCH TREE LIMBS DOWN AT HIGH SCHOOL

0225 PM     TSTM WND GST     JAMAICA                 39.98N 87.80W
08/16/2012  E60.00 MPH       VERMILION          IL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0225 PM     HAIL             JAMAICA                 39.98N 87.80W
08/16/2012  M0.25 INCH       VERMILION          IL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0245 PM     TSTM WND DMG     PAWNEE                  39.59N 89.58W
08/16/2012                   SANGAMON           IL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            2 POWER POLES SNAPPED ALONG 4TH STREET IN TOWN.

0300 PM     HAIL             2 N TAYLORVILLE         39.55N 89.26W
08/16/2012  M1.00 INCH       CHRISTIAN          IL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0320 PM     TSTM WND DMG     PANA                    39.39N 89.08W
08/16/2012                   CHRISTIAN          IL   MESONET

            WIDESPREAD TREES DOWN ACROSS TOWN AND RURAL AREAS AROUND
            PANA...RANGING FROM LARGE TREES AND SMALL BRANCHES.

0320 PM     TSTM WND DMG     TOWER HILL              39.39N 88.96W
08/16/2012                   SHELBY             IL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            3 FOOT TREE UPROOTED

0332 PM     TSTM WND DMG     PANA                    39.39N 89.08W
08/16/2012                   CHRISTIAN          IL   MESONET

            18 INCH DIAMETER TREE DOWN IN CITY

0332 PM     TSTM WND DMG     PANA                    39.39N 89.08W
08/16/2012                   CHRISTIAN          IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

            12 TO 18 INCH TREES DOWN AND NUMEROUS POWER LINES DOWN
            ACROSS CITY.

0336 PM     TSTM WND DMG     WINDSOR                 39.44N 88.60W
08/16/2012                   SHELBY             IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

            NUMEROUS TREE LIMBS DOWN AND 2 FOOT DIAMETER TREE DOWN IN
            TOWN. NUMEROUS ROADS BLOCKED BY LIMBS

0340 PM     TSTM WND DMG     WINDSOR                 39.44N 88.60W
08/16/2012                   SHELBY             IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

            NUMEROUS POWER POLES AND POWER LINES DOWN. SIDING BLOWN
            OFF TRAILERS. TREE LIMBS DOWN ACROSS TOWN.

0343 PM     TSTM WND GST     GAYS                    39.46N 88.50W
08/16/2012  M78.00 MPH       MOULTRIE           IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

0345 PM     TSTM WND DMG     1 E GAYS                39.46N 88.48W
08/16/2012                   MOULTRIE           IL   MESONET

            TREES DOWN ABOUT A MILE EAST OF GAYS.

0350 PM     TSTM WND DMG     MATTOON                 39.48N 88.37W
08/16/2012                   COLES              IL   MESONET

            NUMEROUS POWER POLES AND POWERLINES DOWN...EAST AND WEST
            OF CITY. ELECTRICITY OUT FOR NEAR 2 HOURS. NUMEROUS TREE
            LIMBS DOWN AROUND CITY. CROPS BLOWN DOWN WEST OF TOWN.

0350 PM     TSTM WND DMG     MATTOON                 39.48N 88.37W
08/16/2012                   COLES              IL   MESONET

            NUMEROUS TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN. POWER LINES BLOCKING
            LAKE MATTOON ROAD.

0355 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 W MATTOON             39.48N 88.41W
08/16/2012                   COLES              IL   MESONET

            WEST OF MATTOON ON ROUTE 16 TREES DOWN AND A NUMBER OF
            POWER POLES SNAPPED OFF HIGH ON POLES. 2 MILES WEST ON
            ROUTE 16 A SEMI AND TRAILER ON THEIR SIDES ON THE SOUTH
            SIDE OF ROUTE 16. MANY CORN FIELDS ALONG ROUTE 16 HAVE
            WIND DAMAGE.

0401 PM     TSTM WND GST     COLES COUNTY AIRPORT    39.48N 88.28W
08/16/2012  M63.00 MPH       COLES              IL   ASOS

0420 PM     TSTM WND GST     1 E HEARTVILLE          39.07N 88.53W
08/16/2012  M63.00 MPH       EFFINGHAM          IL   AWOS

            OCCURRED AT EFFINGHAM COUNTY AIRPORT.

0420 PM     TSTM WND DMG     MARTINSVILLE            39.34N 87.88W
08/16/2012                   CLARK              IL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            TREES DOWN...1 MAPLE TREE DOWN...20 INCH DIAMETER TREE ON
            POWER LINES. TOP OF A TREE RIPPED OFF 1.5 FOOT DIAMETER.
            POWER OUT THROUGHOUT TOWN.

0424 PM     TSTM WND GST     EFFINGHAM               39.12N 88.55W
08/16/2012  M74.00 MPH       EFFINGHAM          IL   MESONET

            WIND REPORT MESONET SCHOOL NETWORK. RELAYED FROM WAND TV.


0430 PM     TSTM WND DMG     1 NW OSKALOOSA          38.76N 88.66W
08/16/2012                   CLAY               IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            TREE DOWN IN RURAL SECTION OF CLAY COUNTY, APPROX. 1.5NW
            OF OSKALOOSA ALONG THE CLAY AND MARION COUNTY LINE.


Rainfall Reports:

24-hour rainfall ending 7 am Friday, August 17

The thunderstorms produced a fairly large area of rainfall of 1 to 2 inches, from about Peoria to Terre Haute and also along and south of the I-70 corridor.  The image at left shows observations from official weather stations around Illinois.  The heaviest rainfall occurred in portions of Tazewell, McLean, and De Witt Counties.  An unofficial station in Farmer City (northeast De Witt County) reported 3.23 inches, and several unofficial stations in Tazewell, McLean, and Champaign Counties reported in excess of 2 inches. On the other end of the scale, little to no rain fell across the Illinois River valley from Havana southward. 

Here are some observed rainfall amounts from around central and southeast Illinois, in the area covered by the Lincoln NWS office.  These totals were measured early Friday morning.  Official stations are highlighted.


Champaign County:

  • Champaign (southeast side):  2.29 inches
  • Champaign (southwest side):  2.21 inches
  • Mahomet (2 miles north-northeast):  2.20 inches
  • Champaign (south side):  2.15 inches
  • St. Joseph:  2.06 inches
  • Urbana (southeast side):  2.05 inches
  • Broadlands:  1.91 inches
  • Homer (2 miles north):  1.91 inches
  • Mahomet (1 mile south):  1.90 inches
  • Ogden:  1.87 inches
  • Champaign (northwest side):  1.86 inches
  • Urbana (IL State Water Survey):  1.82 inches
  • Thomasboro (5 miles east):  1.72 inches
  • Penfield (2 miles north):  1.59 inches
  • Philo (2 miles east-northwest):  1.55 inches
  • Dewey (2 miles north-northwest):  1.47 inches
  • Sidney (2 miles north):  1.42 inches
  • Savoy, Willard Airport:  1.29 inches
  • Fisher:  1.18 inches

Christian County:

  • Pana (6 miles north-northeast):  1.30 inches
  • Morrisonville:  1.13 inches
  • Edinburg (3 miles west):  1.00 inches
  • Tovey:  0.63 inches
  • Pana:  0.48 inches

Clark County:

  • Marshall (5 miles west):  2.04 inches
  • Casey:  1.08 inches

Coles County:

  • Charleston (5 miles south-southwest):  1.58 inches
  • Coles County Airport:  1.27 inches
  • Mattoon (west side):  1.19 inches
  • Charleston:  1.08 inches

Crawford County:

  • Robinson (3 miles west):  2.15 inches
  • Robinson (city):  2.13 inches
  • Robinson (7 miles northwest):  1.35 inches

Cumberland County:

  • Neoga:  1.41 inches

De Witt County:

  • Farmer City: 3.23 inches
  • Farmer City (3 miles west):  2.66 inches
  • Waynesville:  1.20 inches

Douglas County:

  • Tuscola (5 miles north-northeast):  1.77 inches
  • Villa Grove:  1.57 inches
  • Newman (4 miles southwest):  1.51 inches
  • Tuscola:  1.22 inches

Edgar County:

  • Chrisman (4 miles east-southeast):  2.05 inches
  • Paris:  1.52 inches
  • Paris (4 miles north-northwest):  1.12 inches
  • Brocton:  1.10 inches
  • Paris (6 miles south-southwest):  1.01 inches

Effingham County:

  • Effingham (6 miles north):  1.97 inches
  • Beecher City:  1.90 inches
  • Altamont (3 miles southeast):  1.72 inches
  • Effingham (2 miles west-northwest):  1.38 inches
  • Effingham (3 miles southwest):  1.28 inches
  • Effingham (city):  1.23 inches
  • Watson:  1.08 inches

Jasper County:

  • Newton (6 miles north-northeast):  1.87 inches
  • Newton:  1.25 inches

Lawrence County:

  • Lawrenceville (center):  2.09 inches
  • Lawrenceville (west side):  1.93 inches
  • Lawrenceville-Vincennes Airport:  1.10 inches
  • Birds (2 miles east):  1.09 inches

Logan County:

  • Atlanta (7 miles west):  1.69 inches
  • Emden (2 miles southwest):  1.45 inches
  • Mt. Pulaski:  0.64 inches
  • Lincoln:  0.26 inches

McLean County: 

  • Heyworth:  3.07 inches
  • Le Roy (4 miles west-southwest):  2.64 inches
  • Le Roy (4 miles south-southwest):  2.43 inches
  • Normal (2 miles east-northeast):  2.08 inches
  • Lexington:  2.05 inches
  • Normal (4 miles east):  1.93 inches
  • Bloomington (5 miles west):  1.93 inches
  • Bloomington (4 miles southwest):  1.81 inches
  • Normal (2 miles east-southeast):  1.81 inches
  • Normal (4 miles northeast):  1.78 inches
  • Le Roy (2 miles east-southeast):  1.74 inches
  • Bloomington (2 miles west):  1.68 inches
  • Bloomington, Central Illinois Regional Airport:  1.67 inches
  • Danvers (2 miles west-northwest):  1.58 inches
  • Arrowsmith (2 miles north-northeast):  1.47 inches
  • Gridley:  1.04 inches

Macon County:

  • Decatur Airport:  1.24 inches
  • Mount Zion:  1.13 inches
  • Decatur (east side):  1.10 inches

Moultrie County:

  • Sullivan (3 miles south):  1.30 inches

Peoria County:

  • Peoria (central):  1.25 inches
  • Peoria (northwest side):  1.05 inches
  • Dunlap (3 miles southeast):  1.03 inches
  • Peoria (southwest side):  1.02 inches
  • Peoria International Airport:  1.01 inches

Piatt County:

  • Cisco (2 miles north-northeast):  1.54 inches
  • Mansfield (3 miles west-southwest):  1.54 inches
  • Monticello:  1.48 inches
  • Atwood:  1.41 inches
  • White Heath (4 miles north-northeast):  1.10 inches

Richland County:

  • Olney (2 miles south):  0.49 inches 

Sangamon County:

  • Springfield, CWLP Plant:  0.53 inches
  • Sherman:  0.49 inches
  • Chatham:  0.44 inches 
  • Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport:  0.28 inches 

Shelby County:

  • Shelbyville Dam:  2.13 inches
  • Neoga (4 miles northwest):  1.34 inches
  • Moweaqua (2 miles south):  1.25 inches
  • Shelbyville (1 mile northeast):  1.08 inches
  • Windsor (4 miles northwest):  1.05 inches
  • Windsor:  0.99 inches

Tazewell County:

  • Tremont (4 miles east):  2.35 inches
  • Mackinaw:  1.95 inches
  • Green Valley (3 miles northeast):  1.93 inches
  • Morton:  1.68 inches

Vermilion County:

  • Bismarck (3 miles west):  1.83 inches
  • Henning (3 miles south-southeast):  1.83 inches
  • Sidell (5 miles northwest):  1.77 inches
  • Danville (8 miles north):  1.71 inches
  • Westville:  1.69 inches
  • Danville (9 miles north-northwest):  1.68 inches
  • Danville (northwest side):  1.68 inches
  • Hoopeston (1 mile southwest):  1.10 inches

Woodford County:

  • Roanoke:  1.45 inches
  • Carlock (4 miles north):  1.24 inches
  • El Paso (5 miles north-northwest):  1.21 inches
  • Eureka:  1.13 inches

A strong cold front pushed through central Illinois on August 16th, triggering widespread showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms became severe during the afternoon, producing damaging winds of 60 to 80 mph and large hail up to the size of quarters. Total rainfall from this system was highly variable...with some locations picking up beneficial amounts of 2 to 3 inches and others receiving less than one quarter of an inch.

By the early morning of August 16th, the cold front was positioned over eastern Iowa. Southerly winds ahead of the front were bringing warm and increasingly moist conditions into central Illinois, with surface dewpoints well into the 60s. Meanwhile, the airmass behind the front across the Plains was much cooler and drier, with dewpoints only in the 30s and 40s. This sharp contrast between airmasses helped spark the showers and thunderstorms across the area. One round of storms developed during the pre-dawn hours across Iowa and far northern Missouri, then tracked eastward into north-central Illinois during the morning. While these storms were generally sub-severe, frequent lightning and locally heavy downpours occurred along and north of I-72.

Additional thunderstorms developed along the advancing cold front further south and east during the afternoon. Thanks to cooling aloft associated with an approaching upper-level wave, the airmass became moderately unstable...with Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) values ranging from 1500 to 2500J/Kg. In addition, a strengthening low-level jet brought increasing wind energy to the environment. The upper air balloon launched from NWS Lincoln during the evening of August 15th showed winds 2000ft aloft of around 15 mph. These had increased to nearly 50 mph by the morning of August 16th. The combination of instability and wind shear led to the development of long-lived thunderstorms along the front during the afternoon and early evening.

The strongest storms formed along a Pana...to Windsor...to Mattoon line, where numerous trees and power lines were downed. The storms then dropped southeastward, producing sporadic wind damage and heavy rainfall throughout southeast Illinois into early evening.

Here is a sample of some of the severe weather reports received on August 16th:

City

County

Damage

Pana

Christian

Widespread trees down

Taylorville 2N

Christian

quarter-sized hail

Tower Hill

Shelby

3-foot diameter tree uprooted

Windsor

Shelby

Numerous tree limbs down, many roads blocked by limbs

Gays 1E

Moultrie

Trees down

Mattoon 2W

Coles

Corn fields blown down along IL-16

Mattoon

Coles

Numerous trees and power lines blown down, power outage

Martinsville

Clark

Several trees down, power outage


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