Lake Petersburg EF3 Tornado 
December 31, 2010


A survey team from the National Weather Service in Lincoln surveyed storm damage from the severe thunderstorms that moved through central Illinois on New Year's Eve.

The majority of the damage was confined to the Lake Petersburg area in Menard county, south of the city of Petersburg. A tornado touched down on the west side of Lake Petersburg around 12:37 pm. The tornado tracked from southwest to northeast across Lake Petersburg, crossing Sunny Acres Road, before lifting southeast of the intersection of Tice Road and Illinois 123 around 12:40 pm.  The approximate track is shown in the image above.

The tornado had a maximum estimated wind speed of 136 mph, classified as an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, in the residential area on the northeast side of Lake Petersburg.  The tornado had an estimated maximum width of 200 yards and was on the ground for approximately 3.6 miles.  

Check out the Tornado Outbreak on Dec 31st in the St Louis area.

Check out Severe Weather Reports in the US Dec 31 from Storm Prediction Center (SPC).

Google Maps - Storm Survey
Detailed storm survey tracks, damage descriptions, and corresponding photos along the track, are available on our 
Storm Survey page for this event

Here are a few radar images during the lunch hour on December 31 from Lake Petersburg:

Reflectivity image from ILX radar at 12:30 pm Dec 31, 2010 The Reflectivity radar image at 12:30 pm, showing the supercell southwest of the Lake Petersburg and bowing near Tallula in southwest Menard county.
Storm Relative Motion (SRM) image from ILX radar at 12:30 pm Dec 31, 2010 The Storm Relative Motion (SRM) radar image at 12:30 pm, showing the couplet developing southwest of the Lake Petersburg northeast of Tallula in southwest Menard county.
Reflectivity image from ILX radar at 12:35 pm Dec 31, 2010 The Reflectivity radar image at 12:35 pm, showing the supercell nearing the southwest side of Lake Petersburg area, southwest of Lake Petersburg just two minutes before the tornado struck houses on Lake Petersburg from 12:37 to 12:40 pm. Lake Petersburg is just west of Lincoln's New Salem.
Storm Relative Motion (SRM) image from ILX radar at 12:35 pm Dec 31, 2010 The Storm Relative Motion (SRM) radar image at 12:35 pm, showing the gate-to-gate shear couplet is located just southwest of the Lake Petersburg area, southwest of Petersburg and west northwest of Lincoln's New Salem. This was 2 minutes before the tornado first struck houses on Lake Petersburg between 12:37 and 12:40 pm.
Reflectivity image from ILX radar at 12:40 pm Dec 31, 2010 The Reflectivity radar image at 12:40 pm, shows the EF3 tornado striking the Lake Petersburg area south of Petersburg.  The tornado would lift just after this time (12:40 pm).
Storm Relative Motion (SRM) from ILX radar at 12:40 pm Dec 31, 2010 The Storm Relative Motion (SRM) radar image at 12:40 pm, shows the gate-to-gate shear couplet with the EF3 tornado east of Petersburg in central Menard County.  The tornado would lift just after this time (12:40 pm).
Reflectivity image from ILX radar at 12:44 pm Dec 31, 2010 The Reflectivity radar at 12:44 pm, showing the weakening supercell northeast of Lake Petersburg and the tornado has lifted by this time. Still have a strong bowing echo racing northeast of Petersburg at this time, affecting Greenview and Sweetwater.  The tornado had lifted 4 minutes prior to this time.
Storm Relative Motion (SRM) from ILX radar at 12:44 pm Dec 31, 2010 The Storm Relative Motion (SRM) radar image, showing the weaking couplet well northeast of Lake Petersburg and south of Sweetwater in eastern Menard county.  The tornado had lifted 4 minutes prior to this time. 


Here are a few pictures sent to the NWS from the Lake Petersburg area:

   
      Photo by Mike Freeman of tornado damage near Lake Petersburg Dec 31
Red car where woman was injuried from a fallen tree from the tornado. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley  Red Car where a woman was injured from a falling tree from the tornado. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley  Tornado Damage near Lake Petersburg. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Tornado damage to a house near Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Two houses damaged by tornado on Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley
House on Lake Petersburg damaged by Tornado Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley House Garage damaged by tornado by Lake Petersburg. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Tornado Damage to house & trees near Lake Petersburg. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Tornado damage houses near Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Tornado damage to a house near Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley
Tornado damage to house near Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Tornado damage to house near Lake Petersburg. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Cleanup ofTornado Damage to houses & trees near Lake Petersburg. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Tornado damage to house on Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley Tornado damage to houses near Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley
Tornado damage to house and trees near Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley  Tornado damage to house near Lake Petersburg. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley  Tornado damage to houses on Lake Petersburg. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley  Tornado damage to house near Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley  Tornado damage to house near Lake Petersburg Dec 31. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley
House damaged by tornado by Lake Petersburg. Photo by NWS Survey Team Pat Bak & Heather Stanley        
 


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