Severe Weather on April 4, 2003

The first major severe weather event of the year occurred across central Illinois on April 4th.  Many locations reported large hail, up to the size of golf balls or slightly larger.  The most significant damage occurred in Logan County. 

The map below (click to enlarge) is a preliminary indication of severe weather reports. Tornadoes are indicated by the blue "T", hail is indicated by the green "A" (number after it indicates hail size, in hundredths), and wind damage sites are indicated with an orange "W".  (Numbers below each icon are the date and time in UTC.)  A more specific (but preliminary) tabular listing can be found by clicking here.

Severe weather reports from April 4, 2003

National Weather Service personnel conducted an on-site survey of the Logan County damage,  on the morning of April 5.  Their findings are detailed below:


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
530 PM CST SAT APR 5 2003

...DAMAGE SURVEY OF THE STORMS IN LOGAN COUNTY ON APRIL 4, 2003...

TWO NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSONNEL SURVEYED THE DAMAGE IN
PORTIONS OF LOGAN COUNTY FROM THE STORMS THAT STRUCK THE AREA ON
THE AFTERNOON OF APRIL 4TH.  HERE ARE THE PRELIMINARY RESULTS...

THE MAIN DAMAGE OCCURRED IN THE CITY OF LINCOLN...IN THE NORTHWEST
SECTIONS OF TOWN. IT APPEARS THAT THIS DAMAGE AREA WAS CAUSED BY A
MICROBURST...A STRONG CONCENTRATED AREA OF DAMAGING WINDS PRODUCED
BY A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM. THE WINDS IN THIS MICROBURST WERE
ESTIMATED TO BE BETWEEN 70 AND 100 MPH.

THE DAMAGE IN LINCOLN BEGAN NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF ILLINOIS ROUTE
10 AND INTERSTATE 55 AROUND 312 PM. THE DAMAGE PATH THEN EXTENDED
EASTWARD...MAINLY BETWEEN ILLINOIS ROUTE 10 (WOODLAWN ROAD) AND
LINCOLN PARKWAY (OLD ROUTE 66). MUCH OF THE DAMAGE ENDED AT UNION
AVENUE...WITH SCATTERED REPORTS BETWEEN UNION AND RUTLEDGE. THIS
DAMAGE PATH WAS ABOUT 0.75 MILE WIDE (7 TO 9 BLOCKS) AND 3.5 MILES
LONG.

THE DAMAGE PRODUCED BY THE MICROBURST CONSISTED OF SEVERAL LARGE
TREES BROKEN OFF OR BLOWN OVER...SOME ONTO HOMES. THERE WAS ONE
CONSTRUCTION TRAILER DESTROYED...A 150 FOOT TOWER AT THE LINCOLN
RURAL FIRE DISTRICT BUILDING BLOWN DOWN...A MOBILE HOME ROOF BLOWN
OFF...SEVERAL GARAGES BLOWN DOWN...8 POWER POLES BROKEN OFF ALONG
LINCOLN PARKWAY...AND MINOR ROOFING AND SHINGLE DAMAGE TO HOMES.


A SECOND AREA OF DAMAGE WAS FOUND ABOUT 6 MILES WEST OF LINCOLN IN
RURAL LOGAN COUNTY.  THIS DAMAGE AREA WAS IN A MORE CONFINED
AREA...EXTENDING FROM JUST WEST OF 600TH AVE TO JUST EAST OF 700TH
AVE...ALONG 1550TH STREET (FIFTH STREET ROAD).  AFTER AN EXTENSIVE
REVIEW OF WSR-88D DOPPLER RADAR DATA AND THE DAMAGE SURVEY TRACK
INFORMATION...IT WAS DETERMINED THAT A SMALL TORNADO BRIEFLY TOUCHED
DOWN IN THIS AREA. THE STORM QUICKLY DISSIPATED...WITH THE
MICROBURST THEN DEVELOPING AS IT MOVED INTO LINCOLN. 

THIS TORNADO WAS RATED AS AN F1...WITH WINDS OF APPROXIMATELY 80 TO
90 MPH.  THE TORNADO APPARENTLY TOUCHED DOWN BRIEFLY ABOUT 308 PM...
AND WAS IN CONTACT WITH THE GROUND FOR ABOUT ONE MILE. THE
TORNADO THEN LIFTED ABOUT 5 MILES WEST OF LINCOLN.  THE PATH WIDTH
WAS ABOUT 30 YARDS. THIS STORM TORE OFF THE ROOF AND ONE WALL OF A
GARAGE...AND PART OF THE ROOF OF THE HOME IT WAS ATTACHED TO.
SEVERAL TREES WERE ALSO BLOWN DOWN AND A GRAIN BIN WAS BLOWN INTO
A BARN.


TORNADO DAMAGE SCALE
---------------------
F0: 40-72 MPH
F1: 73-112 MPH
F2: 113-157 MPH
F3: 158-206 MPH
F4: 207-260 MPH
F5: 261-318 MPH

CHRIS MILLER - WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST
ERNIE GOETSCH - METEOROLOGIST IN CHARGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL


 



 

Photos of some of the damage which occurred in Lincoln
(click to enlarge):

Image of a destroyed garage Image of fallen radio tower
This garage in Lincoln was destroyed by the high winds that moved across the area. This radio tower, behind the Lincoln Rural Fire Protection District building, was downed by the high wind.

 

Image of a garage missing its roof and a wall Image of power poles leaning from the wind
This garage west of Lincoln lost its roof and a wall as a result of a tornado. Power poles along Lincoln Parkway (old Route 66) were pushed over by the wind.



Image of damage from a trailer wrapped in a tree Image of a tree broken off at the base
Debris from a mobile home was wrapped into the trees. High winds snapped this tree off at the base.
 




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