Active Severe Weather Week in Central Illinois
May 4-10, 2003

Although the weather was not as extreme as elsewhere in the country, central and southeast Illinois saw its share of severe weather during the week.  Two events are profiled on this page.


May 6 -- Wind Damage across Central Illinois

Two surveys were conducted on May 7 from the storms from May 6.  Survey results follow:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LINCOLN IL
400 PM CDT WED MAY 7 2003

...DAMAGE SURVEYS OF MAY 6 STORMS IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS...

...LOGAN AND DEWITT COUNTIES...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND LOGAN COUNTY ESDA PERSONNEL
CONDUCTED A SURVEY OF DAMAGE IN EXTREME EASTERN LOGAN COUNTY. THE
DAMAGE BEGAN ABOUT 4.5 MILES SOUTH OF MOUNT PULASKI WHERE A PINE
TREE WAS BLOWN OVER...A CHIMNEY ON A HOUSE WAS KNOCKED DOWN...AND A
WOOD SHED WAS DAMAGED AROUND 845 PM TUESDAY MAY 6. THE DAMAGE PATH
CONTINUED TO THE NORTHEAST...EXTENDING 3 MILES EAST OF MOUNT
PULASKI...TO JUST WEST OF THE TOWN OF CHESTNUT...AND JUST EAST OF
BEASON. THE DAMAGE CONSISTED OF SEVERAL TREES BLOWN DOWN...POWER
POLES AND POWER LINES DOWN...AND ROOFS BLOWN OFF OF BARNS AND SHEDS.

THE STORM MOVED OUT OF LOGAN COUNTY INTO DEWITT COUNTY AROUND 9 PM...
WHERE IT BLEW DOWN A TREE ONE HALF MILE NORTHWEST OF MIDLAND CITY...
AND DAMAGED A BARN AND KNOCKED DOWN A TREE ABOUT 3.5 MILES SOUTH OF
WAYNESVILLE. THE STORM AFFECTED WESTERN DEWITT COUNTY BETWEEN 900
AND 905 PM.

THE DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM CONCLUDED THAT THE STORM PRODUCED A DOWNBURST
OF DAMAGING WIND ALONG A PATH 3 MILES WIDE AND ABOUT 20 MILES LONG.


...SHELBY / MOULTRIE / PIATT / DOUGLAS COUNTIES...

ESDA PERSONNEL AND NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CO-OPERATIVE OBSERVERS
DID DAMAGE SURVEYS AND RELAYED REPORTS OF DAMAGE FROM EXTREME
NORTHERN SHELBY COUNTY...ACROSS MOULTRIE COUNTY INTO EXTREME SOUTHERN
PIATT COUNTY AND EXTREME WESTERN DOUGLAS COUNTY.

ESDA OFFICIALS IN SHELBY COUNTY REPORTED A DOWNED TREE AND DAMAGE TO
A LARGE MACHINE SHED AND A GARAGE 4 MILES NORTH OF FINDLAY. ESDA
INDICATED THAT THE DAMAGE APPEARED TO BE CAUSED BY A DOWNBURST OF
WIND. TREES AND POWER LINES WERE REPORTED DOWN ACROSS PARTS OF
MOULTRIE COUNTY...INCLUDING LOCATIONS NEAR THE TOWNS OF
SULLIVAN...BETHANY AND NEAR THE PIATT/MOULTRIE COUNTY LINE CLOSE TO
HAMMOND. PIATT COUNTY ESDA REPORTED TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN FROM
HAMMOND TO PIERSON STATION. THE DOUGLAS COUNTY SHERIFF REPORTED A
LARGE TREE DOWN IN ARTHUR AND POWER LINES DOWN NEAR ATWOOD.

A REVIEW OF RADAR DATA AND REPORTS FROM COUNTY OFFICIALS AND NWS
OBSERVERS INDICATED THAT ALL OF THE DAMAGE WAS LIKELY PRODUCED BY
A DOWNBURST OF WIND. THE DAMAGE PATH WAS APPROXIMATELY 7 MILES WIDE
AND 23 MILES LONG.

Some photos of the damage (click to enlarge):

Picture of a barn partially destroyed Picture of a barn missing much of its roof Power poles leaning due to the strong winds Tree ripped off near the base
This barn 1 mile east of Beason (Logan County) was severely damaged. This barn is about 3 miles southeast of Beason. Power poles were bent over due to the wind.  (Picture from Logan County ESDA.) This tree was ripped off near the base.

 


May 8-9 -- Large Hail

Several waves of severe thunderstorms moved across central and southern Illinois, and adjacent parts of Iowa and Missouri, during the afternoon into the late night hours.  Storms late in the afternoon produced wind damage across parts of Clay County, as well as flooding in some areas south of I-70.  Storms late in the evening produced very large hail, especially near and west of the Illinois River.

Severe weather reports from May 8-9

This image shows a representation of severe weather reports received by NWS offices (click to enlarge).  On the image, hail reports are listed in green (values given are hundredths of an inch, e.g. A175 represents 1.75 inches or golfball size); wind damage reports in orange, and tornado reports in light blue.  The date and time (UTC) are listed on the bottom of each report plot; subtract 5 hours to get CDT.  A more detailed text listing can be found here.

For a map and details of severe weather reports around the country on this day, click here (courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center).

Image of May 8-9 Rainfall This image shows 24-hour rainfall totals ending at 7 am Friday, May 9.  As you can see, the heaviest rainfall areas were in two separate corridors, one in north central Illinois and one across south central Illinois.

May 10 -- Tornado Outbreak from Rushville to Roanoke


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