McLean and Livingston County Tornado
May 23, 2004



Tornado track across McLean and Livingston Counties (click image to enlarge)

On May 24, NWS personnel conducted a storm damage survey across McLean and Livingston Counties. 

A tornado touched down at 8:20 pm 3 miles southeast of Gridley in a farm field.  At this point, the tornado was of F0 intensity (winds estimated around 70 mph), and about 60 yards wide.  Damage to farm buildings occurred at this location.

The tornado tracked northeast and intensified to F1 strength (80 mph), about 1.5 miles south-southwest of Meadows.  At this point, the tornado was about 75 yards wide.  Additional building damage occurred in this area.

The tornado continued to intensify, reaching F2 strength (130-140 mph) along the McLean/Livingston County line, about 1.75 miles northwest of Chenoa.  The tornado had grown to about 240 yards wide.  It caused damage to a home, farm buildings, and destroyed a double-wide mobile home.

From this point, the tornado curved in a more north-northeast direction and began to weaken.  It lifted in a farm field about 2.5 miles southwest of Ocoya, in Livingston County.  When it lifted around 8:28 pm, it had weakened to F0 intensity, and was approximately 30 yards wide.

The tornado was on the ground for 7.75 miles.


Radar Images:
 

Radar reflectivity image at 8:16 pm This reflectivity image from the Lincoln radar at 8:16 pm showed severe thunderstorms across northern McLean County, from Chenoa to near Lexington.
Radar reflectivity image at 8:21 pm By 8:21 pm, the center of the severe storm was over Chenoa and moving into Livingston County.  A tornado had touched down 3 miles southeast of Gridley around 8:20 pm, about where the light blue pixel is indicated southeast of Gridley on the image.
Radar SRM image at 8:21 pm The Storm Relative Motion image taken at 8:21 pm showed a circulation between Chenoa and Gridley, as indicated by the pink and green pixels.  (The radar site is located in a southwest direction from this location.)
Radar reflectivity image at 8:26 pm By 8:26 pm, the tornado was located near the McLean/Livingston County line, about 1.7 miles northwest of Chenoa.
Radar SRM image at 8:26 pm The Storm Relative Motion image at 8:26 pm showed the circulation had moved into Livingston County.



 

Pictures (click images to enlarge):
 
Tornado northeast of Meadows
(photo by Marc Lester)
Tornado northeast of Meadows
(photo by Marc Lester)
Tornado northwest of Chenoa
(photo by Marc Lester)
Tornado northwest of Chenoa
(photo by Marc Lester)
Damage to a farmhouse.  The road running in the middle of the picture divides Livingston (top) and McLean (bottom) counties.
(photo by Roger Stoller)
Farmstead damage by a tornado
(photo by Roger Stoller)
The swirls in the dirt were made by the tornado.
(photo by Roger Stoller)
Swirls in the dirt from the tornado's passage.
(photo by Roger Stoller)
Barn and farm buildings collapsed Farm building damage Barn partially lost its roof Tree damage
A piece of wood speared into the side of a wall Farm house missing its roof Back side of the farm house in the previous picture Mobile home demolished near Meadows
Photo of a tornado and lightning strike near Chenoa just prior to sunset on  5/23/04
Photo by Kurt Hulst
Photo of an F2 tornado near Chenoa just prior to sunset on 5/23/04
Photo by Kurt Hulst
   

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