Significant Tornadoes in the Chicago Metropolitan Area
1855-2008
 
Date
Time
F
Death
Injury
County
Description
5/22/1855
1630
NA
3
6
Cook
Norwood Park.
6/3/1860
2130
NA
0
4
Kane, Cook, Lake IL
15 mile path from west of Elgin to Dundee to Lake Zurich.
5/6/1876
1710
F3
2
35
Cook
Tornado ripped apart buildings in downtown Chicago. A large multiple-vortex tornado was seen moving out over Lake Michigan. $4.5 million in damage (2006 dollars).
5/23/1878
1800
F4
2
8
Cook
From 6 ENE Elgin to near Barrington.
9/29/1881
1700
F2
0
0
Kendall
From S of Yorkville to near Oswego.
5/18/1883
1750
F4
4
15
Boone, McHenry
From NW of Capron to just across the WI border. Three people were killed in IL and one in WI.
5/18/1883
2245
F2
0
2
Will
Near Peotone.
6/11/1883
1730
F2
0
1
McHenry
SE of Harvard.
9/18/1886
1915
F2
0
20
Will
Moved along the Des Plaines River hitting Joliet.
6/10/1890
2115
F2
0
0
Will
Just S of Channahon.
5/25/1896
0150
F3
0
NA
Cook
Park Ridge, Edison Park, Norwood Park, Niles.
11/11/1911
1730
F2
0
NA
DuPage
Three miles E of Aurora to NE of Naperville.
11/11/1911
2000
F3
0
5
Lake IN, Porter
Leroy to 3 miles W of Valparaiso to S of Michigan City.
4/6/1912
NA
NA
0
18
Cook
Niles Center (now Skokie) and Wilmette.
4/21/1912
1800
F2
0
20
Kankakee, Lake IN
13 mile path from St. George through Grant Park.
5/26/1917
1645
F4
3
60
Will, Lake IN
33 mile path from Manhattan to 2 miles NE of Crown Point.
5/26/1917
1740
F4
4
60
Lake IN, Porter
20 mile path from S of Crown Point to near Kouts.
3/28/1920
1205
F3
8
100
Kane, Cook, Lake IL
From just SE of LaFox to the S side of Elgin to Wauconda.
3/28/1920
1215
F4
20
300
Will, Cook
53 mile path from 2 miles N of Channahon to Romeoville, to the Bellwood-Maywood area to Wilmette, and out over the Lake. The worst damage was Maywood through Melrose Park. $20.2 million in damage (2006 dollars).
9/11/1925
0100
F2
0
1
DuPage
Seven mile path beginning SW of Wheaton.
5/18/1926
1700
F2
0
6
Cook
Harvey.
5/5/1930
1515
F2
0
0
Cook
Maywood.
4/30/1933
1200
F2
0
3
Kane
Plato Center.
4/7/1948
1640
F3
0
1
Grundy, Will
Three miles W of Coal City to Braidwood.
4/7/1948
1720
F4
4
20
Kankakee, Lake IN, Porter, Jasper
40 mile path from 2 miles WNW of Manteno to 5 miles S of Hebron. Three fatalities in IL and one in IN.
4/7/1948
1739
F2
0
11
Cook, Lake IN, Porter, LaPorte
30 mile path from Calumet City to 4 miles S of Michigan City.
11/13/1951
1605
F2
0
0
Lake IN
Near Gary.
5/27/1954
1830
F2
0
0
Kendall, Kane
Near Aurora.
6/1/1954
0200
F2
0
0
Lake IN
5 miles SW of Lowell.
8/23/1956
1440
F2
0
3
Cook
Tinley Park.
8/23/1956
1400
F2
0
0
Kane
Near Elgin.
7/12/1957
2000
F2
0
0
Lake IN
Near Cedar Lake.
8/6/1958
1710
F2
0
0
Kane
Near Aurora.
8/15/1958
0200
F2
0
0
Lee, DeKalb, Kendall, Will
A family of tornadoes moved across a 70 mile path from S of Dixon to Compton to Sandwich to Joliet.
10/9/1958
0026
F2
1
0
McHenry, Lake IL
43 mile path from W of Harvard to near Waukegan.
9/26/1959
1800
F1
0
14
Cook, Lake IL
12 mile path from Palatine to Lake Forest.
9/26/1959
1745
F2
0
0
DuPage, Cook
Near O’Hare, Niles, Park Ridge.
10/8/1959
1530
F2
0
1
McHenry
McHenry.
3/4/1961
1704
F2
1
115
Cook
S side of Chicago from 91st and Western to 68th at Lake Michigan. $47 million in damage (2006 dollars).
4/23/1961
1545
F3
0
4
Will
27 mile path from Lorenzo to Beecher.
4/23/1961
1637
F2
0
0
Lake IN, Newton
Near Lowell to Shelby and Roselawn.
6/23/1962
1652
F2
0
10
Cook
Oak Forest.
7/20/1962
1500
F2
0
0
Lake IN, Porter
Griffith to Crocker.
4/19/1963
1745
F2
0
0
McHenry
Crystal Lake.
4/11/1965
1520
F4
6
75
McHenry, Lake IL
11 mile path from Crystal Lake to Wauconda, up to 400 yards wide. $9.6 million in damage (2006 dollars). Part of the Palm Sunday Outbreak.
4/11/1965
1550
F2
0
0
Lake IL
Druce Lake to Gurnee.
5/26/1965
0745
F2
0
11
DuPage, Cook
Addison to near O’Hare.
5/26/1965
0822
F2
0
0
Cook
Near Sauk Village.
11/12/1965
1435
F2
2
90
Grundy, Will, Cook
36 mile path from near Channahon to Tinley Park.
11/12/1965
1653
F2
0
14
Lake IN
Munster.
4/19/1966
2227
F2
0
3
DuPage
Near Lisle.
6/9/1966
0515
F2
1
30
Cook
Arlington Heights to Prospect Heights.
4/21/1967
1550
F4
24
500
Boone, McHenry
28 mile path from 2 miles E of Cherry Valley to Belvidere to near Woodstock. Tornado was up to ½ mile wide. $121 million in damage (2006 dollars). 13 of the fatalities and 300 injuries occurred as a dozen busses were tossed at Belvidere High School.
4/21/1967
1710
F4
1
100
Kane, Cook, Lake IL
9 mile path from Fox River Grove to Lake Zurich. $60 million in damage (2006 dollars).
4/21/1967
1700
F2
0
0
Kane
LaFox.
4/21/1967
1700
F2
0
0
Kane, Cook
From NW side of Batavia to the SE side of Geneva.
4/21/1967 1710 F2 0 0 Kane Southwest side of Elgin.
4/21/1967
1724
F4
33
500
Cook
16 mile path from Palos Hills to Oak Lawn. Path up to 200 yards wide. Chicago area’s most deadly tornado. Over $301 million in damage (2006 dollars).
10/24/1967
1553
F2
0
0
Lake IN, Porter
Near Portage.
4/30/1970
1425
F2
0
9
Cook
DesPlaines and Park Ridge.
8/24/1971
1915
F2
0
2
DuPage
Naperville.
4/6/1972
2030
F2
1
22
Will
Shorewood and Joliet.
7/17/1972
1700
F3
0
0
Grundy, Will
Minooka to Joliet.
7/17/1972
1910
F2
0
0
DuPage
Glen Ellyn.
8/25/1972
2130
F2
0
1
Cook
Near Park Ridge.
9/28/1972
1755
F4
0
20
Lake IL
Five mile path from North Chicago to Waukegan, including the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. $4.9 million in damage (2006 dollars). NWS rated this F4, Grazulis rated it F2.
4/21/1973
2100
F2
0
0
DuPage
Wheaton.
6/20/1974
1910
F3
0
5
Lake IN
Lowell.
6/17/1975
1154
F2
0
0
Cook
Schaumburg to Rolling Meadows.
3/12/1976
1250
F3
0
3
Kendall, DuPage
23 mile path from S of Oswego to Villa Park.
3/12/1976
1257
F3
2
66
DuPage, Cook
17 mile path from Northlake to Wilmette.
3/12/1976
1400
F2
0
0
Lake IN, Porter
Deep River.
3/12/1976
1400
F4
0
7
Lake IN, Porter, LaPorte
25 mile path from Deep River to Michigan City. Up to 200 yards wide.
4/20/1976
1945
F2
0
2
Lake IL
Zion.
6/13/1976
1618
F4
2
23
Cook, DuPage
Eight mile meandering path in Lemont and Argonne National Laboratory. $46 million in damage (2006 dollars).
6/30/1977
1453
F2
0
1
Lake IN, Porter
Hobart to South Haven.
6/25/1978
1210
F1
1
0
Will, Kankakee
SE of Wilmington.
8/15/1978
1945
F2
0
0
McHenry
Huntley.
7/16/1980
0255
F2
0
0
Kane
Hampshire.
4/27/1984
1739
F3
1
5
Kendall, Will
Plainfield.
9/29/1986
1330
F1
0
10
Cook
North Riverside.
4/5/1988
2000
F2
0
0
Grundy, Will
Wilmington to New Lenox.
8/28/1990
1510
F5
29
350
Kendall, Will
16 mile path from Oswego to Plainfield to Joliet. $254 million in damage (2006 dollars). Only F5 ever to hit Chicago area.
3/27/1991
1555
F3
0
7
Will, Cook
Romeoville to Lemont.
8/15/1993
1635
F2
0
0
Will
New Lenox.
4/19/1996
2232
F2
0
2
Lake IL
Zion.
5/18/1997
1818
F2
0
0
Lake IL
Lindenhurst to Gurnee.
1/7/2008 1630 EF3 0 5 Boone, McHenry Poplar Grove to Lawrence
6/7/2008 1718 EF2 0 0 Kankakee, Will Essex to Symerton
6/7/2008 1751 EF2 0 0 Will Wilton Center
6/7/2008 1755 EF2 0 0 Will Green Garden to Monee
6/7/2008 1813 EF2 0 6 Will, Cook Monee to Park Forest

A significant tornado is defined as a tornado of F2 or greater intensity, or a tornado that caused any fatalities, or at least 10 injuries. The Fujita scale, or F scale, estimates wind speeds based on damage intensity. F scale is determined by conducting ground and air surveys of the damage path. The F scale was developed in the 1970s and was later applied to historical data based on written accounts and photographs of the tornado damage. Therefore the F scale ratings are subjective and may not accurately reflect the wind produced by the tornado. In 2007, the NWS adopted the Enhanced Fujita Scale, or EF scale. The Chicago metropolitan area includes the following counties; McHenry, Lake, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Kendall, Will, Lake, Indiana. Sources; StormData, Storm Prediction Center, and Significant Tornadoes by Tom Grazulis.

 


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