May 1st Tornadoes in East Central Illinois

Summary of Tornadoes in East Central IL - May 1, 2012

Around 3:30 pm CDT during the afternoon of May 1st, a lone thunderstorm rapidly developed in western Piatt County. It quickly increased in intensity and resulted in heavy rain, large hail and gusty winds. The supercell thunderstorm produced its first tornado just before 4:00 pm east of Monticello.

A total of four tornadoes were reported in Piatt, Champaign and Vemilion counties during the late afternoon of May 1st. The following is a summary of the reports from storm spotters and emergency managers:

Tornado #1 - Piatt County

The first tornado developed in an open field about 5.5 miles southeast of Monticello at 3:59 pm CDT. The tornado dissipated in less than a minute, and produced no damage.   

Time: 3:59 pm CDT

Path: 5.5 miles SE of Monticello

Path Length: 0.1 mile

Max. Width: 10 yards

EF- Scale: EF-0

Damages: None

Estimated Wind: around 65 mph


Tornado #2 - Champaign County

The supercell storm produced a second tornado around 4:06 pm, 2.5 miles north-northeast of Ivesdale. About two minutes later it produced damage to a farmstead. The tornado damaged house windows, overturned a trailer, and destroyed a corn crib and chicken house. The tornado tracked to the northeast in rural western Champaign County northwest and north of Sadorus.

Spotter reports indicated that the tornado appeared to briefly dissipate, then reform several times during its life cycle as it moved across open fields. Around 4:15 pm, the tornado strengthened and produced damage to the roof, windows and doors of a house about 3 miles west-southwest of Willard Airport (KCMI). The tornado dissipated around 4:17 pm near Interstate 57 - about 1.5 miles west of Willard Airport (KCMI). There were no injuries reported. 

Time: 4:06 pm - 4:17 pm CDT

Path: 2.5 miles NNE of Ivesdale - 1.5 miles W of Willard Airport (KCMI) 

Path Length: 8.0 miles

Max. Width: 75 yards

EF- Scale: EF-1

Damages: Three properties damaged. Damage to windows, roofing, doors, a chicken building, corn crib, trailer, and trees.

Estimated Wind: 85 to 90 mph

 Click thumbnails for a larger image


            Photos to the left by Eric Sebens, near Willard Airport


Tornado #3 - Champaign County

The supercell storm merged with another thunderstorm and started to turn slightly toward the east around 4:30 pm when it produced 1.00 to 2.00 inch hail from St. Joseph to Homer. High wind from the storm also blew two cars off of I-74 near Ogden. 

Around 4:40 pm the supercell produced another tornado on the west side of Sidney. This tornado briefly touched down in an open field and quickly dissipated. No damage was reported. 

Time: 4:40 pm CDT 

Path: about 0.5 mile west of Sidney 

Path Length: 0.1 mile

Max. Width: 20 yards

EF- Scale: EF-0

Damages: None

Estimated Wind: around 65 mph


Tornado #4 - Vermilion County

The supercell storm began moving due east into Vermilion County just before 5:00 pm CDT. A funnel cloud was reported near Catlin at 5:12 pm. The storm also continued to produce 1.00 to 2.00 inch hail from Oakwood into Danville. At 5:18 pm, a spotter near the Interstate 74 & U.S. Highway 150/Illinois Route 1 overpass reported a tornado to the south near Tilton. This tornado was on the ground for about 0.5 mile. It damaged a carport type of garage, throwing the debris into several campers and trailers. There were no injuries reported.

Time: 5:18 pm - 5:19 pm CDT

Path: 0.9 mile SE of Tilton - 1.3 miles SE of Tilton 

Path Length: 0.5 mile

Max. Width: 30 yards

EF- Scale: EF-0

Damages: A carport type of garage was picked up an thrown about 75 yards into several campers and travel trailers

Estimated Wind: 75 to 80 mph


 Click thumbnails for a larger image.


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