Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes on October 26, 2010
A powerful low pressure system over Minnesota pushed a cold front across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana Tuesday morning which aided in the development of strong to severe thunderstorms. Thunderstorms stretched all the way from northern Wisconsin across Illinois and into Missouri. Storms intensified in a line as they crossed northern Illinois just prior to daybreak. Several storms were able to develop rotating updrafts which can lead to wind damage and, in some cases, tornadoes. Numerous reports of damage were received from a variety of areas including Kane, Will, Kankakee, and Iroquois Counties in Illinois and in Porter County in Indiana.
The radar image below shows the expansive line of showers and thunderstorms associated with the deep low and attendant cold front at 7 AM CDT/8 AM EDT Tuesday. The white circular lines show the strong low pressure which is centered over north central Minnesota in this image.
Peotone Tornado (EF 2)
A tornado rated at EF 2 strength on the enhanced Fujita tornado scale was confirmed by National Weather Service Meteorologists surveying the damage this afternoon.
A tornado touched down between Peotone and Beecher at 7:40 am this Tuesday morning... about 4 miles east of Peotone. The tornado's path length was surveyed to be 2.9 miles...with a path width of 200 yards. The tornado produced its most intense damage at 30651 South WIll Center Road removing a house's roof...collapsing exterior walls on the second floor of the house... and completely destroying a garage and 2-3 other outbuildings. Four power poles were also downed just northeast of the area along Peotone-Beecher Road. Additional EF1 and EF0 damage was found along a path running southwest toward Kennedy Road. This damage consisted of collapsed outbuildings, snapped cedar trees, and minor damage to homes.
EF2 tornado damage to home east of Peotone, IL
EF2 tornado damage to farm outbuildings east of Peotone, IL, looking northeast
Debris path from EF2 tornado east of Peotone, IL, looking northeast toward Peotone-Beecher Road
Funnel cloud near Peotone. Photo courtesy Carol Cantone.
Elburn Tornado (EF 1)
A tornado rated at EF1 on the enhanced Fujita tornado scale was confirmed by a National Weather Service storm survey team surveying the damage near Elburn, IL.
A tornado touched down about 2 miles northwest of Elburn in Kane County at 6:55 AM this Tuesday morning. The tornado's path length was surveyed to be about 3/4 of a mile... with a path width of 50 yards. Two barns and a grain bin were destroyed along with a pole snapped at the base at one farmstead... and there was damage to a homestead two other farmsteads nearby. Debris from some of the damaged structures was blown 1/4 mile downstream.
Map of tornado path near Elburn, IL
EF1 tornado damage northwest of Elburn, IL. Photo by Andrew Pritchard.
Malden-Kouts Tornado (EF 0)
Another tornado rated at EF 0 strength was confirmed by an NWS survey team surveying the damage between Malden and Kouts in Porter County, IN.
This tornado touched down 4 miles southeast of Malden at 8:33 AM this Tuesday Morning. The tornado's path length was surveyed to be about 200 yards... with a path width of 30 yards. One outbuilding was damaged by this tornado.
Ashton Tornado (EF 1)
A fourth tornado rated at EF 1 was confirmed by a NWS survey team surveying the damage 3 miles southeast of Ashton in Lee County, IL.
A tornado touched down near Meridian Road southeast of Ashton at approximately 5:41 AM Tuesday morning. The tornado's path length was surveyed at 0.8 miles long with a debris path that was 50 yards wide, convergent and narrow. Some of the damage included a couple of outbuildings with poor structural integrity, and a few that had their roofs ripped off. The top of a metal silo was 'punched' in and a grain cart was flipped on to its side. In addition to the structural damage, numerous 2x4's were speared into the ground and metal siding was strewn into the fields to the northeast of the farm. The winds were estimated to be at 95 MPH.
Path of EF1 tornado in Lee County (roughly a mile long, with EF1 damage only at the start).
EF1 tornado damage southeast of Ashton, IL.
The Fujita Scale
The EF tornado scale is used to assign a tornado a rating based on estimated wind speeds and related damage. When tornado related damage is surveyed... it is compared to a list of damage indicators and degrees of damage which help estimate better the range of wind speeds the tornado likely produced. From this... a rating (zero to five) is assigned.