Illinois in a ‘tornado drought’

By Nick Kovatch on October 13 at 9:48am

Tornadoes have been scarce in West Central Illinois this year.

State climatologist Jim Angel is informally referring to this as a tornado drought. The last tornado to touch down in the four-county area was August 30th when relatively weak twisters struck Carrollton and Franklin. So far this year, there’s only been one Tornado Warning in the area but it didn’t actually produce one.

Angel says a look at the statewide numbers show we had 39 tornadoes in Illinois last year, 76 in 2011, 52 in 2010, and so far this year just 20, with no deaths or serious injuries.

“You always have to be careful when you say that because we’re talking about the number of tornadoes, but all it takes is one really bad day, and it can turn things around in a hurry,” says Angel.

He points out big tornadoes are rare in Illinois.

“The bigger ones like you see in Oklahoma and in Plainfield, Illinois and some of those places are while typically very large also very rare,” says Angel.

The tornado season is typically the second half of winter through the spring, though they do happen at other times of year. Angel says this tornado drought has been national; it’s not just Illinois being lucky.