The largest December tornado outbreak in history of Illinois

The largest December tornado outbreak in history of Illinois

With 27 confirmed tornados on December 1, 2018, the state of Illinois experienced its largest tornado outbreak during the month of December ever. NWS said additional storm surveys will be done on December 4, so this number is subject to change.

The December 1, 2018 severe weather event sets the record for largest tornado outbreak during the month of December in Illinois history with 27 tornadoes, NWS said. The previous record was 21 tornadoes on December 18-19, 1957.

This tornado outbreak will also rank as the 3rd largest tornado outbreak in Illinois during any month of the year. The largest outbreak was on April 19, 1996 with 39 tornadoes, followed by February 4, 2006 with 36 tornadoes.

The event began late November 30 in Oklahoma, spreading east and resulting in one fatality around Aurora, Missouri.


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The most significant tornado impacted Taylorville, Illinois, damaging or destroying hundreds of structures and injuring 22 people.

Information from emergency management indicated 34 homes severely damaged/destroyed, 66 homes with major damage, and 406 homes damaged but inhabitable.

NWS EF-Scale ratings in the southside of Taylorville were EF-3 with estimated wind at 250 km/h (155 mph) with a maximum width of 800 m (880 yards).

Featured image: Tornado near Beardstown, IL on December 1, 2018. Credit: Andrew Pritchard

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