Surprise Tornado Blitz Strikes Central Illinois, Injuring at Least 30

Joe’s Weather Blog Cold December start…and our next snow

Joe’s Weather Blog Cold December start…and our next snow

Twenty-two tornado touchdowns were reported in Central Illinois Saturday night.

May is the peak month, with an average of 15 tornadoes.

At least three tornadoes were confirmed in northwest and southwest Arkansas, which largely caused property and structural damage.

"This is the biggest December outbreak in IL since 1957", he said.

Smith says that while numerous injuries were reported in Saturday's storms no fatalities were reported in IL due to the severe weather outbreak.

Among the hardest hit areas appears to be Taylorville, a small town that sits about 25 miles South and East of Springfield.

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Weather service meteorologist Chris Miller told The Associated Press on Sunday the agency was able to give Taylorville an advanced warning of 41 minutes that the powerful tornado was headed the community's way. Many people volunteering are neighbors who have come out to help friends in need.

Clean-up efforts are underway in central IL after numerous tornadoes tore through the area over the weekend.

Miller said preliminary estimates are that the Taylorville tornado may have been an EF2, which indicates wind speeds as high as 135 miles per hour. According to data from the Tornado History Project, the last time tornadoes were reported in IL in December was in 2015 when six tornados broke out.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital reported 21 patients sustained storm-related injuries and one patient was critically injured. Most were discharged within hours.

Early Saturday morning a third tornado with estimated peak winds of 107 mph traveled about 8.5 miles (13.5 kilometers) through Spring Hill in southwest Arkansas. The owner says that about 200 cars were damaged in both of the garages and shed. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and some structures. There have been no reported deaths; however, at least one injury was reported as critical.

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