Historic Tornado Outbreak – December 1, 2018
Kicking off our top 10 events of 2018: the historic December Tornado Outbreak in Illinois
It was a day of terrifying sights and sounds across the Prairie State on December 1, 2018.
The record setting tornado outbreak began in the afternoon and continued into the early evening across Central and Southwest Illinois.
Three local National Weather Service offices concluded that there was a total of 29 tornadoes with ratings on the Enhanced Fujita Scale ranging from EF-0 all the way up to EF-3.
“Oh my god, I’m shaking,” said Tanya Baker, who witnessed the tornado from Mt. Olive, IL.
There were 11 EF-0 tornadoes confirmed and 14 rated an EF-1, including a storm near Beardstown, in Bluff City, and near Staunton, IL.
3 storms were even stronger, classified as EF-2, including the tornado that moved through the town of Litchfield, IL.
The strongest storm of the day happened at night: an EF-3 which devastated the town of Taylorville, IL.
“They had over 500 homes that had some level of damage and about 100 that were destroyed or major damage,” said Chris Miller, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NWS Lincoln.
The Taylorville tornado was a half a mile wide, which equates to the length of almost NINE football fields lined up back to back.
Despite many towns waking up to heartbreaking scenes the next day, there were only 23 injuries reported and no fatalities from the storms.
This tornado outbreak is now the largest for the state for the month of December since 1957, and that’s why it makes our top 10 events of 2018.
For WeatherNation, I’m Meteorologist Meredith Garofalo