National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Springfield Tornadoes


Sangamon County tornado history since 1950
Tornadoes in Sangamon County since 1950


Between 8:20 and 8:30 PM on March 12, 2006, the city of Springfield, IL, was affected by a pair of F2-strength tornadoes.  These tornadoes had a path nearly identical to the track of the June 14, 1957 F4 tornado (which killed 2 people, injured 50, and caused $2.5 million in damage).

Track of first tornado, on southwest and south side of Springfield Tornado #1 (click image to enlarge)

This tornado was on the ground for about 60 miles before it moved into Springfield. 

The tornado crossed Interstate 72 near mile marker 92, around 8:20 PM.  It entered the city of Springfield near Cockrell Lane and Constitution Drive, tracking to the east-northeast around 50 mph.  The tornado was about 300 yards wide, and produced F2 damage to several businesses from Constitution Drive, through Parkway Pointe, to Veterans Parkway and Lindbergh Blvd.

The tornado widened to about 0.4 mile wide as it continued to track east-northeast south of Wabash Avenue, between Veterans Parkway and Chatham Road.  The tornado widened further, to just over 1/2  mile wide from Westchester Blvd to the village of Jerome.  The damage was rated as F2 along Wabash Avenue, between Chatham Road and MacArthur Blvd.

The tornado then weakened slightly, producing F1 damage, as it turned to the northeast, nearly parallel with the Norfolk & Southern Railroad tracks.  The damage path remained nearly 1/2 mile wide.  The width of the tornado decreased to about 1/4 mile wide as it strengthened again, and turned to the north-northeast near Iles Park and in the vicinity of Oak and Myrtle Streets, between 6th and 9th Streets.  The damage was rated as F2 in these locations, with roofs blown off of homes and businesses, and garages severely damaged.  This tornado dissipated just north of 9th Street and South Grand Avenue.

This first tornado was on the ground in the city of Springfield for nearly 5.5 miles, for approximately 6 minutes between 8:20 and 8:26 PM.  The estimated wind speed with this F2 tornado in the city was around 120 mph.

 Track of second Springfield tornado of 3/12/2006  Tornado #2 (click image to enlarge)

A second tornado developed as the first tornado was dissipating, around 8:25 PM.  This tornado touched down about 1/4 mile north of the Bunn Park golf course, and tracked to the northeast.  The strongest damage was bounded by 15th Street, Cornell Avenue, South Grand Avenue, and Pope Avenue.  Several homes had roofs torn off, with extensive damage to power poles and lines, along with numerous downed trees. 

The tornado continued to track northeast across Old Rochester Road, Singer Avenue, and Cook Street from White City Blvd. to a block east of Dirksen Parkway.  The torando crossed I-55 at the Clear Lake Avenue interchange, and overturned a semi truck.  This tornado dissipated near Old Route 36, about 3/4 mile southwest of the Village of Clear Lake.

This second tornado was on the ground for nearly 4 miles, for approximately 5 minutes between 8:25 and 8:30 PM.  The estimated wind speeds with this tornado were also around 120 mph.


Pictures (click images to enlarge):


Damage to a hotel in the Parkway Pointe area
Parkway Pointe

The Sleep Inn sign collapsed onto a vehicle at its base.
Parkway Pointe

A warehouse collapsed at the Asian Food Market along Cockrell Lane
Cockrell Lane

Severe damage to a roof along Lindberg Blvd.
Lindbergh Blvd.

Damage to warehouse type buildings along eastern sections of Wabash Ave.
Wabash Ave.

Severe damage to a strip mall along Wabash Ave.
Wabash Ave.

Strip mall damage along Wabash Ave.
Wabash Ave.

A billboard along Wabash Ave. was completely bent over.
Wabash Ave.

Intersection of Wabash Ave. and Chatham Rd.
Wabash Ave. at
Chatham Rd.

Event Links:  Overview | Long-Track Tornado | SpringfieldFranklin/Loami | Eastern Sangamon

 Southern Logan | Greene/Scott #2 | Logan/Macon | Macon/De WittRadar&Satellite