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(Image created by Matt Friedlein, NWS Davenport Science and Operations Officer)

Several rounds of severe storms moved through central and southeast Illinois on Thursday, June 29, 2023. The first round began before sunrise and continued into the mid morning hours, with supercell thunderstorms that produced very large hail and heavy rainfall from Peoria into parts of eastern Illinois, including 3.25" hail in Tuscola.

By later that morning, a large bow echo/derecho that initiated from overnight storms over the central Plains entered west-central Illinois, spreading east-southeast through the entire forecast area by the late afternoon hours. Widespread, significant straight-line wind damage was reported areawide as well as a few tornadoes. Some surface observing equipment in central and southeast IL recorded wind gusts of 70 mph or greater with our highest gust being 101 mph from a personal weather station that took a direct hit from the Taylorville, IL tornado. This resulted in a substantial amount of tree damage, crop damage, and extensive power outages across a good portion of the forecast area. The derecho continued to track southeast of here into southern Indiana and points beyond, producing more wind damage. 

The third and final round was more localized and occurred south of I-70 during the early evening hours when a few supercell thunderstorms produced large hail up to 2" in parts of Clay and Richland counties.



What is a derecho? A derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms variously known as bow echoes, squall lines, or quasi-linear convective systems. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 400 miles in length and 60 miles in width, includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (50 kt) or greater along most of its length, along with several well-separated 75 mph (65 kt) or greater gusts, then the event is classified a derecho.



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