National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Cold Front Dropping South Across the Western U.S.; Watching Threat for Tornadoes and Flooding in the South

A cold front will push south across the Western U.S. into Tuesday with mountain snow and areas of gusty to high winds. An area of low pressure will form along this front on Tuesday and bring a potential for severe thunderstorms with tornadoes and excessive rainfall in the lower to mid Mississippi River Valley. To the north, heavy snow is possible in parts of the upper Midwest. Read More >

Record Number of Tornadoes in Illinois in 2006


A total of 124 tornadoes were reported within the state of Illinois so far in 2006, breaking the record of 120 tornadoes that occurred in 2003. The hardest hit areas were in central and southwest Illinois where 106 tornadoes were reported. The record number of tornadoes resulted in 1 fatality and 49 injuries.

Three significant tornado outbreaks yielded half of the tornadoes in Illinois:

March 12th - 12 tornadoes, including two which produced F2 damage in the city of Springfield. Twenty-six injuries were reported from the tornadoes.

April 2nd - 36 tornadoes, which resulted in one fatality in Fairview Heights (St. Clair County) and a total of 16 injuries. This was the second largest tornado outbreak in Illinois since 1950. The biggest tornado outbreak occurred on April 19, 1996 when 41 tornadoes struck the state.

April 16th - 14 tornadoes occurred during the afternoon and evening of Easter Sunday in the eastern half of the state. There were no injuries with these tornadoes.


By month, the number of tornadoes in Illinois during 2006 was as follows:

Month Tornadoes
January 1
February 1
March 21
April 60
May 17
June 2
July 16
August 0
September 6
October 0
November 0
December 0 (through the 12th)


The 21 tornadoes in March set a new record for the most tornadoes during that month in Illinois since 1950. The previous record was 12 in March of 1976. The 60 tornadoes in April also set a new record for the most tornadoes during that month in Illinois since 1950. The previous record was 46 in April of 1998.


By the Fujita damage assessment rating, the distribution of tornadoes was as follows:

F0 (weak) 73
F1 (weak) 35
F2 (strong) 15
F3 (strong) 1
F4 (violent) 0
F5 (violent) 0


The lone F3 tornado occurred in Massac county Illinois, near Metropolis, around 330 pm on September 22nd. The tornado injured 2 people, tossed several vehicles up to 100 yards, blew the walls and roof off of a log home, uprooted hundreds of trees, damaged power poles, and destroyed four mobile homes.


The large number of tornadoes during 2006 came on the heels of drought conditions the year, when only 19 tornadoes were reported in Illinois. A very mild winter and an active storm track across Illinois in March and April set the stage for an early start to the record setting tornado season in the state.


Ten of the tornadoes were in northeast and north central Illinois including 4 in Iroquois County, 2 in Ford County, 1 in LaSalle County, 1 in Kankakee County, 1 in Livingston County, and 1 in Cook County. They were all F0 and F1 tornadoes. The Cook County tornado was an F0 that occurred on the north side of Chicago at Loyola University on September 22.