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 >

Downburst and small tornado at Streamwood-Schaumburg May 16, 2007


National Weather Service meteorologists have reviewed Doppler radar imagery from the WSR-88D and the O’Hare Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, conducted a storm damage survey, and received reports from spotters and eyewitnesses regarding the thunderstorm damage that occurred in the northwest suburbs around 600 PM Wednesday May 16. It has been determined that the storm produced damaging downburst winds in parts of Streamwood and Hanover Park and a small tornado in Schaumburg.

The tornado was rated EF0 with a path length of about 1/2 mile and a path width of 10 to 15 yards. Based on eywitness accounts, a condensation funnel cloud may not have been visible. But damage to roofs of three buildings in an industrial park along Wise Road just west of Mitchell Boulevard show signs up uplift but minimal winds. Only a couple tree limbs were knocked down in the area.  An eyewitness observed roofing material and insulation lifted into the air and swirling rapidly.  Witnesses also observed rotation in a low hanging cloud base. The tornado likely produced winds of 60 to 80 mph. 

Further west, north of Irving Park Road and west of Barrington Road, along Park Boulevard, downburst winds damaged trees in a residential area. One tree was uprooted, one was snapped at the trunk and several large limbs were blown down. An observer measured a wind gust to 75 mph before his equipment stopped working. The tree damage would suggest winds of 75 to 90 mph. East of Barrington Road part of the roof of a school was peeled back by winds. The wind damage lines up well with an area of strong wind velocity indicated by Doppler radar.


Damage map