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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 >

June 4, 2008 Severe Weather Event

 

A warm front stretching west to east across northern Illinois and Indiana provided the focus for severe convection and flooding Wednesday afternoon and evening. Dewpoints in the lower 70s south of the boundary provided moisture to fuel these storms. As these storms initiated during the late afternoon, strong vertical wind shear quickly turned many of them into supercells capable of producing large hail and tornadoes.

03z moisture convergence
Surface moisture convergence graphic from SPC (with front and low position added) valid 10 PM CDT during the height of the event.

 

A tornado watch was issued by the Storm Prediction Center at 7:00 PM CDT for parts of eastern Iowa, a large part of northern Illinois, and parts of northern Indiana. This was the easternmost of three tornado watches stretching into eastern Colorado that evening.

Watches valid Wednesday evening, June 4, 2008.
Watch status as of 11:57 PM CDT on June 4, 2008.

 

At 7:11 PM CDT the NWS office in Chicago issued the first of 10 tornado warnings for the evening. Interestingly, the first few tornadic circulations were very intense, yet anticyclonic. Unlike the great majority of tornadic circulations, and thunderstorm circulations in general, these first few storms were rotating clockwise, as seen in the following radar images.

intense anticyclonic tornadic circulation
Doppler radar storm-relative motion image from 7:33 PM CDT June 4.

 

Red values in the image show winds moving away from the radar, or toward the southeast. Green values show winds moving toward the radar, or toward the northwest. This particular image shows winds of 50-60 knots blowing in opposite directions but very close together. This is an excellent indication that a storm may be producing a tornado, though normally the circulation is cyclonic, meaning counter-clockwise.

In the next graphic is the reflectivity image for the same storm.

Reflectivity image from 7:33 pm CDT on June 4, 2008
Super-resolution reflectivity image from 07:33 PM CDT on June 4, 2008.

 

The image above depicts a very strong and somewhat unusual left-moving supercell. The rotation in this storm, in what could be described as a hook echo, is located on the northern side of the cell. The storm itself is moving to the northeast.

Shortly after these left-mover, or anticyclonic, supercells developed, traditional cyclonic supercells also began to form in the area. The reflectivity and velocity patterns in these are more familiar.

hi-res reflectivity
Super-resolution reflectivity image from 8:00 PM CDT on June 4, 2008.

 

The hook feature shown above is on the southern side of the storm, which is moving almost due east.

srm
Doppler radar storm-relative motion image for 8:00 PM on June 4, 2008.

 

In this image the cyclonic, or counterclockwise rotation is shown. It does not appear to be as wide and as strong as the image shown earlier, but there still were multiple tornado reports with this storm in southwest Livingston County, Illinois.

 


Severe Storm Reports: June 4th-5th

NWUS53 KLOT 051742
LSRLOT

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1242 PM CDT THU JUN 05 2008

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0710 PM     HAIL             2 NNW REMINGTON         40.79N 87.17W 
06/04/2008  E1.00 INCH       JASPER             IN   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0713 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     REMINGTON               40.76N 87.15W 
06/04/2008                   JASPER             IN   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            MULTIPLE REPORTS OF ROTATION NEAR US HWY 24 AND I-65.

0720 PM     HAIL             5 W WATSEKA             40.78N 87.83W 
06/04/2008  M0.88 INCH       IROQUOIS           IL   CO-OP OBSERVER  

0730 PM     TORNADO          3 E RENSSELAER          40.94N 87.09W 
06/04/2008                   JASPER             IN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            SMALL TORNADO ON THE GROUND.

0746 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     2 S RAUB                40.70N 87.49W 
06/04/2008                   BENTON             IN   EMERGENCY MNGR  

0801 PM     TORNADO          7 S FLANAGAN            40.77N 88.87W 
06/04/2008                   LIVINGSTON         IL   PUBLIC          

            TRUCKER REPORTS TWO TORNADOES MERGING WEST OF I-55 NEAR 
            MILE MARKER 190.

0803 PM     TORNADO          7 S FLANAGAN            40.78N 88.86W 
06/04/2008                   LIVINGSTON         IL   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            TORNADO ON THE GROUND AT INTERSECTION OF 200E AND 1100N.

0804 PM     TORNADO          7 S FLANAGAN            40.78N 88.86W 
06/04/2008                   LIVINGSTON         IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            OUTBUILDINGS DESTROYED. LOCATION IS 3-4 MILES NORTH OF 
            GRIDLEY.

0810 PM     HAIL             ASHKUM                  40.88N 87.95W 
06/04/2008  E1.75 INCH       IROQUOIS           IL   EMERGENCY MNGR  

0823 PM     TORNADO          3 S PONTIAC             40.83N 88.64W 
06/04/2008                   LIVINGSTON         IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

0836 PM     HAIL             MOUNT AYR               40.95N 87.30W 
06/04/2008  E1.00 INCH       NEWTON             IN   EMERGENCY MNGR  

0950 PM     HAIL             CHICAGO HEIGHTS         41.51N 87.64W 
06/04/2008  M1.00 INCH       COOK               IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

0955 PM     HAIL             SAUK VILLAGE            41.49N 87.57W 
06/04/2008  M1.75 INCH       COOK               IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

1006 PM     HAIL             GRIFFITH                41.52N 87.42W 
06/04/2008  M0.88 INCH       LAKE               IN   TRAINED SPOTTER 

1010 PM     FLASH FLOOD      KANKAKEE                41.12N 87.86W 
06/04/2008                   KANKAKEE           IL   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            SEVERAL STREETS FLOODED IN CITY WITH UP TO 4 TO 5 FEET OF
            WATER. MOTORIST RESCUED NEAR BROOKMONT BLVD.

1040 PM     HAIL             CRETE                   41.45N 87.62W 
06/04/2008  M0.75 INCH       WILL               IL   TRAINED SPOTTER 

1042 PM     HAIL             MANHATTAN               41.43N 87.99W 
06/04/2008  M0.25 INCH       WILL               IL   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            AT GOUGAR RD. AND MANHATTAN RD.

1052 PM     HEAVY RAIN       BRADLEY                 41.15N 87.86W 
06/04/2008  M2.60 INCH       KANKAKEE           IL   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            MEASURED SINCE RAIN BEGAN AT 9 PM

1118 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 E FAIR OAKS           41.08N 87.22W 
06/04/2008                   JASPER             IN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            TREE DOWN.

1127 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     3 S DE MOTTE            41.16N 87.20W 
06/04/2008                   JASPER             IN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

1153 PM     HAIL             ROMEOVILLE              41.65N 88.09W 
06/04/2008  M0.75 INCH       WILL               IL   TRAINED SPOTTER 

1227 AM     FLOOD            KANKAKEE                41.12N 87.86W 
06/05/2008                   KANKAKEE           IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            NUMEROUS ROADS CLOSED ACROSS KANKAKEE COUNTY.

1233 AM     FLOOD            MANHATTAN               41.43N 87.99W 
06/05/2008                   WILL               IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            MULTIPLE ROADS IN EASTERN WILL COUNTY ARE CLOSED.

1257 AM     FLOOD            MOROCCO                 40.95N 87.45W 
06/05/2008                   NEWTON             IN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            HIGH WATER ACROSS MANY LOCATIONS IN THE COUNTY.

0100 AM     FLOOD            STEGER                  41.47N 87.64W 
06/05/2008                   COOK               IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            MINOR ROADWAY FLOODING IN TOWN. NO ROADS CLOSED YET.

0206 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 S WHEATFIELD          41.16N 87.05W 
06/05/2008  M4.48 INCH       JASPER             IN   CO-OP OBSERVER  

            4.1 IN PAST 2.5 HOURS

0210 AM     HAIL             NORRIDGE                41.97N 87.82W 
06/05/2008  E0.75 INCH       COOK               IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

0450 AM     FLASH FLOOD      2 WNW MONEE             41.43N 87.79W 
06/05/2008                   WILL               IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            ROUTE 50 NEAR EAGLE CREEK IMPASSIBLE

0501 AM     FLASH FLOOD      KANKAKEE                41.12N 87.86W 
06/05/2008                   KANKAKEE           IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            ROADS CLOSED ACROSS THE COUNTY-KANKAKEE COUNTY SHERIFF

0520 AM     FLASH FLOOD      WHEATFIELD              41.19N 87.05W 
06/05/2008                   JASPER             IN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            JASPER COUNTY SHERIFF REPORTS THAT THE HARDEST HIT AREA 
            IS IN WHEATFIELD AND DE MOTTE. SOME CITY ROADS CLOSED. 
            SOME HOUSES WITH WATER IN BASEMENT.

0525 AM     FLASH FLOOD      MOROCCO                 40.95N 87.45W 
06/05/2008                   NEWTON             IN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            ROADS CLOSED ACROSS THE COUNTY-NEWTON COUNTY SHERIFF

0605 AM     FLASH FLOOD      BOURBONNAIS             41.16N 87.88W 
06/05/2008                   KANKAKEE           IL   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            5.2 INCHES-STORM TOTAL. NEIGHBORS CORN FIELD FLOODED. CAN
            NOT GET OUT OF DRIVE WAY DUE TO FLOODING. RELAYED BY ABC 
            7 CHICAGO

0605 AM     FLASH FLOOD      LOWELL                  41.29N 87.41W 
06/05/2008                   LAKE               IN   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            4.0 INCHES OF RAIN. RELAYED BY ABC 7 CHICAGO

0728 AM     TSTM WND GST     MOUNT MORRIS            42.05N 89.43W 
06/05/2008  E70.00 MPH       OGLE               IL   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0730 AM     TSTM WND DMG     FORRESTON               42.13N 89.58W 
06/05/2008                   OGLE               IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            SEVERAL TREES DOWN THROUGHOUT COUNTY. RADAR TIME APPROX.

0745 AM     TSTM WND GST     ROCKFORD AIRPORT        42.20N 89.10W 
06/05/2008  M64.00 MPH       WINNEBAGO          IL   ASOS            

0745 AM     HEAVY RAIN       POLO                    41.98N 89.58W 
06/05/2008  M0.94 INCH       OGLE               IL   CO-OP OBSERVER  

            MEASURED IN 10 MINUTES. ALSO PEA SIZED HAIL.

0800 AM     TSTM WND DMG     MARENGO                 42.25N 88.60W 
06/05/2008                   MCHENRY            IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            TREE DOWN IN MARENGO. 

0822 AM     TSTM WND DMG     CRYSTAL LAKE            42.23N 88.33W 
06/05/2008                   MCHENRY            IL   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            DOWNED POWER LINES AND TREE LIMBS

0853 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 SE MCHENRY            42.32N 88.26W 
06/05/2008  E1.00 INCH       MCHENRY            IL   AIRPLANE PILOT  

0920 AM     TSTM WND DMG     3 W WINNEBAGO           42.27N 89.30W 
06/05/2008                   WINNEBAGO          IL   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            MANY TREES DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY...ONE TREE BLOCKING 
            WESTFIELD RD...ANOTHER TREE ON POWER LINE ON SILVER CREEK
            RD. 

1206 PM     FLOOD            WHEATFIELD              41.19N 87.05W 
06/05/2008                   JASPER             IN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            WASHED OUT COLVERT IN WHEATFIELD. COUNTY HIGHWAY OFFERING
            SANDBAGS TO ANYONE IN NEED.