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 >

Storm Damage Summary for May 25, 2011


Wednesday, May 25, 2011, was a very busy severe weather day across the Mississippi and Ohio Valley areas of the Midwest, with nearly 1000 reports of damaging wind, large hail, or tornadoes.  Northern Illinois and northwest Indiana had multiple tornado watches in effect at various times throughout the day, but the most active period for tornadoes was during the morning hours. 

The first tornado watch was posted at 5:45 AM CDT for northeast Illinois as a line of thunderstorms moved toward the area.  Three hours later the watch was expanded into northwest Indiana.  Shortly thereafter, the line of thunderstorms produced several short-lived non-supercell tornadoes in Kankakee, Newton, and Jasper counties.  A summary of these tornadoes is provided below.  In addition to these tornadoes, there were reports of damage from a couple of other locations in Iroquois and Jasper counties that have not yet been surveyed.  More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Tornado 1 -- Kankakee County

Strength: EF1
Path Length: About 6 miles
Maximum path width: Approximately 50 yards
Start: East of St. Anne along 7000S just west of 12753E
End: Northeast of Hopkins Park near the intersection of 2500 S 16000 E
Time: From 904 AM to 912 AM CDT based on radar estimates


The survey team reported tree damage at multiple locations along the path including snapped hardwoods.  Additional damage included snapped power poles...roof and shingle damage to homes...overturned campers...and an attached garage removed from a home that was under construction.  The nature of this damage was consistent with an EF1 tornado...with winds of 100 to 110 mph.  Two people reported watching this tornado as it just missed their property.


Tornado 2 -- Newton County

Strength: EF0
Path Length: About 200 yards
Maximum path width: Approximately 20 yards
Start and End: About 1/2 mile west of Morocco along Hwy 114
Time: From 913 AM CDT based on radar estimates.

The survey team reported a collapsed barn and snapped tree limbs.  Damage was consistent with an EF0 tornado with winds around 80 mph.


Tornado 3 -- Newton County

Strength: EF2
Path Length: About 2 miles
Maximum path width: Approximately 300 yards
Start: South of Mt. Ayr near State Road 55 and 600S
End: About 1/4 mile west of the Newton/Jasper County line along 500S.
Time: From 919 AM to 921 AM CDT based on radar estimates.

The survey team reported a narrow 10-15 yard swath of old corn/stubble strewn across the lawn between a mildly damaged house and shed, a 100-150 lb. auger lifted from the shed and tossed 100-150 yards, a grain bin in the main wind core picked up and tossed about 200 yards, gouge marks in the sod from debris, 2x4 projectiles from the shed and/or bin tossed into a field, large trees snapped, and a large debris field.  Just before the tornado lifted it snapped 10 power poles, some near ground level, one of which was sheared so that only a tiny stub of pole remained.  Damage along this path was consistent with a high-end EF1 or very low-end EF2 tornado with winds between 112 and 118 mph.

Tornado 4 -- Jasper County

Strength: EF1
Path Length: About 3 miles
Maximum path width: Approximately 100 yards
Start: West of Rensselaer and east of I-65 near 850 W and Hwy 114.
End: Near 300 S and 650 W.
Time: From 924 AM to 927 AM CDT based on radar estimates.

The survey team reported a snapped wooden light pole and a path of tree damage consisting of uprooted softwood and hardwood trees, hardwood trees twisted/snapped, and numerous large hardwood and softwood limbs down.  Debris was deposited in a convergent manner along the path.  Damage was consistent with an EF1 tornado with winds around 90 mph.

Tornado 5 -- Jasper County

Strength: EF1
Path Length: About 2 miles
Maximum path width: Approximately 100 yards
Start: South of Rensselaer along Sparling Avenue halfway between Schuster and Mt. Calvary Roads.
End: East side of Rensselaer along Hwy 114 just east of the high school.
Time: From 926 AM to 928 AM CDT based on radar estimates.



Overview of tornado tracks from May 25, 2011