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Sunday’s EF-4 tornadoes could rank among state’s strongest

 
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Updated: December 20, 2013 6:19AM



The devastating EF-4 tornadoes that struck Downstate Washington and New Minden on Sunday could rank among the strongest tornadoes in Illinois history, despite occurring outside of the peak storm season.

An EF-4 tornado features wind gusts of between 166 and 200 mph lasting at least 3 seconds.

Until Sunday’s storms that killed six people across the state, no more than two people have ever been killed in a November tornado, according to Harold Brooks, a senior research scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Serious tornadoes in November can’t be classified as rare, said Greg Carbin, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service/National Centers for Environmental Prediction Storm Prediction Center. Carbin said violent tornadoes happen in November about every seven to 10 years in the Midwest.

Illinois has had 27 EF-4 tornadoes since 1950 — and just two EF-5 — but before Sunday, none of these most dangerous storms have been in November.

Email: dnovak@suntimes.com

Twitter: @dhnovak



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