Rare November Tornado Outbreak Kills 6; Subtropical Storm Melissa Forms ~Dr. Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog
A rare and deadly late-season tornado and severe weather outbreak blitzed the Midwest U.S. on Sunday, killing at least six people and leaving widespread significant damage. A tornado preliminarily rated as a violent EF-4 touched down in New Minden, Illinois, east of St. Louis, carving a path of destruction three miles long, killing two people, and blowing semi trucks off of I-64. The twister was one of only twenty EF-4s to occur in the U.S. in November dating back to 1950, and was the third most northerly November EF-4 ever observed, according to data from the Tornado History Project. The most widespread damage from Sunday’s outbreak occurred in the town of Washington (population 16,000), about 140 miles southwest of Chicago, where a powerful tornado destroyed or heavily damaged 250 – 500 homes and an apartment complex. Damage appeared to be at least EF-3. A northern Illinois man says he discovered mail belonging to Washington residents on his property in Channahon, about 80 miles northeast Washington, according to the (Peoria) Journal-Star. Three other tornado deaths occurred in Massac County in the far southern part of Illinois, making Sunday the deadliest November tornado outbreak in Illinois history. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center logged 68 preliminary tornado reports, along with 412 reports of high wind gusts and 32 reports of hail. Sixteen of the wind gusts were in excess of 74 mph (hurricane strength.) Read more.