As we approached the town of Carlinville, our teams so to speak had split. Colt, Kevin and Scott decided to take the northern storm and drove towards Farmersville, Illinois and Barb and I decided to take a southern storm that was moving up from the southwest. we knew the warm front was in the vicinity, but we had no idea what was to come next. We drove east on Highway 108 towards Interstate 55. We felt that if we needed to, we would have a north-south corridor to access to further our chase. About 13 miles or so outside of Carlinvillem we noticed some low level inflow (moisture in cloud form) moving from north to south. Winds had increased behind us and were moving from west to east.
We passed a few tree lines and then there it was.. FUNNEL CLOUD! We could not ascertain if the funnel cloud had reached the ground due to the treelines to the southeast. the funnel just seemed to hang there over the tree line.
We drove further to attempt to get clear of the treeline and as we did, the tornado took shape as the condensation funnel reached the ground and began churning up the farmfields. We began to receive RFD (Rear Flank Downdraft) winds, however we had very clear visibility and very little rain to contend with. The tornado took the sahpe of a cone and continues on its path northeast. No one was injured from the tornado and the only damage in it wake was a farm house and outbuilding. The owners heeded the warnings and sought shelter in their storm cellar. The tornado was noted to frist touch down 7 miles northwest of Litchfield, Illinois and was on the ground for about 10 minutes. here are some of the pictures we took as it happened:
The tornado dissapated and lifted east of Interstate 55 as the storm continued on its northeast path. The tornado was on the ground for 3.5 miles and has a EF-2 rating. the width of the tornado was 200 yards. After viewing this beast, we made it to the Interstate. We chose to head south then east through Litchfield then to Hillsboro, Illinois. It was getting dark, so we decided to call it a day. As we drove back through western Madison County, Illinois, we encountered two hail shafts. One near Alhambra and the other just outside Marine. Hail was 1/2″ in diameter but very intense in both instances. We contacted Colt to make sure they were doing ok as they drove back to Oklahoma. They drove all night but arrived home safely.