**Severe weather reports** So far one tornado report today in Chassahowitzka, FL. Damaging thunderstorm winds took two trees down at Marion Oaks, FL. Wednesday’s tornado outbreak in Arkansas killed one and injured three. The National Weather Service survey team confirmed that the Pearson, AR tornado that claimed one life last night has just been rated an EF-2. Debris from the tornado was found 2 miles away.** The 62 degree high recorded yesterday at O’Hare was the warmest temperatures since November 14, 2009. Several counties near rivers across northern Illinois are under a flood warning or advisory from the combination of rain and snowmelt.
Three tornadoes touched down last night across Arkansas. The first ripped through Saline CO, AR around 6:30 pm CST damaging at least 20 houses.
The second occurred a little before 8:30 pm near Center Hill in White County causing one injury and damaging nine homes.
The third tornado hit the city of Pearson, AR in Cleburne County at 9:00 pm. Initial reports were three injuries with several houses badly damaged. This morning, one of the three injuries turned fatal (the first tornado fatality of 2010).
The NWS survey team rated the tornado that claimed the life of one an EF-2 with debris from the twister found as far as two miles away.
The same storm system that produced several twisters down south last night will potentially affect us this afternoon.
(Courtesy of NWS-St. Louis office)
After the Chicago area experienced light rain with some embedded thunder this morning, we are in for possibly another round later this afternoon/evening.
This comes right after the area experienced the warmest temperatures since mid-November.
Currently, the area is in the warm/unstable sector which is conducive for thunderstorm development.
If given the necessary period of insulation (incoming solar radiation), combined with the moisture content already in the atmosphere and the strength in the lift from the frontal boundary to our southwest, the development of thunderstorms is possible.
Expect small hail and brief gusty winds out of the stronger storms that do develop.
(Unisys — infared satellite loop)
(**Update** Radar showing a line of storms around the Chicago area)
- Chicago to see its mildest temperatures this year but with rain
- Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week; Severe Thunderstorms and lightning
- Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week February 28 – March 6
Sources: ADEM, Weather Channel, NOAA