The January-February 1997 issue of STORMTRACK features THE OAK LAWN, IL TORNADO -THIRTY YEARS LATER, "WHINING IN MINNESOTA", AND CONVECTIVE WATCH NARRATIVE CHANGES.
I. COMMENTARY by Tim Marshall
Several discussions have appeared recently on the internet about whether to use technology (cell phones, laptops, etc.) in storm chasing or just go visually with your instincts. As a "seasoned" storm chase veteran, Iíve experienced both worlds and can say that there are definitely pros and cons to using technology. Back in the early days, I visited the National Weather Service in Lubbock and listened to the lead forecaster at the morning briefing. I quickly perused through the facsimile maps, and morning soundings, then plotted surface teletype data until early afternoon. Then, I chased to my chase target and occasionally called back to Lubbock for an update. However, if I was outside the warning forecast area, then I was going visual receiving occasional (outdated) radar information from local radio stations. The tornadoes near Clearwater, Kansas on May 16, 1991 and El Dorado, Kansas on May 26, 1991 were obtained by "going visual". On occasion, I still chase going visual and there is nothing wrong with that. However, Iíve had some incredible misses when I was near a tornadic storm, but didnít know it due to all the haze or dust.
In the middle 80ís, I started using a scanner to listen to ham radio reports. There is no question that having a scanner helped improve my odds of spotting a tornado. I can recall about 20 tornadoes that were spotted due to accurate information provided by ham radio operators. Some notable tornadoes were the four tornadoes at Springtown, Texas in 1990 and the Cedar Hill, Texas tornado in 1994. Listening to VORTEX operations on the scanner also helped Gene Rhoden and I to get the tornadoes near McLean and Allison, TX on June 8, 1995. However, I have missed some tornadoes due to the information provided by spotters. On May 29, 1994, Carson Eads and I left one storm for a second cell that became tornadic. While enroute to the second storm, the first storm produced an eight minute tornado! Had we not known what was going on with other storms, we would have stuck it out and filmed a tornado! So, there is such a thing as too much information as well as misinformation! Still, I find that having a scanner is much more valuable than not having one. Other items like THE WEATHER CHANNEL, hourly weather information, computer software programs to plot the data, radar, and satellite are good for planning a chase, however, I have had mixed results in using them during a chase.
II. CHASER NEWS
The number of STORMTRACK subscribers have increased dramatically since the movie TWISTER was shown. In January, 1996, we had 600 subscribers compared to 860 now.
The Central Iowa NWA Severe Weather Conference will be held March 15 and 16, 1997 at the Holiday Inn Airport, 6111 Fleur Dr., Des Moines, IA 50321. For hotel reservations, you can call them at 515-287-4013. Speakers include Chuck Doswell, Les Lemon, Alan Moller, Robert Prentice, Ron Pryzbylinski, Gilbert Sebenste, Craig Setzer, and Tim Vasquez. The conference fee is around $85 per person. For more information, write to John McLaughlin at 888 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309, phone: 515-247-8851.
The Texas Severe Storm Association (TESSA) will be having its annual meeting on Saturday, April 12, 1997 at the Plano City Hall, 1520 Ave. K, Plano, Texas starting at 9am and lasting until about noon.
The 1997 Annual Chasers Picnic is scheduled for Saturday, May 17, 1997 at Robert Prenticesí house located at 2701 Black Locust Court, Norman, Oklahoma 73071. The party begins at 1p.m. provided there is no risk area for the plains states. Bring your own food, beverage, and best storm videotape. Anyone one can attend.
Should there be a slight risk or better (12Z outlook), the party will be postponed one week until May 24th. Other alternate dates are May 31st and June 7th hopefully to insure that we will have a picnic this year. Last minute updates, changes, or cancellations can be obtained by calling the editors voice recorder at 817-430-0517 after May 15th. Directions to the Prenticesí house are shown on the next page.
III. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Tom Windsor writes about his vacation: "I decided to take a vacation on the Atlantic coast in September and drove from my home in Maryland to the coast on the 16th. I checked out some of the weather satellite images before I left and saw there were some severe storms in Georgia. The storm system was moving towards me. That night, I was camped on the coast at Oregon Inlet. Torrential rain and wind kept me up all night. Around 3:30 am, there was a calm. Over the Atlantic Ocean, there was an incredible display of continuous cloud-to-cloud lightning. I was in the van searching for my camera when a gust of wind jolted the vehicle as large drops smacked the windows. At first, I couldnít see much, but then I made out a funnel which passed about one hundred yards north from my site. I was in awe as the cone-shaped tornado was backlit by lightning as it headed off into the ocean. The tornado flipped two RVís and turned a man in a tent into a human tumbleweed. The tornado wasnít a midwest monster, but from short range, it was impressive."
Brenda Barnwell writes: When someone mentions storm chasing, the first thing that comes to mind are the brave people who travel hundreds of miles in search of the illusive tornado. However, there is another type of storm chaser who seldom gets in the lime light. They are the persons who photograph lightning, sometimes known as "lightning stalkers." We too enjoy the beauty of sky without traveling afar..
Gary McLaughlin says: "What a special gift the 20th anniversary issue was to the subscribers. All the write-ups about the genesis of the long time project and the biographies of the long time contributors brought closer to me the importance and commitment of everyone who has helped make STORMTRACK unique and unequal. Your interview with Roger Jensen, the storm chase pioneer, was treasurable. I loved his response to the question why he has chased storms for four decades: ĎGOSH, ITíS FOR THE AWE AT WHAT YOUíRE SEEINGí. His response must have hit a respondent chord in every chasers heart."
Roger Jensen responds to his interview in the last issue of STORMTRACK. "The interview turned out better then I was imagining it. However, there are some things I wish I wouldíve thought of saying, so here goes. When it comes to what chasers are getting out of storm chasing, I hope they fully realize (with deep awareness and respectful admiration) at what they are seeing and photographing. Chasing storms should not be solely to photograph storms and tornadoes in order to sell your video to make a few bucks off of it ("poaching"). I plan to be at the annual chase picnic in Norman this May."
Dave Hoadley has just read TWISTER, by Keay Davidson. "Although a generally well written book about storm chasing and safety, I wish to correct a few minor discrepancies. The Bismark storm that spurred my early interest in tornadoes brought a damaging straight-lined wind -not a Ďtwisterí. While the author notes with literary flair that I am "even older than Chuck Doswell and Robert Davies-Jones,:" that storm was in 1956 when I began chasing and not Ďsometime in the 1940ís.í IíM NOT THAT OLD! Finally, the author concludes his capsule biography with some selected philosophical quotes from my earlier, less circumspect days with the media. Chasers should always think carefully before speaking to reporters, anxious to probe and record your most colorful remarks. That which you would otherwise write and edit with care, can tumble forth in a fit of enthusiasm and come back to haunt you years later. I am normally somewhat more restrained."
The ST Roster lists names, addresses, and brief biographies of those persons who are interested in or willing to correspond with others about storms and storm chasing.
Sean Kelly, 5 Kirkwood Dr., Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054, phone: 609-778-8710. "Iím 11 years old and extremely interested in tornadoes and supercells for about two years. I would enjoy talking or corresponding with other chasers and weather enthusiasts who can tell me there stories and experiences with weather."
Frank Clark, P.O. Box 11, Boyd, TX 76023, phone: 817-433-2991. "Iím 48 years old and retired. I have been involved with SKYWARN since 1990 and have attended many SKYWARN classes in north Texas. I am a self taught person in meteorology and have two tornadoes on video. I have purchased a van and I am in the process of fixing it up for storm chasing."
Diana Strauss, 156 Sandybrooke Dr., Langhorne, PA 19047. "Iím 35 years old and a computer science major at Temple University. I am in my senior year, and I am hoping that I can perhaps arrange a trip to tornado alley either this spring or next. Since I am totally inexperienced in tracking and chasing, I would prefer to ride along with someone who has the experience and instinct required for this pursuit. I am willing to pay for passage and I enjoy just looking out of the window at the scenery."
Steve Swartz, 46 Chestnut St., Douglas, MA 01516, phone: 508-476-1643. "I am a 48 year old software engineer with a passionate interest in storms and severe weather. I have plans to vacation for a week or two in the spring or early summer somewhere in Tornado Alley. Having no experience in storm chasing, I would like to hook up with someone with experience and expertise."
Blair Kooistra, 4700 Mount Hood Road, Fort Worth, TX 76137, phone: 817-498-5384. "Iím 36 and a recent Texas transplant itching to hit the road this spring with an experienced storm chaser who wouldnít mind having a relative novice along in exchange for shared expenses and driving duties. Iím a Photojournalist looking forward to my first spring in Tornado Alley. I have a couple of weeks off in May to head to the Panhandle."
Michael Geukes, 1446 Brookmark S.E., Kentwood, MI 49508-6117. "Iíve been a SKYWARN spotter in the Grand Rapids, MI area for 20 years and hold a B.S. degree in Earth Sciences and Geography with concentration in meteorology from Central Michigan University. Videotaped three tornadoes in Illinois and should be Vernon, Texas for two weeks in May for my first Plains chase."
Dean Enos, 716 S. Pinecrest, Wichita, Kansas 67218, phone: 316-685-2934. "Iím 34, disabled, and a ham radio operator active with SKYWARN for five years. On the REACT team for six years."
Fine Minnesota W(h)ine by Bob Adams
October is usually Whine Time for Minnesota chasers. We put away tripods, we neglect to use Rain-X, and the common lament is "How will I ever last until June!" (Yes, I said JUNE, unfortunately.) October 1996 helped to shorten the off season, however, with a mini-outbreak that yielded more than 15 tornadoes "in and close to" the SD-ND-MN border area on the 26th.
My wife, Catherine, and I were returning from Fergus Falls, which is 170 miles northwest of our Minneapolis home . Because there was a deepening low to the west of our trip area, we took along our still and video cameras "just in case." (The tripod stayed home; it was October, after all.) The morning trip to Fergus Falls yielded an excellent thunderstorm with heavy rain, pea-size hail and sharp lightning. The afternoon trip home began with a Tornado Watch, and by the time we reached Alexandria, tornado warnings were already issued in the area, so we drove south of town to intercept the Benson tornadic cell. Another cell west of Alexandria looked promising, too, so we turned back north. Yet another Ping-Pong south and north guaranteed we would miss the Alexandria tornado. We had violated a Tim Marshall chase law: Thou shalt not yo-yo!
Back on I-94 heading southeast, we intercepted another previously-tornadic cell at Sauk Centre. The tornado had lifted 20 minutes earlier south of Sauk Centre near Belgrade, so all we experienced was light rain and weak low-level rotation. Arriving home empty-handed after driving through the heart of an outbreak area was becoming a distinct possibility, and as our spirits followed the falling barometer, I began to create a mental list of excuses.
Making up excuses was interrupted by another line of TCU springing up to our southeast. Storms were all cruising NNE at about 40 knots on this day, prompting "SPC Forecaster" Roger Edwards to point out later that "the whole atmosphere up there seemed to be in fast-forward." Punching the rain core from the west side of this latest wave reminded me of two things: (1) how long it had been since the last Rain-X application, and (2) core punching on a tornadic day usually attracts criticism later, but only if you confess to it. So let it be our little secret. Five minutes of heavy rain later, we were on the east edge of the core and looking south. A definite lowering convinced us to pull over. This third wave was the charm! The dissipating stage of a wide, diffuse tornado (rated F2 the next day by MPX NWS) was coming north toward us and would, we estimated, pass just to the west of us with its dying circulation. From inside the car, I videotaped and Catherine took stills. Catherine correctly pointed out debris in the air, which I cautiously suggested was "just birds." Chaser friends often remind me of this error. As the circulation slid off to our west, we got out of the car in time to get shoved around by the RFD and capture more images.
Back in the car, and running the heater for warmth (!), we went eight more miles southeast before pulling over to film the cell from a distance. The lowest 10,000 feet looked like a giant smooth spinning top, awesome, but familiar. Above that, what should have been the rest of a vertical supercell was a sheared-over barrel pointing northeast at a 60 degree angle. Several minutes later, it would be stretched further and nearly horizontal. At first, I was so confused I called the sheared part "inconsequential" and just concentrated on the low level mesocyclone that Roger Edwards would later call a "striated space ship." Luckily, the tape was still running to record my slow realization that screaming upper winds that day had created a broken barber pole in the sky.
Thanks to Jon Davies, we have some wind data to go with the images. Jon indicated "BRN shear 24 m/s, 500mb winds 70-80 knots, 400mb winds around 100 knots." Thanks, too, go to Roger Edwards for finding a feature I would have missed: "When you were looking S or SW at the tornado, the rapid motion to your immediate SW and W appeared to be the underside of the strongly tilted, low/mid level tornadic vortex that is usually hidden from ground view by layers of clouds."
Whine Time just got pushed back to November. See you all up here next October?
CONVECTIVE WATCH NARRATIVE CHANGESby Donald Wernly
Beginning April 15, 1997 at 600 am CDT/1100 UTC convective watch narrative products issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) at Norman, OK will have a new format...providing several improvements over the current version as follows: 1) the product now includes both beginning and ending times of the watch, 2) technical information has been separated from the non-technical information...with the latter situated near the top of the product, 3) instead of "a..." "c..." "d..." etc., parts of the watch now are identified with key words "discussion"... "other watch information..." and "aviation", 4) plain language is used to describe the potential for hail size and thunderstorm wind, 5) the term "storm motion vector..." Which is more descriptive and scientifically accurate...replaces "mean wind vector", 6) latitude/longitudes of watch box end points are placed at the bottom as well as at the top of the product. This allows the user to plot the box using computer software. These changes are designed to allow for quicker and easier reading of watch products. A sample outline is as follows:
MKC WW DDHHMM
STZ000-STZ000-ETC.-DDHHMM- //STANDARD ZONES UGC BY STATE WITH
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO /OR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM/ WATCH NUMBER XXXX
STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
THE STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A TORNADO /OR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM/ WATCH FOR ALL OR PORTIONS OF
/APPROPRIATE STATE SUB-REGIONS/
AND ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS //IF NEEDED//
EFFECTIVE /DAY/ FROM /LOCAL TIME/ ... TO /LOCAL TIME/ //OPTION FOR ENHANCED WORDING TO DESCRIBE A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION.// //OPTION FOR TORNADOES... - HAIL TO XX INCHES IN DIAMETER AND THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO XX MPH ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS. - //
THE TORNADO /OR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM/ WATCH IS ALONG AND XX STATUTE MILES EITHER SIDE OF /OR NORTH AND SOUTH OF OR EAST AND WEST OF/ A LINE FROM XX MILES //16-POINT COMPASS DIRECTION SPELLED OUT// OF /LOCATION/ TO XX MILES //16-POINT COMPASS DIRECTION SPELLED OUT// OF /LOCATION/.
REMEMBER...A TORNADO /OR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM/ WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS /AND TORNADOES / //IF TORNADO WATCH// IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.
OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...//OPTION FOR - THIS WATCH REPLACES WW
NUMBER XXXX - OTHERWISE...NONE.//
DISCUSSION...//FREE PLAIN LANGUAGE TEXT TECHNICAL DISCUSSION OF METEOROLOGICAL FACTORS NECESSITATING THE WATCH//
AVIATION.../TORNADOES AND/ A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT TO //SIZE IN INCHES// INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO XX KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO XXX //HUNDREDS OF FEET// STORM MOTION VECTOR XXXXX //VECTOR COMPONENT IN DEGREES AND KNOTS//.
The Oak Lawn, Illinois Tornado: 30 years laterby Tim Marshall
In 1967, Oak Lawn was a growing suburb on the southwest side of Chicago with a 56,000 population. The new interstates made it easy to commute to downtown as well as the northern and western suburbs. My family and I lived in a split level tract home near 103rd and Cicero in Oak Lawn. I was a young, only ten years old at that time, but I already had a serious interest in the weather. I was taking daily weather observations and clipping and saving the daily weather maps from the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. Little did I realize my life would change on April 21, 1967. The day began like many spring days in Chicago, with overcast skies, ground fog, and light surface winds. The morning temperatures and dewpoints averaged around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no hint of what was to come. It was Friday, a school day for me.
That morning, forecasters at the Weather Bureau were busy analyzing the facsimile maps and were becoming concerned over a possible severe weather situation in northern Illinois later that afternoon. That morning, an upper low center was lifting rapidly to the northeast in advance of a long wave trough deepening over the west coast. Northern Illinois was under the front right side of an anticyclonic curving mid-level jet. A core of 70 knot 500mb winds was approaching the area from Kansas with a mean wind vector of about 220 degrees. The 500mb temperatures were around -15C over northern Illinois with a steep gradient to -25C associated with the lifting low over the Dakotas.
That morning, an occluded surface low over northern Minnesota was moving rapidly to the northeast. The occluded front extended into eastern Iowa where it split into a stationary front that extended southwest of this point into central Kansas and a warm front which extended southeast of this point across central Illinois. By noon, the warm front had lifted northward into the Chicago area. Surface air temperatures were in the low 70ís in the southern and central suburbs whereas they were in the upper 50ís in the northern suburbs. A light easterly breeze prevailed across the area. It was at this time that a persistent mesolow became apparent at Moline, Illinois and was moving northeastward. Moline reported towering cumulus all quadrants.
At 1:50pm, the Weather Bureau issued Tornado Watch #100 for most of northern and central Illinois as well as a portion of southern Wisconsin, eastern Iowa and western Indiana. The statement said "The threat of a few tornadoes will exist in these areas from 2pm until 8pm this Friday afternoon." At 2pm, the weather station at Moline reported a surface pressure of 997.8 mb, about two millibars lower than the surrounding stations. A Cb was noted east of the station and the pressure was falling rapidly. Surface winds had become more southerly throughout northern Illinois with the exception of the area north of Chicago which had east winds. There was a 12 degree temperature difference between Chicago and Milwaukee. The first isolated radar echoes were beginning to appear on radar.
At 2:57pm, Rockford reported a thunderstorm with lightning to the southwest. Hail began falling at 3:19pm. At first, the hail was small, around pea-size, but gradually grew larger to about 1.25 inches before it quit about 15 minutes later. Meanwhile, 1200 students at the Belvidere High School, located just east of Rockford, were finishing up the day and beginning to board the 25 yellow buses which waited outside. The buses were already about half filled with elementary kids from a nearby school. At 3:40pm, policeman Harry Faris spotted the tornado near Cherry Valley and radioed the report to Captain Francis Walen. Captain Walen headed over the High School where he knew the kids were getting out. Then he saw the tornado emerge from the rain and approach the school. It was a large, multi-vortex tornado about 4/5 of a mile wide. Captain Walen shouted "Get back, Get back" to the kids and sounded his siren. Hundreds of students began running back into the school. But the tornado was moving too fast and some of the kids were caught in the open whereas others retreated back into the buses. "It just upped and snatched them (the buses) and flipped them all over the place", said Captain Walen. Seventeen children died and hundreds were injured. "We had kids all over the field", said Joe Adam, the high schoolís athletic director. "You could see bundles of mud with arms sticking out". The tornado traveled 28 miles, mostly through rural areas, at about 50 mph and dissipated near Woodstock. It was as large as 4/5 of a mile at the ground and was rated an F-4. Only 6% of its path was through residential areas, but it killed 24 people and injured about 450. A total of 121 homes were destroyed and 437 more were damaged.
Around 60 miles to the southeast, I had just arrived home from school. I think Mom said something about a tornado hitting a school at Belvidere but that was a long ways away. Besides, my grandparents were over for dinner, so I was occupied with other things. About 5pm, it was getting dark. There were other reports of tornadoes causing damage in other towns in northern Illinois. I looked outside and remember seeing the overcast low clouds had a sculpted appearance with different shades of grey becoming darker towards the western horizon.
At 5:24pm, a tornado formed about four miles west of my house at 103rd Street and 83rd Avenue in Palos Hills. The wind began to pick up and sheets of rain and small hail reduced visibilityís to near zero at my house. As the tornado passed to our north (we couldnít see it) strong west winds from the rear flank downdraft destroyed my tree house and peeled some siding off a neighbors house. My mom told us to go to the crawl space, but it was over before you knew it. The rest of the night, sirens wailed. The tornado traveled 16 miles in 16 minutes before reaching the shores of Lake Michigan at 79th Street. No one really knows when the tornado dissipated after that.
It was at the intersection of 95th Street and Southwest Highway that the greatest destruction and death occurred. The intersection was jammed with heavy rush hour traffic. More than half of the 33 Oak Lawn fatalities occurred at this location. Victims died in their flying automobiles. The Fairway Supermarket, Fishers Motel and the West Suburban bus station were destroyed. The Roller rink I used to skate at also was destroyed. The damage path was narrow in width extending from a few houses to almost two blocks wide. The tornado also was rated F-4. All tolled, there were 17 tornadoes in northern Illinois that day and about as many in Iowa, Missouri, and Michigan. Although I was already interested in weather, after today I decided to focus my life on tornadoes.
THE OAK LAWN, ILLINOIS TORNADOby Bill Denton Jr.
Bill Denton Jr., a STORMTRACK subscriber, witnessed the Oak Lawn tornado at close range. He was 13 years old at the time of the tornado and remembers it vividly. His house was located two blocks south of the tornado path. However, Bill was not home that day, but rather he was working at the garden center located at 95th and Ridgeland which was located just north of the tornado path. The tornado passed between him and his house. Here is Billsí story.
"About 5:15pm, the sky was grey and the wind was blowing out of the southeast at about 20 mph and gusty. I remember one bright flash and a sharp crack of thunder which drew my attention to the sky. To the west and northwest was an extremely fast moving coal black bank of clouds coming up from the horizon. The whole bank moved southeast then east then slightly northeast as if being turned by the strong southeast winds. It did not occur to me that the whole bank was rotating slowly. About five miles away, a wall cloud emerged just as an icy cold blast of wind hit from the north. The wall cloud began to rotate more rapidly and began to hang down in a shredded manner. Then, out of the wall cloud came a green cone-colored cloud which rapidly moved to the ground. When it hit ground, it became black and started to grow wider at an alarming rate. I remember the clouds above me started criss crossing at different levels and move in wispy bands towards the funnel. I ran back into the store and told everybody that a tornado is coming. Everyone ran outside and got a good look at the funnel which was about three miles distant. It clipped high tension lines at 103rd and Roberts Road and knocked out all the power. I saw a line of cars waiting to get into the Starlite drive-in. People were running out of their cars screaming. They were scared to death, crying and we took many inside. The movie that night was to be ĎHot Rods from Hellí.
The power went out at 5:27pm. The funnel came on fast and I could see three cloud strips in the bottom of it; they were multiple vortices whirling around each other. The funnel was very wide at cloud base and narrowed to a point almost one hundred feet above the ground. The three vortices then extended toward the ground. They looked like snakes. The southernmost one would whip out and catch something a few blocks to the south. Later, we found several locations of damage independent of the main track. At about one mile distant, we could see debris in it. Trailer trucks, signs, trees, and a whole side of a house plus numerous unidentifiable objects. It began to hail very hard and I could hear snapping and popping of tree branches above a loud squeal sound like bees buzzing next to a large hive. We ran inside and ducked behind rows of stock. The air was thick with blowing dust and little chunks of wood and insulation.
The back windows were blown out to the north and through the tornado haze we could see the tornado pick up a two-story house and turn it upside down. It was if the thing was alive. The funnel passed to my south and peeled the rear (south) wall of the shopping center. It caught the drive-in and bent the screen in half. The projection building was blown to bits. The damage was sporadic. Some houses almost were unscathed and other houses were flattened. I remember a house in the 9400 block of Menard with buses on the porch.
I toured the damaged areas with my parents that night. The tornado achieved its deadliest deed at 95th and Southwest Highway. All four corners of that intersection were destroyed. Many people were caught in their cars at that intersection resulting in most of the deaths. I lost three neighbors at that intersection. My neighbor John was killed when a metal fence rail shot through the roof of his car and passed through him and the floor and became imbedded in the concrete. The other two neighbors were killed in the food store. I remember a convertible Mustang bent bumper to bumper around a light pole. Timbers were driven into the ground so deep that tow trucks had to pull them out.
TORNADO WATCH BULLETIN NUMBER 100
ISSUED 1350 CST APR 21 1967
THE WEATHER BUREAU HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WATCH FOR...
MOST OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ILLINOIS
EXTREME SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN
NORTHWESTERN INDIANA AND
A PORTION OF EXTREME EASTERN IOWA
THE THREAT OF A FEW TORNADOES WILL EXIST IN THESE AREAS FROM 2PM UNTIL 8PM CST THIS FRIDAY AFTERNOON. A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH LARGE HAIL AND LOCALLY DAMAGING WINDS ARE ALSO FORECAST.
THE GREATEST THREAT OF TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IS IN AN AREA ALONG AND 60 MILES EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 40 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF QUINCY ILLINOIS TO 30 MILES NORTHEAST OF CHICAGO ILLINOIS. THIS INCLUDES THE CHICAGO AREA.
PERSONS IN OR CLOSE TO THE TORNADO WATCH AREA ARE ADVISED TO BE ON THE WATCH FOR LOCAL WEATHER DEVELOPMENTS AND FOR LATER WEATHER STATEMENTS AND WARNINGS.
Observations at OíHare Airport in Chicago.
2:50pm 23 OVC 3HK 988/69/60/1710/949 PRESFR
3:50pm 23OVC 2.5TRWHK 968/68/60/1806/943 TB45 WNW MVG NE LTGICCG RB40 DRK SW
4:03pm 23OVC 2.5TRW+HK 67/62/1608/943/T ALQDS MVG NE LTGCG
4:10pm 17BKN 2.5TRW--HK 66/62/2311/943/T NW MVG NE OCNL LTGCG SVR TURB 50 MSL
4:20pm 17BKN 4HK 67/63/1909/943/TE19 MVD NE DRK NW RE15
4:50pm 25BKN 4HK 965/67/63/1915G25/942
5:22pm 15OVC 1TRW+HK 66/62/2430G55/947/TB02 ALQDS MVG NE OCNL LTGCG PRESRR
5:28pm 15OVC 4TRWHK 58/53/2421G55/950/
5:50pm 8SCT 15OVC 4TRW-HK 984/56/53/2612G20/942/TB 02 ALQDS MVG NE OCNL LTGCG PRJMP 9/2330/3 RB01
6:05pm 8SCT 15OVC 4TRW--HK 56/54/2610G19/950/T MVG NE LTGCG PRESRR
6:20pm 8SCT 15OVC 4TRW--HK 56/54/2406/950/TE18
Observations at Rockford, Illinois Airport
2:59pm 30BKN 150OVC 10T 965/67/57/1811/942 TB57 SW OCNL LTGCG SW
3:21pm 30BKN 4TRW+A 2409/942 T OVHD MOVG ENE AB19 HLSTO 1/2
3:26pm W10X 1/2TRW+A 1505G18/940 T SSE MOVG ENE AB19 HLSTO 3/4
3:38pm M25OVC 7TRW- 2416/940 T E MOVG ENE AB19E34 HLSTO 1
3:59pm 14SCT 25OVC 7TRW- 956/60/55/2206/939 TRW MOVG E AB19E34 HLSTO 11/4
4:15pm TORNADO 18E RFD MOVG NE
4:22pm 14SCT 25OVC 1T+RW+ 1225G70/942 TE MOVG E FQT LTGICCG
4:45pm 8SCT 25OVC 11/2TRW+ 1324G32/948 T ALQDS MOVG EWD FQT LTGICCG ALQDS PRJMP 6/2214/19 MAX WIND 2925 G70 2215
4:59pm 8SCT 30OVC 21/2TRW- 978/56/53/3422G35/946 T OVHD MOVG E FQT LTGIC G70 2215
5:10pm M9SCT 25BKN 120OVC 7TRW- 3518G26/945 TE MOVG EWD OCNL LTGIC E
5:29pm 10SCT 30BKN 190OVC 15 1022G25/943 TE27 MOVD E G70 2215
5:56pm 40BKN 120OVC 12 975/56/51/3606/945 TE27 MVD E G70 2215