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Severe Storms Spawn Tornadoes and Lightning in Midwest, Causing Significant Damage

Severe storms produce tornadoes, lightning over Midwest

A round of severe thunderstorms caused by a cold front sweeping across a wide section of the eastern United States resulted in multiple tornadoes reported in southern Illinois on Thursday.

Focal Point of Storms

A cold front extending throughout a large portion of the eastern half of the country served as the center of the severe weather, triggering showers and thunderstorms on Thursday. Certain areas in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee were at the highest risk of severe weather as highlighted by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC).

Tornado Activity

Video footage captured by FOX Weather Storm Tracker in Greenfield, Illinois showed a tornado passing through rural farmland in the vicinity of St. Louis, Missouri and Springfield, Illinois. The National Weather Service (NWS) swiftly issued a Tornado Warning after the sighting, with the storm moving eastward at a rate of 30 mph. Luckily, due to the rural nature of Green County, there were minimal, if any, structures in the immediate path of the supercell. Other reports of tornadoes emerged from the towns of Dorsey and Cahokia.

Storm Consequences

At the height of the storm system, over 15,000 power outages were reported, primarily concentrated in the south-central region of Illinois. The NWS plans to dispatch multiple teams on Friday to inspect the damage and determine the precise number of tornadoes that touched down.

Impacted Areas

Chicago was also affected by the inclement weather, prompting the cancellation of the Cubs’ game against the Miami Marlins until Saturday. Additionally, the arrival of the cold front brought unusually cold air for mid-April, contributing to a drop in temperatures for many cities. While highs across the Plains recently reached the 70s and 80s, the struggling temperatures will now reach the 60s. In Chicago specifically, temperatures through the weekend are projected to be 5-10 degrees below the seasonal average. This colder and drier air is anticipated to reach Southern states along the Gulf Coast, potentially leading to a few days of lower 70s in New Orleans.

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