April 7 marks the fifth anniversary of an F2 tornado that touched down south of Cadwell and moved to Bourbon. The total length of the path was 11 miles. There were at least 2 injuries near Arthur when the tornado destroyed a home. It was the first major touchdown in Moultrie County in many years. Hail up to 3" in diameter fell across Moultrie County damaging cars and leaving shallow craters in the ground. Unfortunately, KB9MJV was in St. Louis during the event and missed possibly the best chance to see a tornado in Moultrie County for that decade. On July 8, 2001, a funnel cloud over Sullivan partially made up for this missed opportunity.
April 18-19 marks the seventh anniversary of the Decatur double punch. On April 18, an F1 tornado punched through SE Decatur damaging homes and blowing power poles out of line. The path length was 2.5 miles. The tornado on April 19 was the worst of the two nights. It was rated at F3 strength and punched through Niantic, Harristown, and Decatur. Storm spotter Lonnie McVeigh was severely injured during the storm. The tornado (or tornado family) continued through Piatt County into Champaign County where it hit Urbana and Ogden with F3 strength. The "I-72" tornado changed the way Central Illinois storm spotters operate. Today, ARES and ESDA continue to work hard with the amateur radio community to relay important weather information to Lincoln. For more information on the Decatur tornadoes, see George Garrett (N9IPO)'s website.
Tornado anniversaries is a special feature that will appear as a part of Weather Watch through the end of May. Some of the information on this page was from the NWS. It's interesting to study tornadoes of the past to better prepare ourselves for future tornadoes. KB9MJV.