Weekend tornadoes rip through Illinois

Tornadoes in December aren't very common, but they can be just as dangerous.

Posted: Dec 3, 2018 5:24 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2018 7:11 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's something that not many people expected to happen.

Tornadoes touched down in Central Illinois this past weekend, something that's usually uncommon for this time of year.

When it comes to Illinois, the most tornadic activity is usually in May with an average number of fifteen tornadoes for the month.

Over the first weekend of December, there were twenty-two reports of tornadoes in the central part of the state.

So how did this system move?

The storms started in south-central Illinois and moved from the southwest to the northeast.

There were also two different cells that brought these tornadoes.

One right through the central part of the state that brought more damage, and then one cell farther to the west.

But why did this happen?

In the first weekend of December, we were unusually warm.

For a tornado to form, you need a cold air mass that mixes with a warm air mass.

Since we were so warm, a strong cold front moved through, bringing us storms and an unstable atmosphere, resulting in tornadoes.

Now while those of us in the Wabash Valley didn't get hit, it is possible for us to get these same conditions.

Because of that, here are a few tips to keep you safe in a storm.

- the best place is inside

- if you're outside, find a ditch or stable structure

- if inside, get to the lowest level

- stay in an interior room away from windows and doors

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