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Tornadoes, Hail, High Winds Ravage Central Illinois Friday Night

Tornadoes, high winds, and hail ravaged Central Illinois between 6 and 9 o'clock Friday night.


Above is the National Weather Service map showing where the tornadoes tracked (red dots), hail as much as 2 inches in diameter (green dots), and winds as high as 70 miles an hour (blue dots).


The Weather Service summary of the outbreak indicated a very strong system developed on the morning of March 31st, which tracked a strong surface low across the state of Iowa. This system pulled unseasonably warm and moist conditions into the Midwest, which coupled with a very favorable wind profile, and created quite the volatile environment for severe thunderstorms.


The Weather Service added this event resulted with a tornado outbreak that this area has not seen in quite some time, with several tornadoes that led to a lot of damage. They said the event started initially with more discrete supercell thunderstorms, but quickly transitioned to a major weather event that led to many spin-ups along the leading edge, with embedded supercell structures.


Weather officials said that combined with the many tornado reports, they also received many large hail and wind reports. 


The Village of Sherman, just north of Springfield, suffered major house damage. 


The tornado outbreak in northern Illinois caused numerous damage there and in the metro Chicago area.  The roof of the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere collapsed during a performance Friday night with one person killed and 28 injured.

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