April 2002, A Month of Tornadoes and Severe Weather in Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release May 8, 2002
April 2002, A Month of Tornadoes and Severe Weather in Illinois

Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220, jimangel@illinois.edu
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540, eva@sws.uiuc.edu
"The first tornado-related death in the United States during 2002 occurred on April 21 in Wayne County, Illinois. While no tornado deaths occurred in Illinois in 2000 and 2001, the state experienced two tornado-related deaths in April 2002," says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The F3 tornado on April 21 also resulted in 42 injuries and an estimated $4.9 million in damage and recovery costs. A second tornado death and 14 injuries occurred on April 28 when a series of F2 to F3 tornadoes struck Union, Johnson, Pope, and Saline Counties says Angel.

Two other less deadly tornadoes occurred in April. No damage or injuries were reported on April 18 when a tornado on the beach of Lake Michigan moved offshore or from a tornado near Equality on April 23.

Numerous reports of hail and wind damage followed severe weather on April 13, 18, 19, 21, 23, and 27. Louisville reported 3.5-inch hail on April 23.

With an average temperature of 53.4°F across Illinois, this was the 28th warmest April and the warmest November - April (6-month) period since 1895. DeKalb reported 95°F on April 18, the warmest reading for the month. Streamwood reported 17°F on April 5, the coolest reading.

This was also the 19th wettest April since 1895, with precipitation statewide averaging 5.18 inches, 136 percent of average. Windsor reported the highest daily precipitation amount, 2.58 inches on April 21, and also the highest monthly total, 8.21 inches.

Many stations on the northern side of the Illinois River reported 1-4 inches of snowfall as the result of an April 2 storm. Kewanee reported 5 inches, the most snow for the month from this storm.

"April in Illinois is definitely a transition month in which it is possible to have snow, high temperatures, and severe weather all in the same month," says Angel.

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