Weather Vault: February 20th, 2014 Tornadoes

Published 02/21 2014 06:42PM

Updated 01/23 2017 05:40PM

Posted:  6:30 AM 2/20/15

Central Illinois started February 20th with snow on the ground from a rough winter, but a strong southerly wind would shoot temperatures up into the 60s.  As the snow melted, the atmosphere became unstable.  A cold front swept through the area during the late afternoon and early evening hours and triggered 8 confirmed tornadoes (another may be confirmed later in Montgomery County).  The strongest of these tornadoes was an EF-2, and that one caused the most damage with significant damage to a house.  Below is a list of the tornadoes in chronological order. 

Morgan and Cass County Tornado 
Rating:  EF-0 (80 mph) 
Length:  5.6 miles
Max Width:  50 yards 

No damage was caused by this tornado. 

Divernon Tornado 
Rating:  EF-0 (80 mph)
Length:  0.2 Miles
Max Width:  75 yards

This tornado touched down 1.7 miles east of Divernon at 3:43 PM.  The tornado would tear off a barn roof before lifting at 3:44 PM.

Mechanicsburg Tornado
Rating:  EF-1
Length:  9 miles
Width:  300 yards 

At 3:57 PM this tornado touched down 4 miles south of Mechanicsburg.  The tornado would damage numerous outbuildings as well as the roofs of several homes.  A trailer was also flipped with mulitple power poles being snapped.  The tornado would lift at 4:06 PM. 2.7 miles west-northwest of Illiopolis. 

Christian and Shelby County Tornado 
Rating:  EF-2 (115 mph)
Length:  12.1 mile
Max Width:  200 yards
1 injury

This tornado touched down just a quarter mile into Christian County at 4:20 PM, 2.8 miles south of Pana where several properties were damaged.  More properties were damaged east of Pana in Christian County before the tornado passed into Shelby County, moving northeast.  The tornado became stronger in Shelby County and did significant damage to a house.  This is where the one minor injury occurred.  The tornado would end at 4:32 PM. 

Findlay Tornado 
Rating:  EF-0 (75 mph)
Length:  0.3 miles
Max Width:  50 yards

This tornado was quite brief and didn't create any damage.  The touchdown was near the intersection of Route 128 and County Road 2100 north and was on the ground from 4:39 to 4:40 PM.

Shumway Tornado 
Rating:  EF-1 (95 mph)
Length:  1.5 miles
Max Width:  100 yards 

At 4:54 PM the tornado touched down 4 miles southwest of Shumway in an open field and moved northeast.  The tornado would cross Route 33 between Shumway and Beecher City, snaping several power poles along the highway.  The tornado lifted 3 miles west-northwest of Shumway at 4:56 PM. 

Chrisman Tornado 
Rating:  EF-0 (80 mph)
Length:  2 miles 
Max Width:  75 yards  

This tornado touched down at 5:43 PM and was on the ground for 2 minutes.  The initial touchdown point was 3.4 miles west-southwest of Chrisman.  It crossed U.S. 36 near 1275th and dissipated before it reached 1400th street, but no damage was found. 

Brownstown Tornado
Rating:  EF-1 (105 mph)
Length:  4 miles
Max Width: 50 yards

This tornado touched down 2.5 miles northwest of Brownstown. 

We will add more details as we gather them. 

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