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1996-04-19: Illinois Tornado Outbreak

April 19, 1996 tornado outbreak in Illinois.

Chased that day, saw the F3 south of Urbana and
somehow manage to barely see the F3 in Ogden
from a distance.

Savoy-Urbana tornado:

Ogden tornado:

Somewhere I have a video on this tornado buried
somewhere in my storage shed. Been poor most of
my life, only own a couple camcorders for a brief time.
Have not own a camcorder in many years.

More information on this outbreak:

Who else remember that day and chased that day.

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This was a fun day. I watched the lightning illuminated Urbana F3 pass just by my house from my back porch. You don't forget a sight like that!

Level 2 radar grab during the Urbana F3:


Another supercell produced some prolific wedges just north of the well known Interstate 72 supercell. This guy produced a wedge near Havana early in the evening:


Bill Gargan caught this one from the above supercell near Easton, IL.

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Was huddled up in my hallway while we got pelted with golf ball size hail in north champaign... Had relitives in savoy and urbana so visited the damage path the next day, could have been alot worse, the Urbana tornado skipped up and down a lot...
I was little back then. I remember my father running up stairs when he heard ESDA say there was a tornado at Rt-130 and Washington st (1.5 miles to our west). Guess he wanted to see what would take the house, but I was terrified. Thats not where the tornado was, but he did see a funnel. Anyone else see that?

My aunt, uncle and two cousins live on the western fringe of Ogden. Their house sustained about $8,000 damage while the house next door (20ft away) was pretty much destroyed. Glad the death toll wasn't higher on this day. People payed attention to the warnings back then!

This was the tornado that kick-started my interest in severe weather and tornadoes. Usually how it goes, right?
This was the first high risk event I watched and documented, though it was from afar and via local news. I was 14 and living in Indiana. One particular supercell crossed central Indiana along the I-70 corridor. It was only responsible for one tornado as I recall, but was a very prolific hailer.

I still have the news coverage from that evening.