Illinois expands its tornado total lead for the country

Minooka tornado damage (NWS survey crew)

Illinois saw its second significant tornado outbreak for the month of July late last Friday into early Saturday morning. 

National Weather Service survey teams say six tornadoes struck our area with the strongest having peak winds of 110 mph. It brings the total reports of tornadoes so far this year to 125. 

Illinois continues to lead the country in tornadoes in 2023 with a substantial lead over the second-place state of Alabama. That southern state has seen 93 to this point.

This means Illinois accounts for nearly 10% of all tornadoes reported thus far this year. We are 19 tornadoes away from tying the record of 144 that was set back in 2006. We are heading into a prime-producing month for tornadoes. August is the 4th biggest tornado-producing month for our state.


Here are the six tornadoes that occurred late last Friday and into Saturday morning:

  • An EF-0 tornado from south of Newark through Lisbon (8.75 mile path length/85 mph peak wind)
  • An EF-1 tornado from the north side of Minooka through Shorewood and into the west side of Joliet (7.62 mile path length/95 mph peak wind)
  • An EF-0 tornado from Minooka through the north side of Channahon (note that the start and end point of this tornado are still being assessed) (5.15 mile path length/85 mph peak wind)
  • An EF-0 tornado from Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie through Wilton Center to northwest of Peotone (15.42 mile path length/85 mph peak wind)
  • An EF-0 tornado that impacted Bradley and the northeast side of Kankakee (6.11 mile path length/80 mph peak wind)
  • An EF-1 tornado that impacted the south side of Momence (3.36 mile path length/110 mph peak wind)

The longest path produced by a tornado was 15.4 miles which stretched from Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to Peotone.

Perhaps the most remarkable statistic of all is that there were no injuries during this entire event.

Nearly two-thirds of Illinois' tornadoes occur during the months of April, May, and June in an average year. About 7% of our yearly tornadoes strike during the month of August. 20% of our yearly tornadoes on average occur between August 1st and December 31st. This means a new record is within reach for the total number of tornadoes in a year in Illinois. Let's hope we don't end up breaking it.