Dozens of storm chasing teams were tracking the storms on Thursday evening, and many were able to capture incredible video of the tornado’s birth and intensification as it ripped through interstates and small rural towns.
Warning: This video contains explicit language.
“Based on reports from trained storm spotters and chasers as well as radar and environmental evidence, there were at the very least two tornadoes, but likely more across North Central Illinois on April 9th,” writes the National Weather Service in Chicago. “At least two long-lived supercell thunderstorms produced these tornadoes, or family of tornadoes, across North Central Illinois.”
The Weather Service office in Chicago has sent out three teams to survey the damage path and determine how strong the tornadoes were on the enhanced Fujita scale. Based on photos and video, it appears that the long-lived Rochelle/Fairdale tornado was about a half mile wide.