Tornado Index # 19900828.17.39


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Disclaimer |?|

Note: This approximate tornado path has been generated from data provided by the NCDC.

The Tornado History Project generates approximate paths through separate historical archives provided by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Paths generated from the NCDC data are typically more detailed, but neither archive gives exact path information. There are several reasons that paths may be inaccurate:

  • Tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates were recorded with only 2 digits of decimal precision (i.e. [33.72, -86.15] vs [33.71689, -86.15463]). As a consequence, the observed points on the map may be slightly off from actual. Note that beginning in 2009, up to 4 digits of decimal precision are given.
  • Coordinates have not historically been calculated via GPS (Global Positioning System). Thus, tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates should be considered as estimates only.
  • Tornadoes may not have been in contact with the ground for the entire path as depicted on the map. Storm damage in any location depicted under the "path" should not be inferred.
  • Although paths are drawn as straight lines between any two sets of coordinates, the tornado may have "zigzagged" in some way.
  • Although paths are drawn as uniform thin lines on the map, it is likely that the tornado changed size over its lifetime. Damage in any location depicted under (or not under) the "path" should not be inferred.

Even with the above in mind, the data is the best available. If you see a path that is depicted incorrectly, please post a comment in the tornado forum indicating why you belive the path to be incorrect.

Paths generated from NCDC data are typically more detailed due to the way coordinates are listed in each archive:

  • SPC database - A maximum of 2 coordinates (touchdown and liftoff) is given for each tornado, or each state segment of a tornado if it is a multi-state tornado. Thus the vast majority of paths are depicted as simple straight lines.
  • NCDC database - Some tornadoes have mutliple sets of coordinates within any state, generally corresponding to entry and exit points by county. Thus, since more coordinates have been used to draw the path, the depicted path should be more accurate. Having said that, most tornadoes do not have additional path data in the NCDC archive. When they do, paths are drawn from the NCDC data.

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Statistics   Definitions |?|

The following statistics and definitions are derived from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) historical tornado archive. The Tornado History Project can not guarantee the accuracy of the underlying data within the SPC historical tornado archive. However, the data as presented here is guaranteed to match the SPC data, except where noted.

Some definitions will not be given since they are obvious (i.e. "Date", "Time", etc...)
Special Note: This site uses a unique index number to identify each tornado. This index number is not a part of the official historical tornado archive.

E (Error) (tornado search table only) - A yellow box indicates that the tornado record contains a suspected error. A red box indicates that the tornado record contains an error and has been modified from the official source. Hover over the box for the error text.
Map/Forum (tornado search table only) - Clickable icons for further content related to a tornado.
State - The state or states affected by a tornado.
Fujita - The Fujita scale is an attempt to classify damage from a tornado. F0 being the least damaging, F5 the most. For 2007 and beyond, the Enhanced Fujita (EF) is given.
Fat. - The number of fatalities attributed to the tornado.
Inj. - The number of injuries attributed to the tornado.
Width - Width in yards. It is unclear if this indicates a maximum width or mean width.
Length - Length of tornado path in miles. Note the entire track length is not necessarily all on the ground (some tornadoes "hop and skip".)
Damage - Prior to 1996, this is a range by dollar amount. For 1996 and later, actual damage estimates are in millions.
Crop Loss - Added in 2007. Given in millions of dollars.
Lat/Lon - Contains two sets of coordinates:

  • Touchdown Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate touchdown location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, entry point into the state in decimal degrees.
  • Liftoff Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate liftoff location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, the exit or lift-off point from the state in decimal degrees.

St. #. - The state tornado number assigned to the tornado for that specific state for that specific year. Generally, state tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.
SPC # - The tornado number as assigned by the SPC. Tornado numbers are not unique and reset each year. Generally, tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.

Tornado Summary

Date (y/m/d)TimeFujitaFatalitiesInjuriesWidthLengthDamageCrop LossTouchdown Lat/LonLiftoff Lat/LonSPC #State #
1990-08-2814:30:00 352935060016.4$50K-$500K-41.68 / -88.3541.52 / -88.1991
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Illinois Kendall, Will
User Comments   (7)      
General Comment
2008-02-11 20:42:12
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Evan Popchock
Rank: F0

I don't know where to start, but this had to be Illinois' worst tornado in history. This tornado struck on a day when students were enjoying their last day of summer vacation before school was to begin the next day. They showed this disaster on Storm Stories in May of 2006. I even heard of a mother being briefly sucked out of her home, holding onto her little baby and then being dropped back into the hallway. Every time I hear something like this, I cringe. I can only speak for myself about this, but I certainly would not want to spend my last day of summer vacation cleaning up after a tornado. But after all, Illinois is susceptible. It has been noted that Chicago has never been directly hit by a tornado yet. I can only speak for myself about this, but if I were living there, I'd keep my fingers crossed. But again, I'm sure people who live there have known that for a long time.

General Comment
2008-05-08 11:02:51
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Brian C
Rank: F0

This is unfortunately one of the worst tornado incidents in Illinois history. Only to be outdone by the 1967 Oak Lawn F4 tornado, that actually went through Chicago's industrial SW side and over 90/94 during rush hour, and the infamous 1925 Tri-State tornado.
This tornado was terrible because it was missed. The NWS in nearby Romeoville issue a TSTM warning for the storm about the time the tornado was beginning due to many problems including being overwhelmed by all the warning they had to issue at the time.
The tornado itself was never filmed or photographed. Most didn't realize the severity of the fast moving storm until after the storm passed through. I went to Fermilab's Svr Storm and Tornado seminar in '97, and I overheard someone talking to Tom Skilling that saw the tornado briefly. He said it was a fuzzy wedge with a satellite tornado. Brought this up with a co-worker in '00, and he remembered seeing a satellite tornado swinging into the other side of his apt bldg in Crest Hill, before his mom tossed him into a cupboard.
Anyways, WGN did a story 10yrs after the storm, and Plainfield was still recovering with obvious scars. Northern Joliet and Crest Hill fared far better. Haven't had a significant tornado in the Chicago Metro Area in a while. Last couple tornadoes touch down near Wheaton in '07 (think F1), and near Loyola University downtown Chicago in Sep '06 (F0).

General Comment
2008-05-26 00:18:05
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Rank: F0

I was driving home to Northern Illinois that day, returning from St. Louis. The entire drive was stressful due to the ominous skies and I saw at least one funnel cloud as I came up Hwy 55. The tornado had hit Plainfield, IL, about an hour before I drove through. Debris was scattered all through the cornfields along the highway and I could see damaged subdivisions and emergency vehicles in the distance off Hwy 55. I could see extensive damage to many homes even from the highway.

When I got home, I turned on the local news and saw helicopter coverage of the incredibly long path of damage. The helicopter was panning the tornado path and I remember how it just seemed to go on forever. There was so much damage over such an incredibly long path. The combination of seeing the damage and being exhausted from my harrowing six-hour drive caused me to just sit on my bed in front of the television and cry.

General Comment
2009-05-14 12:48:02
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Rank: F0

I am a firefighter/paramedic and I was on duty in nearby Darien/Woodridge. We were dispatched on a mutual aid request for a heavy rescue squad to Crest Hill. We spent the good part of that evening searching the apartment building that had been directly hit and collapsed. Unfortunately there were 8 fatalities in the debris and surrounding fields. Suffice it to say, as a professional rescuer, I will never forget what we had to do that day.

General Comment
2009-11-15 10:21:08
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Rank: F0

I'm from Plainfield. This happened the day before my first day of high school. We couldn't start school for weeks because our school was leveled. Joliet donated an old school for us to use until the new one was built.

I volunteered with the Red Cross in the following days delivering supplies on foot and saw the most amazing, horrible things. Anyone living in the Midwest *needs* a basement or storm shelter. Newer houses built on slabs were just shoved into fields. I remember a street by the mall where nothing was left but concrete slabs and toilets. Plainfield is probably 4 times bigger now (it was a small town then), but just as vulnerable. I don't think people are as prepared as they need to be... Memories fade over time.

Mine haven't, though - I still cower in the basement during thunderstorms.

General Comment  Tornado Video
2014-03-05 17:20:43
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Rank: F1

This video doesn't show the tornado, as it was rain-wrapped, but it is a look-back on this event from AccuWeather.

Courtesy of YouTube user AccuWeather

Courtesy of YouTube user Gilbert Sebenste's Trains and Storms

General Comment  Tornado Photo
2018-08-24 10:31:23
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Rank: F0

I was not living at the time of this particular tornado. However, I would like to see sometime this site to add tornadoes prior to 1950 if enough evidence can be collected by viewers. My hometown Rockford, Illinois had its 2nd major tornado since 1861 on September 14, 1928 which this year marks 90 years since the storm. I am positive there are newspapers and records of these events. I, however, was able to scrounge a picture from the 1928 some F4 tornado. I believe today people are able to survive these monsters due to 15 Min early warning and advanced technology. The 1928 tornado damaged a furnature factory, leveled several other downtown buildings. Since 1928, 2 F4 tornadoes have bypassed Rockford by some 20 miles. First of the two April 21, 1967 and April 9, 2015. Creepy connection right? Both took a very identical path southeast of Rockford. It goes to show how powerful nature can turn when it gets ugly. This 1990 event will definitely hold true to its story. Thank you to all for sharing. If i find more information I am going to share my experiences for sure. Helps a long the way when delineating these events.  

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