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WEATHER ALERT: Severe storms expected late this afternoon and evening

Severe Storms Bring Tornadoes And Heavy Rain To Central Illinois

On July 15, 2020, Meteorologist Andrew Pritchard took this picture of a large tornado near Divernon, Illinois.

CHAMPAIGN – Severe thunderstorms in Illinois caused tornadoes and other hazards on Wednesday afternoon.

Meterorologist Andrew Pritchard captured a picture of a large tornado around 5:20 p.m. in Divernon, a small community 16 miles south of Springfield in Sangamon County.

“This was a large tornado that developed very quickly,” said Pritchard. “There was a little brief touchdown… and within 20-30 seconds this was a significant tornado. The wind shear is very high in southwestern Illinois. These storms have been able to rotate quite easily.”

Around the same time, the National Weather Service issued Tornado Warnings for Ford and Iroquois counties north of Champaign. 

We’re still waiting for damage reports following both tornado reports.

The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch for Champaign, Coles, Douglas and Vermilion Counties until Wednesday at 11:00 p.m.

Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director for the Illinois Newsroom. He started at WILL in October of 2019 after serving as News Director for WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan. Previously, he was a news producer and manager at the NBC station in Dallas, where he won 7 Emmy awards. Born in Vietnam, Reginald is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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Central Illinois radar image

Severe storms possible Thursday evening and overnight

From the National Weather Service in Central Illinois: A line of t’storms will affect the area late Thursday afternoon into the overnight hours. Some severe storms are in the forecast, with damaging wind gusts and large hail. Stay weather aware and be ready to take shelter when storms approach.