Severe Weather Update

The Champaign Fire, Police, and Public Works Departments responded to damage resulting from severe weather on June 10, 2018, just after 2:30 pm.  Our thoughts go out to those affected by yesterday’s storm as they begin the process to rebuild.

Yesterday, a Thunderstorm Watch was in effect in the area from 12:51 pm to 8:00 pm with a Thunderstorm Warning concurrently from 1:41 pm to 2:15 pm.  At 1:59 pm, a Tornado Warning was issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for northwestern Champaign County and expired at 2:30 pm.  At 2:00 p.m. yesterday, trained weather spotters were tracking weather conditions in the community and reporting to the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency.  Neither the NWS utilizing radar echo or trained weather spotters were able to observe conditions that would have caused the outdoor warning siren system to be activated.

The NWS has been in southwest Champaign performing damage assessment since 10:00 am this morning.  Preliminary reports confirm the damage resulted from a tornado that did touch down in the area.

The decision to activate the outdoor warning siren system is dependent on two predetermined factors.  First, it can be activated based on intelligence gathered from the NWS, local trained spotters, and local fire or police reports of a funnel cloud or tornado threatening the Champaign-Urbana Metro area.  Secondly, it can be activated after a tornado has touched down, based on radar echo received from the National Weather Service Lincoln threatening the Champaign-Urbana Metro area.

During a tornado warning, take the following precautions to ensure your safety:

  • Monitor a weather radio, radio, television, weather app, or reliable social media outlet for the latest weather information.
  • Go immediately to your predetermined shelter, such as a storm cellar, basement or the lowest level of the building.  Stay there until the danger has passed.
  • If in a mobile home, get out and seek shelter elsewhere, well before the storm arrives.  If there is not substantial shelter nearby, go to a low-lying area and shield your head with your hands, but be aware of the potential for flash flooding.
  • If outdoors, go inside or to a low-lying area.

Contact: Randy Smith, Deputy Fire Marshal | Phone: (217) 403-7212