Tornadoes in November? It's possible, meteorologist says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With the threat of possible severe weather on Sunday, ABC 7 Meteorologist Larry Mowry recalled a November weekend four years ago when a dangerous tornado struck central Illinois.

On November 17, 2013, a Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Bears were playing the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field when the thousands gathered to watch the game were forced to seek shelter because of severe storms. The game was delayed two hours.

Farther to the west, in Washington, Illinois, an ef-4 tornado hit with winds reaching 190 mph. Three people died in Washington and over 1,000 homes were destroyed.

This was one of 70 tornadoes reported that day across the Midwest, 55 of which occurred in Illinois and Indiana. It was the fourth largest tornado outbreak in Illinois history.

Mowry and NWS Meteorologist Stephen Rodriguez explained how this type of tornado outbreak can occur in November.

"Those transitional periods are time frames where we can get the more dynamic thunderstorm development," said Rodriguez.

This transitional time is when the colder air is building in Canada and starting its move to the south. But there is still enough warm air moving north to create a battle zone where storms and severe weather can occur.

"November as a whole may only see five percent of the total tornadic activity for the year, but of that five percent, we do tend to see them being more of the significant ef-2 or greater tornadoes," said Rodriguez.

That is the concern for severe weather in November: the threat of stronger, violent tornadoes.

As the weekend approaches, ABC 7 meteorologists will be keeping an eye on the weather Sunday. If there does look to be a severe weather threat, it's important to monitor it throughout the day and be able to act if need be.
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