Tornado reported in Urbana although no sirens sounded
May 29, 2019
Although no sirens sounded on Sunday, a tornado was reported to have hit the city of Urbana causing major tree devastation.
Champaign County was in a thunderstorm watch starting around midnight Sunday. There were thunderstorm warnings up to the western county line; however, no warning or tornadic activity came out of these storms, according to a synopsis released by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 1 a.m. Sunday, Champaign County moved to being in a severe thunderstorm watch with the potential for hail and high winds. According to the National Weather Service, tornadoes were not expected.
A severe thunderstorm warning was not issued until 1:30 a.m. when a 63 mph wind gust was recorded at Willard Airport. The Champaign County Emergency Management Agency was in constant contact with NWS in case any weather conditions changed.
About 17 minutes later, someone reported seeing a funnel cloud in Urbana and reported it to METCAD. The EMA forwarded the report to NWS bud considering they did not see any rotation on the radar, a tornado warning was not issued.
Due to the storm, the City of Urbana is offering short-term, emergency tree and brush pick-up from private property, according to an Urbana press release. To be included in the pick-up, residents should place only tree limbs and brush debris in the parkway no later than June 4.
The end of synopsis stated that severe weather can develop instantly, which is why there are many different types of watches and warnings. Relying solely on tornado sirens as a warning is not recommended when bad weather is at hand.