Path length: 74.5 miles
Width: 100 yards
County: Lee, DeKalb, Kendall, Will
It was a family of small tornadoes amidst straight line winds that covered a good 70 miles through parts of Lee, DeKalb, Kendall and Will Counties in Illinois on August 15, 1958. The SPC officially has this listed as one tornado with a path length of 74.5 miles. It was given a rating of F2. Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes states this was a family of tornadoes. The Climatological Data National Summary from August 1958 reports, “Tornado path not well defined and there may have been 2 or more funnels involved.” Newspaper articles at the time reported more wind damage than tornado damage. There were no fatalities or injuries recorded with this event. The family moved ESE from south of Dixon to near Compton, near Sandwich where extensive damage occurred at the fairgrounds and ended near Joliet.
Climatological Data National Summary Entry
Tornado and associated wind squalls moved rapidly from south of Dixon to Compton, Sandwich, northeast of Plattville, and south of Joliet. Heaviest damage at Sandwich, where a great number of trees damaged or destroyed but almost no structural damage observed. Barns destroyed at Compton, south of Waterman, and northeast of Plattville indicate tornadic force. Much damage due to straight winds. Tornado path not well defined and there may have been 2 or more funnels involved. Time fixes not certain. Storm moved east-southeastward.
We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the August 1958 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:
- SPC/NCDC have a 74.5 mile path length.
- CDNS has 75 mile path and indicates path was not well defined and that there may have been more than 1 funnel.
- Grazulis has a family of tornadoes crossing 70 miles.
- CDNS has a range of widths from 75 to 200 yards.
- Remaning sources have a 100 yard width.
- NCDC lists the entire event under Lee County. They don’t have a breakdown for DeKalb, Kendall and Will Counties.
Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1016-1017.
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