What happened on March 12, 2006?

One of the main scientific questions related to tornadoes is why they form and why at other times, they don’t. To answer this, we must know how tornadoes form.

Tornadoes are not only formed by supercell thunderstorms but on rare occasions, tornadoes can form in convective storms. Supercells are known as huge and severe storms that feature rotating winds and persistently rotating updrafts. A supercell that produces other natural disasters can be called a parent Supercell.

In the case of Springfield’s Twin tornadoes of 2006, a parent Supercell created two tornadoes that caused massive damage to the city of Springfield.

While tornadoes can happen at any time of day, according to Howard B. Bluestein (2013), “they are most common in the late afternoon and early evening, which indicates that there is a connection between most tornadoes and the diurnal heating cycle” (p. 331). The diurnal heating system is defined as a pattern that repeats every 24 hours due to the Earth rotating around its own axis for one full rotation. (See more on our tab, “Science Behind a Tornado”.)

According to SJ-R,

Power was knocked out to large areas of the city. Firefighters, police, and rescuers rushed to help and scoured damaged neighborhoods for injured residents. Parts of the city were blocked off from traffic and gawkers while first responders worked and residents tried to get a handle on the damage.

In the end, 24 people were injured – 19 in Springfield, one in Murrayville and four in Buffalo – but no one died.

Loami residents, who suffered heavy damage from the same storms, were targeted again by a tornado on March 8, 2009, and yet again on Aug. 19, 2009, when at least two more tornadoes cut through Sangamon County. Nine houses were destroyed and more than a dozen others heavily damaged in the August storms, which also leveled a church and damaged several buildings in Williamsville.

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Areal view of a Walmart in Springfield, IL after the destructive 2006 event.

(The State Journal-Register, 2019).

“The tornado’s path is seen looking to the southwest from above Cedar Street at dusk on Wednesday, March 15, 2006″ (The State Journal-Register, 2019).

“Rescue crews begin searching for a man believed to be inside a house at Seventh and Oak streets that was destroyed on March 12, 2006. No one was found” (The State Journal-Register, 2019).

“An American flag hangs in the doorway of the Williams residence on East Cedar Street after the March 12, 2006 tornado” (The State Journal-Register, 2019).

“Mike Graves, 18, salvages his belongings from his basement bedroom at his foster family’s house with the help of girlfriend Tiffany Workman, right, after the 2006 tornado destroyed the Peecher household on Lead Line Road near Loami, in rural Sangamon County” (The State Journal-Register, 2019).

“An aerial photograph shows the path a tornado carved through the east side of Springfield on March 12, 2006″ (The State Journal-Register, 2019).

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