|A destroyed house in Rochelle, Illinois after Thursday's |
large tornado. Photo from Getty Images.
The National Weather Service gave the tornado a preliminary rating of EF4 on a scale of zero to 5, five being the strongest.
The Illinois tornado traveled for nearly 20 miles across northern Illinois, sometimes reaching up to a half mile wide. It had peak winds of between 180 and 200 mph.
Below, you'll see a video shot from a plane Friday, retracing the tornado's path. You can see how it widened and strengthened as it plowed across open fields, hitting some farm complexes, and narrowly missing others.
You can see the randomness of the damage. One farm trashed, the other literally steps away seeming unscathed. You can see how it tore through the village of Fairdale, turning one side of the tiny village to mincemeat, and pretty much leaving the other side alone.
Near the end of the tornado's path, you can see it narrowing. It sliced a skinny line of damage through an industrial complex, causing a narrow area of roof damage on one huge building.
Then, the tornado damaged one more farm, then, apparently, lifted. Watch:
Here's another video, this one from Severe Studios, a time lapse as tornado chasers followed the tornado, with part at the end a fairly close of view of the twister: