January 7th 2008 - A Tornado Meets a Train
January 7th, 2008 was the apex of an unseasonably warm early January weather pattern in the Chicago area. O'Hare airport, where Chicago's official weather records are observed, recorded a record high of 65 degrees that day, just two degrees shy of the all-time high temperature in the entire month of January. Nearby, Gary, Indiana actually hit 70 degrees that day.
While meteorologists were predicting rain and thunderstorms in a pattern more typical of early May than January, no one could have predicted a tornado would accompany the storms.
Weather conditions deteriorated very quickly in the early afternoon as a storm system approached the area. And just before 3:30pm near Poplar Grove, IL, a tornado formed.
|Image: Radar at 3:25pm on 1/7/08. NWS Chicago|
|Image: NWS Chicago|
Ground-level view of house northeast of Poplar Grove destroyed by EF3 tornado. (NWS Chicago)