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Deadly Storms Hit the Midwest

Midwesterners are picking up the pieces after the region was hit with dozens upon dozens of reported tornadoes Sunday.
Midwesterners are picking up the pieces after the region was hit with dozens upon dozens of reported tornadoes Sunday.

The storms killed six people and destroyed at least 70 homes in Illinois alone. One of the big questions is - how did such a dangerous weather pattern creep up with so little notice? It took millions of people by surprise, leaving little time to prepare or get out of the way. Initial estimates show this monster storm cycle produced at least one EF4 tornado touching down in New Minden, Illinois. It would be the first ever recorded in the state's history in November. EF4 tornadoes are capable of packing wind gusts up to 200 miles per hour. Those gusts were powerful enough to annihilate entire neighborhoods and flip cars in Indiana.

This storm system isn't believed to be as powerful as the EF5 tornadoes that devastated Moore, Oklahoma in may and Joplin, Missouri in 2011.But its timing sets it apart.

A strengthening area of low pressure moved over the great lakes with very cold, dry air behind it; that mixed with the warm, moist air from the gulf ahead of it and that big contrast in air collided with "wind shear" - a sudden and drastic change in wind direction at different heights in the atmosphere. 101 tornado warnings were issued in Illinois on Sunday, that's more than half of the warnings that have been issued in the state since 1986 -- in one day alone.
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