Tornadoes strike California, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Kansas in February

Chicago and Milwaukee were hit with unseasonably warm weather in February, resembling a typical spring day. Thunderstorms brought heavy rain and strong winds, causing warnings to be issued. Hail and even tornadoes were reported in some areas.

During the past week, tornadoes struck California, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Kansas. This is considered unusual, particularly for the winter months.

The videos captured from the damage zones revealed the absence of snow, clearly indicating the unusually warm weather that fueled the recent onslaught of intense thunderstorms and tornadoes.

In just a few weeks, the country is set to conclude the winter season as the warmest on record. In this context, the occurrence of tornadoes in communities that typically don’t experience them in February actually appears more normal. This is because the absence of any semblance of winter weather makes such events less surprising.

The aftermath of a tornado on February 8, 2024, left a trail of destruction near Evansville, Wisconsin.


According to the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it is important to pay attention to weather warnings and updates.

A powerful tornado, classified as an EF-2, ripped through southern Wisconsin, unleashing maximum winds of 135 mph.

The intense storms led to the issuance of the first-ever Tornado Warnings in Wisconsin during the month of February and resulted in significant destruction to residential and commercial properties.

Tornadoes were observed in Illinois and Wisconsin during an unusual winter severe weather threat.

As severe storms made their way through northern and central Illinois on Thursday evening, storm chaser Corey Gerken captured a remarkable sight. He witnessed the formation of a tornado just southeast of Henry.

Badger State tornadoes

In a rare occurrence, Wisconsin experienced its first ever recorded tornadoes in February shortly after temperatures reached unprecedented levels on Thursday. Madison reported a record-breaking high of 59 degrees, while Milwaukee recorded a temperature of nearly 60 degrees.

The National Weather Service office in Milwaukee reported that the initial tornado occurred in Green County, Wisconsin, covering a distance of over 8 miles. A stronger tornado was observed near Evansville, remaining on the ground for approximately 25 miles.

No serious injuries were reported as a result of the severe weather, although homes and barns suffered damage from the storms.

How to Watch Fox Weather

FOX Weather’s radar animation on February 8, 2024, showcases a visual depiction of weather patterns and movements.

FOX Weather has announced its launch as a new weather streaming service.

Golden State tornadoes

On Wednesday, San Luis Obispo County, California experienced its first tornadoes in over 20 years.

Before the event, the local National Weather Service office issued a warning about the potential occurrence of funnel clouds and waterspouts along the coast due to the impact of a storm system on California.

The tornadoes that hit Pismo Beach and Grover Beach initially received EF-1 ratings on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The tranquil beachfront community of Grover Beach experienced tree damage and occasional roofline destruction, as depicted in photos and videos.

According to residents in the area, the damage was not particularly impressive, as reported by FOX Weather.

The most recent instance of tornadoes being confirmed in California occurred in August during Hurricane Hilary.

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