The National Weather Service confirms that it was an EF-1 tornado that touched down in eastern Sangamon County Thursday, damaging multiple farm buildings and knocking over a mobile home in the area.
The twister, with top winds around 110 miles an hour, stayed on the ground for nine miles between Mechanicsburg and Illiopolis. It was one of at least 7 confirmed tornadoes that struck Central Illinois Thursday afternoon. The storms also produced heavy flooding in the area.
Chris Miller of the National Weather Service says an outbreak of February tornadoes is not all that unusual... and he notes that the unseasonably warm temperatures Thursday are usually a pretty reliable sign that severe weather will follow close behind.