Predicting Tornadoes Difficult

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Last year's 80 twisters doubled the state's yearly average and came on the heels of a record 120 tornadoes in 2003. At least one is already on the books this year, a brief touchdown in a field east of Peoria last week.

State climatologist Jim Angel says long-range forecasts call for cooler than normal temperatures and above average rainfall through June.

Angel says cool temperatures could eliminate the clash of cold and hot air that helps spawn funnel clouds, but he also says wet weather historically increases the odds of tornadoes, which killed nine people in 2004, including eight in an April twister in Utica.