2021 video shared as sirens heard in Chicago ahead of recent tornado

By: Ankita Kulkarni
July 19 2023

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2021 video shared as sirens heard in Chicago ahead of recent tornado


The Verdict False

The video dates back to at least 2021 and has been reshared by linking to different tornado warnings in Chicago, U.S.

Claim ID 959d171e


Chicago City, in the Illinois State of the U.S., recently experienced multiple tornadoes on July 12, 2023, according to the National Weather Service in Chicago. The New York Times reported that people in the area were advised to take shelter after it was confirmed that a tornado touched the ground near O'Hare International Airport and was moving east toward downtown. Following this, a Twitter video posted on July 13, 2023, claims to show loud warning sirens in the city amid the recent tornadoes. The caption reads, "#BREAKING: Tornado sirens are now sounding off for a particular is dangerous tornado warning." The video received 2.7 million views on the platform while writing this story. Several other users have also shared the same video with similar claims. 

However, the video is old and has been miscaptioned.

In Fact

A reverse image search of a screenshot from the video led us to a Facebook post by the account 'Telemundo Chicago,' a regional television station in Chicago, dated June 14, 2022. The post has the same video, and the caption, translated from Spanish, reads, "Tornado alarms sounded across Chicago this afternoon as a powerful, severe storm continued to move toward Indiana. Porter and Lake counties are under a tornado warning until 8:15 p.m. Follow our coverage here." We also spotted the exact video on YouTube uploaded from the channel "FOX Weather" on the same date, June 14, 2022, and the description noted, "Video captures the Chicago skyline on Monday evening as tornado sirens are heard going off across The Windy City. (Video: Rylie Knox / Weather Traker / TMX) #foxweather #weather."

We checked for any tornado on June 13 or 14 last year and found a note from Chicago National Weather Service on June 13, 2022, which said two tornadoes were reported in the city that day. 

Further research found that the video was first posted on Twitter and dates back to June 26, 2021. The caption reads, "We have tornado sirens in the middle of downtown Chicago in Grant Park. Get to safety, find internal rooms or basements. Take these things seriously!" We examined the comments on the post and found multiple organizations and journalists seeking permission to share the video. The user uploaded the same Video on YouTube on June 26, 2021. 

We also found that the city had also reported flash flooding and tornado on June 25-26, 2021, according to National Weather Service in Chicago. A report by Chicago Turbine, a local news outlet, noted on June 26, 2021, that the city had tornado sirens for the second time in a week. It added flash flood warnings and tornados, with more showers and storms, were issued.    

Although reportedly there were warning sirens in the city amid the recent tornado in July 2023, the video now in question is old and dates back to 2021, which has been misattributed to different tornadoes in the city. 

The Verdict

The video from 2021 has been incorrectly circulated as warning sirens in Chicago city amid the recent multiple tornadoes. Therefore we have marked the claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before