1996-12-23: Evansville, IL

John Farley

Apr 1, 2004
Pagosa Springs, CO
16 years ago today, I intercepted my first chase tornado near Evansville, IL. Despite many rookie mistakes, I did manage to intercept the tornado and get out alive! The tornado moved through the southern part of town - about a minute after I did - destroying a bowling alley and severely damaging a couple homes. The tornado occurred in an HP supercell imbedded within a LEWP structure in a squall line. Here is a picture as the tornado formed just west of town and began about a 2-mile track through town and on to the east:

As you can see in this picture, some very large trees were blown down while nearby Christmas decorations were left untouched:

Not too many chasers get their first chase tornado 2 days before Christmas, but that was how it worked out for me.