As promised, I've attached pictures taken heading East/SE towards Peoria.Sat around some Knoxville, IL (near Galesburg) park for an hour or two awaiting initiation after leaving Chicago (and skipping Do Division street festival). Initially storms looked weak/ragged on radar slowly limping across the border -- but then quite suddenly came to life. One of the most obvious hooks I've seen while also in it as well. Intercepted same long duration tornado/funnel from near Yates City on through to near West Peoria (appeared to track ESE). Just got back to Chicago so will post SLR pictures later. Drive back up along Interstate 55 broadsided by at least one Tornado-warned storm -- Texas-like in its ferocity. Never expected such intensity in Illinois. First tornado for season and last one seen in 2007 near Silverton, TX. A long 3+ years wait.
Kurt Hulst and I caught the supercell that produced the Elmwood/Peoria tornadoes from its inception west of the river in IA. We decided that we didn't want to punch too far west, and that choice gave us a front row seat as one of the bunch of popcorn clutter underneath the upper cloud deck turned into a tower and quickly acquired a supercellular look to it.
The storm produced its first tornado near Abingdon, IL--a brief spin up that presaged things to come. With the second tornado, the show started in earnest. There are plenty of images of the elephant's trunk. I got plenty of my own, but I haven't had time yet to edit them. I'll post a few of them on my blog within the next couple of days along with a writeup.
This storm was striking in a number of ways: its inception, its structure, the variety of tornado sizes and shapes produced, its relative ease of tracking...it was a rare treat to follow it all the way east to I-57, where it merged with the other, northernmost tornado-breeder near Kankakee. The one downside was watching Elmwood get hit.
I should mention that the storm produced a rope tornado just northwest of Chatsworth. I don't find this tornado in the SPC storm reports, though I reported it.