07/04/04 REPORTS: Central Plains

Larry J. Kosch

Starting a REPORT for the Central Plains as storms fired up on the Fourth of July. Mother Nature had her own fireworks going as there were more than 200 wind reports, mostly in the lower Mississippi Valley. There were 91 hail reports, mostly in KS and NE. Only two tornadoes were reported in CO and MO. Place your first-hand chase reports here. Hope your Fourth was a good one! 8)
4th of July IL chase report

I was doing various stuff on the computer this morning and boy was I surprised when I looked at the radar around 11 and saw a very strong storm just 30 miles or so to my north, in northern Macoupin County, IL. So I grabbed my stuff and headed out, and ended up chasing the storm from around Litchfield, IL to Vandalia, IL. It had lots of scud, a couple small non-rotating wall clouds, and loads of CG. Just north of Vandalia it produced a "look-alike" lowering that probably would have fooled someone had there been a crowd out looking at it, which there wasn't. I got to watch it all of 30 seconds before it disappeared in rain. I got peppered with a little small hail, and some very heavy rain, when a small cell that formed near Bethalto and moved east got drawn in and merged with the main storm near Vandalia. Due to 4th of July plans I broke off there and headed home, though I figured (correctly) that if I stayed with it and tracked it east toward IN it would eventually go severe. It did, producing sporadic severe reports from Effingham east to the Indiana line, then quite a few in southern IN and northern KY - mostly wind reports.

I will post a couple pics on my Web site in a few days if they turn out.