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10/26/2010 REPORTS: IL/IN/OH/MI/KY/TN/AL/MS/GA/PN

Drew.Gardonia

I hadn't even planned on chasing today, but in the middle of my 2nd class (12:15 pm Central) the sirens sounded, class was cancelled, so I figured why not take advantage of a few hours of chasing close to home.

Upon looking at the GRLEVEL3 and seeing most of the warned cells coming out of the southwest, I figured staying around Murfreesboro would be beneficial.

I initially moved over to 840 and Veterans Pkwy just NW of Murfreesboro, was there about 3 minutes when a nice wall cloud with very weak rotation quickly made it's way towards me, became enveloped in HP and then passed me. GRLevel3 indicated a tornado on the ground, however, I saw no such funnel or tornado from my location (NWS SPC Storm Reports website currently confirms that there were no confirmed touchdowns reported in the state of Tennessee as of 3:15 pm Central Time).

Wall cloud #1
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After 20 minutes, I noticed a tornado warned cell coming out out of Lewisburg, TN on GRLevel3 and so I decided to scoot South on I-24 towards Manchester to intercept. Going down I-24 I was met with extremely high crosswinds that were rocking the truck a little bit, torrential downpour and saw lots of leaves and small limbs and other light debris as I approached Medical Center Pkwy, and then I saw all kinds of traffic on the side of the road as well as a State Trooper with his red and blues on. I pulled over momentarily to look at the radar, but there was no tornado in the immediate vicinity, so I figured it as high straight line winds, and continued south to Joe B. Jackson Hwy, where I sat for about 40 minutes, and witnessed my 2nd wall cloud of the day, which I didn't see any rotation, that moved very quickly towards and past me. I noticed a fatal error I committed about 10 minutes later when I checked the GRLevel3...it hadn't updated because my Verizon card had disconnected and I was out of the truck when it disconnected and didn't notice it...:mad: so I was about 10 miles north of where the "expected" tornado that GRLevel3 was reporting was, so I was out of position to intercept the actual storm indicated on GRLevel3.

Wall Cloud #2
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Oh well, a bad day chasing is better than a good day in class...:D. It was exciting, and got the ole adrenaline pumping and I got some interesting pictures of the 2 wall clouds with my new 16-35mm wide angle lens, not a total loss.


edit: something peculiar I noticed with these storms, NEITHER of the two I chased had any lightning associated with them, and I didn't hear any thunder either. In fact in any of the storms that passed through today I have yet to see so much as a flash of lightning or hear a clap of thunder. just thought i'd mention that because I've never experienced any tornado warned cells that didn't have thunder or lightning accompanying them.
 
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I was working when the tornado warning was issued a little after noon today; I was at the intersection of NW Broad St./Old Fort Pkwy on highway 96 in Murfreesboro when I saw the storm moving in.
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This was looking NW as I saw the shelf cloud in the Blackman Community moving northeastward toward Lebanon. There was little or no precipitation at my location.
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I didn't see anything as far as a funnel cloud but I saw some scud rising up to the cloud base giving it a look as though there was a debris cloud on the ground.
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Chased into Southeastern Tennessee today in the late afternoon after getting out of enthralling Thermodynamics exam. We came across an amazingly structured supercell that was only severe warned. From the couplet I saw on GR3, I cannot believe it was never tornado warned.

My crew and I are fairly confident that this produced a wall cloud and maybe a possible tiny little funnel before moving on. Pictures below... you be the judge, but my lord... I can't believe we saw structure like this in Tennessee! Gorgeous! This was near Etowah, TN around 6:00 pm at the county airport.

We continued to try and intercept a long lived tornado warned storm near Benton, TN, but daylight would not cooperate with us, and while we think we got close, we couldn't see a thing.
 

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That's an amazing cell for this region, Zack.

Like Andrew, I hadn't planned on chasing but wound up with a local storm cruise of about 45 miles total that got me onto three tor-warned cells. Everything I saw was low topped supes, no intriguing upper structures.

I had one unintentional core punch in the process, due to my underestimating the oncoming speed of the storm in vid cap 4 (55mph instead of 45mph) that made me miss my south turn. There was no hail, thankfully. Mods, if that is deemed clutter in this reports forum, please delete.

Some vid caps: 1 and 2 are looking SE at funnels over Meridianville, AL; 3 is the storm over SE Huntsville--from my perspective, it had the appearance of two funnels merging at the tips, similar to the Tornado Video Classics images; 4 is the gust front just before I punched the core just SW of Huntsville on I-565; 5 is a barely rotating lowering that crossed NE Huntsville, followed by a rotating mass of skinny scud and rain curtains that had triggered another tor warning further south in town.

And here's what the core looked like through my windshield (pic in lower right hand corner #6):
 

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I chased the cold front line yesterday down in Ohio with Bill Oosterbaan. Forecast instability never managed to build in as hoped, killing any chances for discrete cells ahead of the squall line. If any Great Lakes chasers scored yesterday, we weren't among them. Still, it was a fun last fling for 2010. And there certainly were tornadoes. We saw damage in Cridersville, Ohio, that will likely be rated EF-1; it's possible that some of the damage was even more severe--we just, understandably, couldn't get closer for a better look.

Here's a more detailed writeup with a few storm photos.
 
That's an amazing cell for this region, Zack.

Like Andrew, I hadn't planned on chasing but wound up with a local storm cruise of about 45 miles total that got me onto three tor-warned cells. Everything I saw was low topped supes, no intriguing upper structures.

I had one unintentional core punch in the process, due to my underestimating the oncoming speed of the storm in vid cap 4 (55mph instead of 45mph) that made me miss my south turn. There was no hail, thankfully. Mods, if that is deemed clutter in this reports forum, please delete.

Some vid caps: 1 and 2 are looking SE at funnels over Meridianville, AL; 3 is the storm over SE Huntsville--from my perspective, it had the appearance of two funnels merging at the tips, similar to the Tornado Video Classics images; 4 is the gust front just before I punched the core just SW of Huntsville on I-565; 5 is a barely rotating lowering that crossed NE Huntsville, followed by a rotating mass of skinny scud and rain curtains that had triggered another tor warning further south in town.

And here's what the core looked like through my windshield (pic in lower right hand corner #6):

Thanks Dave! Yah, if we could have left earlier, we had wanted to make it down Huntsville's way. But with the disappearing daylight, we decided to chase what we could. We weren't too excited about that cell on radar. It seemed to be at the outer reaches of the Huntsville and Morristown radars. This is the reason why I believe it didn't look extremely impressive on radar. There was definitely a possible couplet and rotation on the velocities, though. Approaching the storm, we got stuck in some trees but we knew the storm was right next to us. We get to a break in the trees and we are just blown away by this perfectly symmetrical super cell that I had only seen in pictures! Not to mention, the county airport showed up at the PERFECT time! I am still pinching myself that we got that cell by almost dumb luck and in SE Tenn.
 
I left Chicago just before sunrise and got ahead of some cells in northeast Indiana just as they went tornado warned. The chase went about as planned. I saw a lot of gray, fast moving junk and that's about it. I kept up with it for awhile, and then it left me in the dust. The chase was over by about 9 am, which has to be a personal record. After I called the chase off I stopped for gas in North Judson, IN, and the sirens went off. The line had clearly passed and the threat gone as there were just light cumulus behind the line (in fact you had one of the better views from behind the line). I realized a new tornado warning had been issued for the line just to the northeast. This town was outside of the warning polygon to the southwest, but that's probably why the sirens were activated... a false alarm that they could have probably been done without.

In summary I came home with zero pictures, a few seconds of siren video, and I twisted my ankle getting down from the van. However, it was still worth it for a slim shot at catching a needle in the haystack tornado on a crazy day where anything could have happened. Map of my chase route.
 
What a long chase...

Started out in terre haute, the night before, incase there were still discrete cells at dawn. Not only did that not end up being the case, but the line was about 1-2 hrs east of where I anticipated. Immediately got out of Terre Haute and took off for western Ohio. There was a clear slot there where some sun looked to get out, and I was hoping some discrete cells would form there.

Staying ahead of the storms we drove through alot of daylight arriving in Dayton, Ohio. Upon getting there though, temperatures were quite cool, we weren`t gaining much on the line and Dayton did not seem the greatest place to ride out the storm, so we decided to head south for warmer weather better instability and a chance for maybe an isolated cell intercept. We narrowly missed the line in Cincinnati(fortunately), and then in Lexington. At this time we saw the PDS watch in Tennessee, and given how far we already drove decided to continue going for central Tennessee.

Our first intercept took place on a cell in Southern Kentucky, just outside of Monticello, KY. The storm had some decent structure to it, but quickly rain wrapped, and we decided to ditch it even though it went tornado warned a short time later. Getting into Tennessee from there was a nightmare of windy roads. We had to punch the 2nd storm in the chain which was only severe warned and seemed to be weakening to get back in position. Once we got through that, we set our eyes on a supercell southwest of Dayton, TN. Heading adjacent to the river bed, we got in position on that cell just as it decided to die out. At this point there were a few cells left tornado warned, and I decided that the cell at the end of the line heading for chattanooga had the best chance of sustaining and being reached before sunset. We cut over to 75, and came south east. Coming into chattanooga we got off on exit118 i believe heading up near this armed forces artillery base. This is where the pic came from, the structure was nice, and there was some slow rotation, but about 45 seconds after this picture was taken it too became rain wrapped as the remnants of a supercell to the south merged. Looking at the map, I believe we were 6 miles east of where the tornado touched down when this picture was taken.

We quickly jumped back on the highway which heads east out of town then jaunts north east, knowing we could get back in the path of it. Upon hitting mile marker 11 / 12 we could see the wall cloud again between the hills. This time we saw multiple lowerings come out of the base that were well defined. I only hesitate to call them funnels, because I was mostly viewing them from my rear view mirror, at one point one of them was about a 3rd of the way down and roping out, but was very sharply defined. Getting pictures was near impossible while driving through traffic and the action behind us, but did manage to clip a screen capture from a short video i took blindly as the rope dissipated. 75 didn`t have many exits on it, and no way I was stopping on the highway and getting out for pictures.

We got off again I believe on exit 15, and caught up with a really well defined wall cloud again right at dusk, but could never get to a location where we could see below the wall cloud base. When it got completely dark we broke it off...

Chasing in Tennessee isn`t impossible, but I sure missed the plains...

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I got into some raw weather on Tuesday and nailed countless tornado warned cells. I was up all night checking the low in MN/IA; It looked good, but I wasn't confident it was going to effect the storms down here. At 977MB, it was taking on that twisted angelic appearance typical to strong lows as they bomb out. Initiation had just occured in Central, MO and I was trying to get a feel on how the next day was going to go. The main line was flying across AR at a high rate of speed. About 7AM, I was starting to get concerned. I knew if the line didn't slow down, the window was going to close for activity in my area. There was a solid deck of low clouds in the area and surface heating hadn't took hold yet. My main concern was the speed and proximity of the line. I seen similar events clear out a region before it even has a chance.

As it approached, the main line started to stall out and slow down approaching the MS river.

At this point, I got more confidence in the set-up but I still wasn't feeling the atmosphere. The low clouds made the sky look grungy and instability profiles were non-existant. I was banking on maybe a few tail-end charlies down south, but that was about it. While I was riding up to Corinth; I noticed a crazy looking band of clouds on the radar forming ahead of the main line. On the national radar mosiac; It looked something like a dual-tiered cold front which was in process of forming a third-tier. At first look, I figured it was a stratiform rain complex that was going to jack up the day. The new SN client won't work on windows 7, so no one could see where I was. It pissed me off, but didn't hurt me operationally aside from getting additional stream viewers.

Out of nowhere, everything began to jump off the chain. As the sun beat down on the earth; a weak morning cap broke into pieces and released an explosive line of storms literally at the minute-to-second level. Within just two scans, the storms completely filled in the back-end of the rain band. Even though the new storms were in line-mode, I began to wonder if this rain-band was the focal point for pre-frontal activity. In true real-time; all of the low-clouds in the area began to burn off and break apart.

The new scans blew me out of the box. All the clouds in the immidiate area, even the squall-line itself were being broke into pieces by the intense evaporation and heating. The damaged squall-line began to disintegrate into a broken areal formation of discrete supercells which filled the remnant gaps. At this time, I can clearly see that I am looking at a pre-frontal band and the storms are not playing no games. I bought a data feed from allisonhouse for security and to boost my confidence. I double checked my stuff and got my mind prepared before I went down there.

A tornado warning was in effect for my area and I was on the lead cell. I basically came up on the storm and this is what I got.

Photo near Biggersville, MS:

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At this point, I am starting to get fired up. Tornado warnings are literally coming out of the woodwork. I start heading South down towards Tupelo and I saw a few additional cells off in the distance that were also getting warned as they headed into TN. When I get on 78E, I get out near Hamilton, AL and get ahold to another tornado warned storm including a lush wall cloud.

Near Hamilton, AL:

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Timelapse:



At this point in time, I am running through tornado warned storms right and left. Elevated LP's, Rotating Wall Clouds, and stunning RFD cuts were common as trees in Northern, AL. The reality of the situation was it wasn't even noon yet, and maximum destabilazation had yet to be realized !

We had some insane storm motions, but it was basically a cake walk to a certain extent. When I looked at the latest radar scan; I literally could not believe my eyes!

Additional Storms formed across Cooridor-X and tracked into better directional shear in NE, AL.

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The triple-tiered frontal boundary that moved across the area began to stall out and disintegrate into popcorn convection. The popcorn convection began to develop into three distinct boundarys draped out across MS/AL/TN. These three boundarys contained an almost continous wave of training low-topped LP supercells.

Catch that cut !

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The major problem, which may have ultimately been a good thing for the people here in the South was these storms seemed to be very elevated. The dewpoint spreads around the area were fairly broad and storms just struggled to get established in my areas. There was extreme rotation up in the clouds, but there has been no ground confirmation at this time of tornadoes in MS/AL. There was however multiple reports of wind damage.

Heres a video capure of trees being ripped apart by id say 50-60mph winds !

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*MORE* - Higher Quality Images, Videos, and Radar Caps - Check out my site !
 
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