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2016-05-01 REPORTS: IL/IN

Fun little chase down in southeastern/eastern Illinois today. Kind of sneaked up on me, as I didn't realize there would be a setup until when I woke up this morning lol. Guess I should pay a little more attention to the models.

The setup had a lot going for it, including great mid-upper level flow for some great stretching/exhausting aloft. Instability wasn't too shabby either, with dews in the low 60s, and LCLs were reasonable as well. Nice little vort max and associated vorticity advection was in play as well. What really screwed this setup was a awful lack of kinematics below 850mb. Just a crying shame. Could have had a very potent setup here. As it were, we had decent supercells develop, but they all failed to produce anything other than large hail, with the exception of the cell in central IN.

Drove down to near Effingham IL by about 4:30. Right around that time I noticed the cu field to the west was quickly becoming impressive, with nice vertical development. Wasn't long before the first turkey tower went up, and glaciated northwest of Effingham. Subsequent updrafts achieved thunderstorm status, and before long we had a nice little sup heading towards the Mattoon area. It didn't take long for it to produce a weak wall cloud. Followed the sup east to near the Indiana border where I let it go. Almost ended up regretting that decision, as shortly thereafter it organized again, and began to look very impressive. I was almost certain it was finally going to produce now that I had given up on it lol. Luckily (for me) it didn't. The storm did drop tennis ball size hail though at one point.

Not the most exciting chase to be sure, but man was it nice to be down there in that 70 degree/60+ dew air compared to the grungy 40s and rain back home. That in itself was worth it to me lol.

Here's a few pics...

Weak wall cloud beneath the updraft fairly early on...

Very nice flanking line feeding into the sup from the beginning. Sup had huge potential if we had better low-levels...

RFD trying to do something here. A little far away at this point, but you can see a little lowering on the other side of the rain shaft. Had a few nice RFD cuts at times, but it didn't seem to help at all.

Shortly after letting the storm go near the Indiana border. Nice little rainbow on the back side of the departing sup.