I'm starting this thread since we had people out chasing todays weather system.
Woo hoo, I get to be the first to report that I saw absolutely nothing. Nah, that's not true. Considering that it is March 1 in Illinois, I'm very satisfied with our outcome. Joe Nield, Mike Kruze, Kim Klockow, and myself set out from Lafayette around 1PM EST, headed vaguely for the Peoria area. We ended up taking US 24 west into Illinois and finding a nice dirt road to watch things devlop, about 3 miles west of Crescent City, IL. Towers were trying to push up to our west, and we sat there for at least a half hour, probably more watching the development. We had fiercely strong winds out of the south, which made it very difficult to communicate, or even to keep the tripods from falling over. As a well(?) developed cell approached our location, we got some good views of rain feet, and several suspicious lowerings. The lowerings didn't last very long, and never got organized, and they may be nothing more than the fanciful hallucinations of storm-deprived college students. We followed that cell north into southern Will county, until we decided that the cell was doing nothing exciting and called it a day. On the way back we a saw beautiful sunset, and that was the extent of it.

From what I understand, 3/4" hail was reported in Cook county, but that's pretty much the extent of severe wx from this system. Disappointing, yes, but encouraging given the time of year, and we seemed to do well forecasting. There were a few equipment problems, such as both laptops having issues with various things, and then the button on my gear shift breaking. That was fixed with a roll of duct tape I had handy. My film is at Walgreens right now, and should be back within the hour. I'll have some scanned and try to get a website going tomorrow.

1 March 2004 North Central Illinois

Today's chase in Illinois might be best summarized by paraphrasing Bruce Haynie's famous quote: "those who live by the dryslotting shall die by the dryslotting." LOL! The same southwesterly air that cooled and cleared the midlevels mixed down quickly in the early afternoon and scoured dewpoints in Illinois from west to east, leaving the boundary layer helpless against the strong shear. As a result, low-topped supercells never materialized; in their place were weak, ragged turkey towers and a few vigorous showers that wisely stayed below the strong winds aloft.

Click (actually right-click, don't know why) to enlarge:

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[Broken External Image]:[URL]http://www.blacklandprairie.net/images/chase2004/1March2004/2004March1_008thum.jpg[/url]

I enjoyed the chase because it was my first since last July. The areas I saw in Illinois, from Bloomington-Normal up to Peru and over to Kankakee were very favorable for chasing, often excellent--I told Steve Miller on the phone that it was "panhandle flat." The bright blue sky made the cu seem like those things I've been dreaming about for eight months. Certainly had hoped for more as it looked promising with bitter cold midlevels and marginal instability at the surface, but those southwesterly 850s had other things in mind.

Ah, climatology. Seems like the delicate stitching of these systems comes apart much more easily in March and April.

My full report with additional imagery is here.

Amos Magliocco
I chased from home instead of driving... Initial target area from Saturday was LAF - but that's a 4hr drive and I wasn't going to do it in this setup. Sunday's target was SBN, hoping that Eta was underforecasting warm moist air into northern IN (which it did horribly.) Monday AM target was back to Purdue, which matched up with the early DY1 and a call to IWX as well. Back to the "too far to bother" thoughts, saw the watch (which I questioned) followed by the next (which I _really_ questioned) and decided nothing more than a 3/4" hailstone and 45mph gust would be involved - so just enjoyed the look of an active radar from the comforts of my Lazyboy.

- Rob

PS Much more evidence that SVR criteria need to be changed for hailsize! Regardless of how many times the NWS offices tell us 3/4" hail could kill you, I just don't believe it ;>
Definitely not the most exciting storm to be sure, but for the first day of March I'm relatively happy. It's hard to believe that two weeks ago we had almost a foot of snow on the ground here in northern Illinois! I saw some very nice cumulus congestus, and even some small (even smaller than pea sized if you can believe it) hail. Considering the onslaught the gulf of mexico has taken the past month or two, I'm not too disappointed in todays event. This just wets my appetite for the months to come..... :D
Cool pics and field reports... thanks for posting them!


Yes, my thanks as well to Amos and everyone else for their information and insight. This is a great way to start off the season. I'm new to this forum discussion, but it looks to be a great resource for information and discussion about current and future events. Thanks again to all!

8) -Joel
Great pics, Amos

It was excellent to see some chase pics from the hail event up here in NE IL. You were probably looking for something to cure your Supercell Deprivation Syndrome (SDS), though. You should have come to Dekalb county though. The storms fired along a line just SW of campus. The thunderstorms produced some good CG lightning and a from the chase report, some 3/4 inch hail. I heard there was an unconfirmed tornado in SE Wisconsin. Probably a dust whirl or gustnado?


the hail report...

2001 75 DE KALB DE KALB IL 4193 8875

(0.75 of an inch)

unconfirmed tornado?