8/18/04 REPORTS: Midwest/Great Lakes

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Started a report thread for those who had the opportunity
to chase Wednesday in the Midwest and the Great Lakes.

Feel free to post your reports.

Mike
 
i moved my post from NOW to here - gary

but supposedly it was to have been in Ellettsville, In at about 7:30 and Bloomington IN at 7:48.

Just got in the door.. I was in the Paragon area around that time. I couldn't get south fast enough to get in front of this thing and by the time I hit SR37 and headed south, it was too dark to see.
Looking back at the radar caps, once the rotation was clear on radar it dissipated rapidly.

Got some good lightning and cloud formations, thats about it.

http://www.wrathofnature.com/pictures/20040818/1.jpg
http://www.wrathofnature.com/pictures/20040818/2.jpg
http://www.wrathofnature.com/pictures/20040818/3.jpg
http://www.wrathofnature.com/pictures/20040818/4.jpg
 
Luckily the storms came to me today. I only had to drive a few miles to intercept a slowly rotating wall cloud. My entire log with pictures and a video is on my website. Here is my chase log:

To my surprise at 5:00 my weather alert went off for a severe thunderstorm warning in Moultrie County. I took a look at the radar and decided to quit work a little early to go catch the newly developed cell. I was totally unprepared for severe weather today. The AC/DC inverter was on the boat, the GPS was at Dad's, I forgot the tripod, and the video camera batteries were nearly dead. I grabbed the video camera and 35mm camera and left.

I traveled north on route 45 to 1400 N Coles when I turned left. At this point I immediately noticed the wall cloud structure some 5-10 miles to my west. You couldn't miss this one, it was huge! I radioed to Clint (KC9S) to inform him of my position and the wall cloud. Around 5:20 the NWS issued a tornado warning for Moultrie County. I drove through Cooks Mills and stopped at 1450N, 150E. At this point I started video taping the wall cloud.

I then decided to get a little closer and traveled to 1500N, 80E (1 mile away). At this location I had a very close view of the wall cloud. On the radio another ham reported that the sheriff had spotted a tornado, which was described to be directly on top of me. Yet another sheriffnado! I responded that there was no tornado, but there was a large rotating wall cloud that might produce a tornado at any time. I wish the video camera batteries hadn't died because the rotation was quite visible. The inflow bands of this storm were very interesting. They curved around the wall cloud much like a hurricane band. This was the first time I've ever seen that.

I was starting to get too close to the rotation, so I got back in the car and headed back east. Between Cooks Mills and Dorans the wall cloud became more concentrated. Shortly after this, the wall cloud started becoming rain wrapped. I chased the storm until no cloud structures were visible east of Charleston.

A bonus!
On my way back we got a call for a structure fire 1000N, 1550E. The fire totally destroyed the old abandoned farmhouse. We believe that lightning caused the fire. There was no road to this house, as it was surrounded on all 4 sides by corn fields. Nothing like hiking through a jungle of corn to fight a structure fire!

More details @ http://www.brademel.com/pages/storm_chase_....php?year=&id=6
 
I targeted the Macomb general area in west-central Illinois, though southern Iowa became more enticing throughout the day as mesoscale events came together with very good surface convergence and low-level directional shear. Speed shear was also in place today with plenty of instability and moisture. It was nice to have a decent setup before going back to school (I was also on a nice minisupercell from TCu stage the previous day in the same general area).

I was in the Champaign/Urbana area for non-chasing stuff until around mid-afternoon before I departed, later than I should have, to go chasing. While driving around the Morton area I got word of a couple supercells that had formed just south of Champaign and sure enough I could see some sizable Cb in the distance to the southeast. A tornado warning was issued a few minutes later and I saw the storms looked quite good on radar at home where I stopped for a quick shower. I was temporarily quite angry but the target area would certainly allay that anger (the CMI sups didn’t last too long). I got a call from Mark Sefried on the Burlington (Henderson County) storm reporting a large RFB and wall cloud. The storm looked very good on radar with a classic shape, distinct hook and couplet.

I originally went after this storm, but after some deliberation ended up deviating for new supercells that developed to its south. I got on a supercell near Roseville with some of the better updraft structure I’ve seen in Illinois. Large stout circular updraft with some striations as well as several inflow bands circling in. There were a couple nice mesos within a few miles of each other near Fairview, with large moderately rotating wall clouds with funnels and moderately rapid ascension. There were some funnels produced by both but none came close to being tornadoes, as far as I saw for sure. The meso that was further northeast and more shrouded in precip gave a glimpse of what very much looked like a tornado when I saw for just a moment, but when I closed in a couple minutes later there was no sign of it. I went south for the wall cloud that looked better visually and had a strong couplet and followed it to north of Canton where I lost it due to darkness and a very bad road network. It exhibited a fairly large beaver tail for well over an hour. It continued as a withering minisupercell just barely into Tazewell County before weakening where we (I ran into Colin Davis on the west side of Canton) stopped pursuing it and waited just west of Bartonville for the bow echo which didn’t excite in terms of wind though had some nice shelf cloud features and bountiful lightning.

I’ll get some images up as soon as possible.

Scott
 
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