June 13th, 2005 Tornado or Not??

Like many of you, I was chasing Severe Weather on June 13th, 2005, in Central Illinois. There was an Isolated Supercell travelling NE from Northern MO. http://www.spc.nssl.noaa.gov/exper/archive/events/050613/index.html The 5 or 6 green dots above the mass of reports in IL is the storm I am referring too. At 2221 UTC Lewiston, IL, reported golf ball hail, at about the same time I was located on IL 78 about 6 miles east northeast of town. The storm passed and we pulled off US 24 about 4 miles northeast of Lewiston, and pulled out the camera. At the same time storm spotters around the Little America area reported rotation in the clouds and NWS Lincoln picked up weak rotation. From my location I could discern rotation but not violent. There was a wall cloud present and I began thinking "we might have a tornado here!" Well thats where all of you my fellow enthuiasts come into play. I have a series of 5 to 6 pictures taken with in a span of a minute to minute and a half. I believe I may have caught a brief funnel/tornado without completely recognizing it. Tell me what you guys think?

First grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0187.jpg
Second grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0188.jpg
Third grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0189.jpg
Fourth grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0190.jpg
Fifth Grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0191.jpg

I hope these help you out! I really believe I have witnessed a tornado or at least a funnel cloud. Like I said nothing was ever reported although spotters were seeing rotation before they were swallowed by the hail core.

For a little bit more of a scope of the storm here are 4 more pictures as it moved away, to show it was a supercell with a healthy mesocyclone.

Sixth Grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0192.jpg
Seventh Grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0193.jpg
Eighth Grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0194.jpg
Ninth Grab:
http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/... Central IL/?action=view&current=PICT0195.jpg

Just Click on the pictures to get full size. Let me know what you think of this? I have just finally found my boatloads of pictures I had stored so thats why the delay. For other pictures just click on the link at the bottom.

Thanks alot
Dan
 
I would say at very least a funnel cloud is what you've got. Too bad cannot see the lower levels under it though. There is some moisture haziness around the funnel, so it has the appearance of being a legit convergent updraft zone next to the bright RFD. Nice pics.
 
I was actually on this storm for most of it's lifetime, I must have missed this. Looks like maybe a funnel, but also looks kind of outflow dominant, so it may just be some pointy cloud tags hanging down.
 
I sort have accepted that. I WANT to believe it was a funnel cloud, because rotation was evident. We drove through the core and it was pretty healthy. Lots of CGs, quarter sized hail, and there wasnt really a gust front on it at the time. 20-30 minutes later it did produce 60 mile an hour winds in Pekin. So I want to believe this was just recycling and then finally it died out once it got out of the dynamics and into already rain cooled air. I believe the squall line out of STL really killed this. It was isolated and I could see it from 50-75 miles away while heading toward it. Hmmm I wish I was closer to have ground truth.


I was actually on this storm for most of it's lifetime, I must have missed this. Looks like maybe a funnel, but also looks kind of outflow dominant, so it may just be some pointy cloud tags hanging down.
 
Sometimes it is just hard to tell. Were you positive it was rotating? Sometimes the low dangly clouds on a gust front will roll and tumble around, and appear a lot like rotation.
 
Positive. On radar it had a tiny hook as evidence of the Wet RFD on the left or westside of the picture. It wasn't a VIOLENT rotation but there was rapid rising motion. The storm passed and we were looking west northwest when we heard Fulton County calling ILX and reporting weak rotation. Then those pictures were about 5 minutes after that. I am almost positive it wasn't a gust front. It seems like the first couple of pictures show a tightly wrapped wall cloud and funnel. Then after that the whole area dissapated until about 10 mins later....thats when the second set of pictures were taken.




Sometimes it is just hard to tell. Were you positive it was rotating? Sometimes the low dangly clouds on a gust front will roll and tumble around, and appear a lot like rotation.
 
Grab 3 and 4 seem to show a wall cloud containing a funnel, possibly a tornado if there is ground contact.
 
So can I go out on a line here and say this could officially be my first tornado/funnel cloud in Illinois??? I've seen 6 in Kansas and 1 in Oklahoma through the years, yet that one in Illinois has always escaped me. I've been close but seems like 5 minutes before or 5 minutes after I get there is when storms like to produce. This time it wasn't even warned and I may have got one! go figure
 
I would not call this a tornado unless you could easily discern tornadic rotation (not just boiling cloud motion) and unless there was confirmed damage from directly underneath that "pointy thing".

The feature - although "pointy" - was extremely brief in lifespan, apparently. Therefore this would suggest to me that it was a fortunate juxtaposition of scud on possibly an o/f boundary rather than tornado or funnel. I've seen some pretty good lookalikes over the past five years.

I stand by the assertion that this was probably NOT a tornado unless damage was reported from directly under the "pointy thing", and I wish I could see a close-up video capture.

KL
 
I would not call this a tornado unless you could easily discern tornadic rotation (not just boiling cloud motion) and unless there was confirmed damage from directly underneath that "pointy thing".

The feature - although "pointy" - was extremely brief in lifespan, apparently. Therefore this would suggest to me that it was a fortunate juxtaposition of scud on possibly an o/f boundary rather than tornado or funnel. I've seen some pretty good lookalikes over the past five years.

I stand by the assertion that this was probably NOT a tornado unless damage was reported from directly under the "pointy thing", and I wish I could see a close-up video capture.

KL


The storm had rotation although not violent, spotters from closer to me had reported it to ILX but then apparently got swallowed up by the white area to the left of the feature in question.....There were a few tree limbs down along US 24 and about 30-45 minutes later Pekin, IL reported quarter sized hail and 60 mph winds.....Thats why I have such a hard time believe it gusted out here because immediately after those reports in Pekin, the storm was gone and was little more than a rainshower.

In reality that "pointy" feature probably lasted a minute and then the whole area dissapated and like I said earlier about 3-5 minutes later it produced the second set of pictures in my original thread.

I personally am probably being stubborn because I want it to be my IL tornado bad! But you and Andrew both state good points and since "small tree limbs down" dont really hold up much of an argument as tornadic damage, maybe it is a pretty damn good lookalike. Ill try to blow it up and use some contrast to see if that helps.
 
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6-7-05-7976.jpg


A classic supercell

6-7-2005-forst.jpg


Approx five minutes later.

It's very hard to tell from the stills -- but my guess it was not a funnel or a tornado. The supercell pictured above is one of many examples I have of low-hanging clouds that resemble a funnel or tornado from/under a supercell with strong low-mid level rotation (i.e. a strong, persistent deep mesocyclone). From the shots above, I can only see a gust front with low-hanging cloud tags on the leading edge -- with a high cloud base height. It'd be virtually impossible to distinguish without video, but my educated guess would be: no.
 
6-7-05-7976.jpg


A classic supercell

6-7-2005-forst.jpg


Approx five minutes later.

It's very hard to tell from the stills -- but my guess it was not a funnel or a tornado. The supercell pictured above is one of many examples I have of low-hanging clouds that resemble a funnel or tornado from/under a supercell with strong low-mid level rotation (i.e. a strong, persistent deep mesocyclone). From the shots above, I can only see a gust front with low-hanging cloud tags on the leading edge -- with a high cloud base height. It'd be virtually impossible to distinguish without video, but my educated guess would be: no.


So would it be A rear flank gust front then? I was under the flanking line at the time looking toward the body of the storm and where the "area of suspicion" was located was where the flanking line met the updraft of the storm
 
Maybe another solution would be to look at the pictures of the front of the storm as it was approaching my location so you can get a better sense....

http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/o124/ILSvrWxTorChsr/06 13 05 West Central IL/

17 pictures from the first few being of the approaching storm to the last ones I have laid out for you from beyond the core. Essentially we core punched it. The heaviest precip stayed to our east but we had a few nickles and dimes fall on us.... I dont know if that will help clear up the mystery? And we had no video at the time because I was an idiot and drove off with the camera still on the roof of my car....needless to say when I put my car in reverse and said a few expletives.....I needed a NEW CAMERA!!!!!
 
I'm with Nick and Karen on this one. I'm not saying it's a definite "no". I wasn't there. There's just not enough evidence for a convincing "yes". Here's hoping the evidence surfaces and you get your first Illinois "pointy thing". :)
 
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