Redemption of sorts on Friday, June 19…in a very murky forecast situation, we made the right calls and intercepted two separate supercell thunderstorms in Illinois. The first produced a very nice wall cloud and forced a quick exit as it approached in an effort to avoid an intense hail shaft with golfball-size hail.
The second supercell was the storm of the day, perhaps the best storm in the country this day, as we intercepted it in Vermillion County Illinois. Tornado-warnings were issued multiple times as the storm cycled its way into western Indiana. At times we were extremely close to the wall cloud as it began to whirl precipitation around the low-level rotation. At one point we were forced to detour southbound for .5 miles as the intense rain and hail curtains threatened to overtake our course on the rural roads of Illinois and Indiana.
The residents of the areas near this supercell were certainly aware of the storm…perhaps more aware than anyplace I can recently remember…all eyes were on the storm whether from front porches, or parking lots at local eateries.
At one point the storm seemed to begin morphing into an HP (high-precipitation) supercell, with rain nearly obscuring the entire region of low-level rotation. During the next RFD cycle however, the new wall cloud maintained its distance from the wrapping precipitation. There were numerous features that appeared to be potential funnel clouds/possible tornadoes extending from the very low wall cloud, but nothing that we could definitely confirm with circulation on the ground.
After a very frustrating year of poor weather patterns, this storm provided some welcome relief. On our way eastbound, we played tag with a severe squall line with imbedded tornado warnings. I will try to post some of the nighttime lightning/tornado sirens/lightning-highlighted lowerings from this intense line of storms.
Our Kansas storm:
As Maria Floyd and Samantha Huddleston film he tornadic storm just south of Danville IL…precipitation is almost entirely wrapping the wall cloud. Note the edge of the low-hanging wall cloud peeking to the right of the gray rain curtain. Storms that wrap the low-level rotation are especially dangerous to spotters, as tornadoes may not be visible due to heavy precipitation.
The next cycle on the IL/IN storm, as the new wall cloud becomes established further east, Samantha Huddleston and Maria Floyd observe the storm up close.
The APRS tracker showing our position on the storm, just south of Danville Illinois.
Chasing is a chess match. This day, we won. -Dave