Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Western Illinois HP supercell

I had been eyeing western Illinois and far eastern Iowa for a potential chase most of the day with the shortwave that was forecast to eject into the area. Inititally early convection dampened my hopes a bit, but upon checking the situation out around 2 PM it became evident that the conditions were becoming ripe for a surprise event around the Iowa/Illinois border. I had commitments in DeKalb until 3 PM, but after a quick check to confirm my earlier forecast target of Burlington to Davenport the show still looked like a go. I was convinced the wave in Iowa was stronger than most were giving it credit for, and that the supercell threat was being under forecast. I shot Colin Davis a quick phone call who agreed, and Tia and I hit the road targeting a cu field in se Iowa.

Intercepted the tornado warned storm shortly after producing the last of it's visible tornadoes around the Colchester area. Several tornadoes allegedly touched down while I was on the storm, including one "lofting trees into the air" while I was literally under the mesocyclone but never saw anything. At times the storm exhibited very significant rotation and looked to produce a potential damaging tornado, but surface flow was too weak for the better part of the evening and the storm had trouble containing it's gust front.

I may put up a time lapse tomorrow, as the entire storm was spinning like a top. Probably about the best display I've seen a supercell put on without even squirting out a little tornado for me to play with.

Wall cloud was exhibiting very strong rotation at this point, shortly before the "tree lofting" tornado was reported.

Another tornado was reported near Industry at the time of this photo. May I be proven wrong... but I don't see anything at all tornadic in this image. The storms outflow was constantly undercutting any attempt at surface based rotation, and I was simply staying ahead for structure at this point.

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