Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Overlooked photos, day 12 - June 4 2010

June 4 2010 was as fun as chase days without tornadoes get. Relaxed, local, and full of photogenic moments. I shared the chase with Tia, later meeting up with Colin Davis in Monmouth, IL in the northwest part of the state. Tia and I left late morning, reaching Monmouth right around the lunch hour. I was unfamiliar with that town at the time, so we picked a random Mexican joint for some lunch, which turned out to be pretty delicious. We were able to relax over our lunch while peering over some data as we waited on Colin to arrive. I can't stress how relaxed the day was at this point. Every chase day has some underlying adrenaline and anticipation, but for whatever reason this day was completely casual. It was almost as in The Field of Dreams I had some voice whispering in my ear "If you sit here, storms will come". That, or perhaps it was the marginal "day before the big day" moisture that had me aware that tornadoes were unlikely, and thus relaxed me a little.

Tia and I, along with Colin traipsed south a little to get ahead of some towers that were erupting in far southeastern Iowa that would be moving our way. One such storm struggled initially, but then blossomed into a powerful supercell. It did go tornado warned, but again with marginal moisture it never really had that look except for one time. The initial mesocyclone occluded and it almost appeared the storm may be tanking. We were swallowed by the core only momentarily before emerging under a beautiful ragged wall cloud. It took me several minutes to finally snap a shot of the storm as I had to navigate a couple tricky turns before finding a safe place to stop my car. Nothing to be done about the power lines as staccato lightning had my butt planted in the seat of my car.

Here's what I think is the first actual still photograph I've posted of the first supercell of the day at the peak of its life, new Lewistown, IL.

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