Thursday, February 10, 2011

Overlooked photos, day 8 - Oglesby, IL HP

As far as linear storm chases go, the June 23rd embedded HP supercell intercept was about as fun as they get. A big severe weather day was forecast with extreme late season instability in place in advance of a strong upper level system. Low level wind shear was fairly unidirectional with surface winds veering to the southwest across the entire warm sector in northern Illinois. There was hope for something to go tornadic along an outflow boundary along Interstate 80, but that wasn't to be. I was on one thunderstorm from it's towering cumulus stage that eventually went tornado warned. All hope looked lost early as storms went linear, and not a very powerful form of linear. Only marginal severe reports seemed to be coming out of the system.

I held strong though, and flew east toward Interstate 39 to drop south to get ahead of some new development in advance of the squall line. I then got a text from Colin Davis reporting incredible straight line winds, and then other storm reports began coming in reporting damaging winds uprooting trees and taking apart buildings. I set my sights on Oglesby, IL remembering the placement of the outflow boundary laying there earlier in the day, and hoped for some form of interaction. An HP supercell became obvious embedded in the line, and was taking aim dead on for Oglesby. I set up at a dead end on a road in the fast food/hotel district just off the interstate and began filming the storm. I uploaded several shots of the HP supercell as it moved in, but never this photo, which captured part of a lightning strike poking out from the leading edge of the storm. The cloud to ground lightning was so prolific that I was able to snap this shot just by getting luck in waiting for a bolt. Perhaps because I didn't capture the entire cloud to ground bolt I didn't find this photo worth uploading the day of the chase, but I find it only fair that it sees the light of day.

1 comment:

Adam L said...

That storm was crazy. I think the wind driven rain and hail I drove through in that storm rivaled or even trumped some of the most intense plains-state core punches Ive done. If only flow wasnt so veered =\