Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Overlooked photos, March 11 2010

I actually uploaded quite a few of the photos that I took on this gentlemen's chase, but in going back I always find stills that I love and wish that I had uploaded. It was a beautiful sub-severe storm that deserves attention, so what better place than to dump one more on you all here in the last week of my overlooked photo series.

March 11 2010 was my first "chase" last year, if you want to call it that. I'd hoped for a cold core type chase in northern Illinois, but was back home in Champaign for spring break so I didn't end up taking the risk. In doing late morning analysis, it became evident that the strongest surface convergence would be along a pre-frontal trough in eastern Illinois right along Interstate 57 from Champaign to Effingham. Instability and moisture were both marginal, but there was enough there to get the job done. I got a little down when the sun was an hour away from setting below the horizon and nothing had formed so I decided to get away from the computer and enjoy the weather outside. You're a sucker if you spend a day with mid-70s temperatures indoors in March in central Illinois. Of course, venturing away from the electronics screens and under the big blue sky something to my west triggered my attention. A big plume of convection was now reaching skyward. There she went!

I hopped in my car and headed north out of town to get a better view of the developing storm. That's where the shot below comes in. Very early in the life cycle of the storm when barely any precipitation had been observed. Decent cloud to ground lightning activity was underway however, and a relaxing intercept was under way. When they come to casual storm observing, it doesn't get any better than this - in March no less! This storm was absolutely crawling along and was putting on a photogenic show. Beautiful March convection in front of the setting sun.

If only every first chase of the spring went this smoothly.

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