Awaking yesterday and seeing how showers were lifting from S of the warm front (WF) that draped across SC IL, I knew right away by the returns that they were going up supercell style with surface winds backing from the ESE. With two areas of convection to the SE and SW and having only $13 to budget for fuel which meant being highly conservative, I decided to head S and in such a way as to let the SW activity come to me even though the SE action was warned but moving away. Opting for the easy way proved wise for the most SW storm earned tornado warning. Planning an intercept from somewhere S of Pana, as I got past Moweaqua, I looked off to my W and noticed am amazing base on a cell that didn't have much of a radar signature. I pulled off on a country road to spend some time with it figuring all the while that the other storm would just come to me. The first three images are of this storm with the third being a carefully spliced panoramic.
Still intent on the SW storm, I abandoned this one thinking it was going to die. This would be a mistake for as I traveled S, the other storm died while this one intensified! Turning around at Assumption, I eventually caught back up with outside of Dalton City and then over towards Long Creek on US 36. The storm really seemed to be getting its act together at this point with tremendous rising motion feeding into the base. Just as soon as I got to La Place however, the updraft shut off and the storm fell apart. It was here that I found Chris Heater and Richard Lewis where we chatted until virtually all of the clouds were gone.
At this location the ground was littered with dime to nickel sized hail so I spent some time with the macro attachment. Chris is holding the first stone and as for the final, managed to spot a slug that made for an equally interesting model. Check out how you can see my reflection, the stone is about the size of a kidney bean! All in all a very good day and especially considering that better activity was forecast to happen much further W in MO/IA but didn't come together.