Friday, July 23, 2010

July 21 - NE Macon County / Chase to Charleston IL

Despite missing a few significant local events earlier in the week, on this day I was treated to a nice surprise. Around midday I had to run a few errands so before leaving, I peeked at local radar to see what was happening. A few small storms had popped up to the N so I decided to grab the cameras and check them out as well. Not thinking I would need it, I left the laptop at home and rolled blind. Noting supercell characteristics with the storm as I approached, I was completely blown away by what I would encounter in the way of a healthy rotating wall cloud on the base. Laughing at myself for the irony in finally getting up close to a storm where data would have been nice, I approached with caution from the S and ended up spending time from just NW of Argenta. All the while as I plotted my moves, a little voice in the words of Dick McGowan kept telling me "get closer, shoot wider" so I did. The first image is with the wide angle affixed to the EF 18-55 and I am within 1/4 mile of the storm.

In the time it took for me drive closer and find a suitable location to park, the above wall cloud dissipated as it went through a cycling phase. This is where outflow descends from behind the updraft base and chokes off the inflow. Once this transfer of cool downward air has exited so long as the storm is able to resume drawing warm moist air into the updraft, it will "cycle" to form a new wall cloud. I didn't think the new wall cloud would do it but it came very close as evident by brief, rapidly rising scud observed above the tree line. You can see what appears to be a thin funnel and I would place this feature over the Friend's Creek Park area.

By now the storm was tornado warned but since I had no data or communication, I never knew. I continued following though it never really exhibited structure leaving me to think it would do it again.

Now in Piatt County, it was here I cut off to finish errands. Arriving home to review radar as well as warning issuance, it lost the warning not long after breaking away so for going blind, the situation worked out quite nicely. A secondary cell in Vermilion County reportedly did produce a tornado.


Later, a new batch of storms moved into Dewitt County. Riding on the same boundary, they looked good in the beginning but as they drifted SE, lost their intensity. I ended up getting suckered into following all the way to Coles County from near Charleston.

Now approaching Charleston/Mattoon area, the pileus cap is what caught my eye.

Riding it's own outflow boundary, bases were interesting but never reached warning criteria.

Abandoning at Charleston, I dropped down to Lerna just to see what this small town of about 300 looked like. Not much to view other than depression but wasn't about to go home empty handed.

Later at Lovington.


sknr31 said...

awesome post!

Suz said...

I second that ..awesome!

Dann Cianca said...

Great shots, Pual. Looks like it was close!