For a year that will not soon be forgotten in having produced an incredible amount of severe weather nationwide, it seems only fitting that the last day of 2010 would go out as one of historic notoriety. Central and SW IL over into MO were among those areas favorable for the formation of strong storms which did not waste time getting under way. At home and much earlier than I had anticipated, I watched as a training line of HP (high precipitation) supercells lifted NW from extreme SW IL. I took interest in a cell located extreme SW Morgan county and headed up into Logan county for possible intercept. I chose to go NW as storm motions were relatively fast so had I taken a W or SW approach, I would have never caught it. By the time I got through Elkhart, it was at Petersburg and producing significant damage. I jogged N to just S of New Holland which is where my encounter begins.
The storm now well past Petersburg and still tornado warned was very low contrast. This is looking WSW at the flanking line.
The area of most significant interest (though not appearing to be doing much as I believe it was in the process of cycling) would intensify upon passage.
Again with storm motions being difficult to manage, I basically had to keep moving. As I did, the rain would clear from under the base to reveal the following which appears to be a wall cloud replacement cycle complete with roping out funnel (left) and new development (far right). I was never able to verify if there may have been a tornado on the ground. This image has been contrast enhanced to reveal detail.
Note the separate little scud funnel just below the power line.
This is the image I initially posted to Facebook only better processed and left not rotated for effect.
Meanwhile I kept my eye on the SW flank for a persistent funnel that did not appear threatening but bore watching.
With the storm quickly drifting away, I attempted a somewhat creative shot before letting it go completely. Not long after, the storm would lose it's warning and the IL chaos of this day would for the most part be done.
With so much destruction not only in IL but also MO and elsewhere, coupled with the loss of life, the jubilant expression of "Happy New Year!" is hard to come by. I simply pray that 2011 is our safest and most prosperous year yet.
NWS Lincoln will be conducting surveys eventually found HERE while additional storm reports c/o SPC can be found HERE.