Monday, September 05, 2011

Saturday at Tuscola IL

It's hard to believe with the current early morning temp being a brisk 51 degrees that just a few days ago we were breaking regional records in the 100+ range. Suffice to say, a strong cold front dove through on Saturday and although limited in the extent of severe as well as overall precipitation coverage, it still produced notable weather. Ava had a football cheer event at Tuscola which eliminated the possibility of heading out but having to be there resulted in a unique opportunity. As we headed to the event, I was watching a vigorous cell to the N near Champaign. Upon maturation it collapsed and pushed out a gust front that would drop S and reach all the way to where we were going. Timing was such that it hit just as we arrived and with that, trees were swaying as people scrambled for cover. On a nearby baseball diamond I noticed a considerable amount of dirt quickly going airborne. Spending a few minutes at this spot, with each blast of the prolonged gust front passage, numerous gustnadoes were being spun up. Video of this phenomena would have been much more interesting than stills but no complaints for happening to be there at the perfect moment. Following up with the weather service would later confirm wind gust estimates to be around 35 to 45 MPH.

Things would eventually quiet down and the first half of the game went along uninterrupted. Shortly into the 3rd quarter, a strong cell would develop towards the SW and ultimately end the game. Although being away from bright stadium light would have been ideal, I made an attempt to capture this cell on the approach. Upon arrival it too had a somewhat intense gust front that was easily seen on radar.

After the passage and now heading home, facing E.

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