Tragic events unfolding since midnight would fall within the technical start of meteorological spring were this not a leap year with an extra calendar day that otherwise does not exist. Between the first observed February tornado in Nebraska's recorded history as well as damaging storms in KS, MO and IL, yesterday along with today will not be forgotten anytime soon. Awaking at 2AM, I took off with the intent of shooting lightning or structure on a squall line that was screaming in at an estimated 60MPH. Rather than try to get in the path of the worst which extended from Vandalia south, I stopped just N of Pana and set up at a familiar location to get a non severe portion of the squall line as it went over the city for there was absolutely no lightning to work with. Were it not for the available light of Pana to the S as well as distant Assumption to the N, there would be nothing to see. Winds howling out of the SW at 30MPH in near total darkness despite being in a relatively safe area was unsettling. Southern Illinois was particularly hard hit this morning which is not surprising given the intense returns and warnings that were ongoing while I shot. One can only imagine how terrifying the experience was and my hope at the time of this post is that loss of life is minimal. Thoughts are with those affected including some friends who were down that way and are a little shook up from this event.
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