Central Illinois was under the gun for severe weather this past Monday with particular emphasis on a well defined warm front that was in place and expected to interact with an approaching dry line from the west. Though attention was predominately to the north along the I-74 corridor, favorable conditions well to the south near I-70 as noted by StormHighway.com would verify and become the more significant activity of the day. Development in eastern Missouri would quickly congeal into a severe warned linear mess. As this line propagated eastward, I decided to go south from Decatur towards Mt. Auburn and just wait for whatever may come. A cell at St. Louis lifting northeast earned tornado warning. Given my position in correlation to it, I dropped southwest through Taylorville towards Morrisonville after which I would stair step south and east on country roads to end up at Nokomis.
Between Morrisonville and Nokomis
Staying ahead of the precipitation wasn't too difficult given the relatively slow storm motion. The lead edge of the severe warned complex I was paralleling is overhead with the approaching tornado warned mesocyclone to the immediate southwest. Prior to this shot, I saw what appeared to be a brief spin up out ahead of this area. Bearing the characteristics of a landspout, a slender tendril looking funnel cloud arced down to the ground and was churning up dirt in an open field. Unfortunately there are no images as it was gone before I could stop or determine exact location but from my vantage, it did not seem threatening. Nokomis is relatively small with a population density of roughly 2200 residents and surrounded by open farmland.
Continuing east of Nokomis and upon finding a decent pull off, organization was loose but persistent.
Complete push button luck as I was also not out of the vehicle much.
Traveling east to give some space from namely the intense CG's (cloud to ground lightning), the parent feature would briefly wrap up into its best funnel cloud display while I was driving. On getting to a safe pull off despite having seen it firsthand, it was gone. Though I missed it, Andrew Pritchard fortunately did not.
The cell would try to organize again somewhat while approaching Pana.
Continuing northeast into Pana, I would get pinged by quarter sized hail but then clear the precipitation with enough time to fuel up at Tower Hill. Eventually I would stop from just north of Shelbyville.
Not sure what the message is but this area would go on to produce additional funnel cloud activity at nearby Findlay along with future tornado warning. It was also here that I surrendered to the core and made my way back towards home. Thankfully in spite of a few significant wind damage reports, the region was largely spared.
Finally, near sundown.