Monday, June 09, 2014

Clinton Washout Part I

This past weekend was the first annual Clinton Antique Mall Art Show in Clinton Illinois. The Barn Colony Artists group from Decatur was in attendance as was I to assist in setup and to also show some of my photography. Saturday started out nice but had a mild turnout. The event would wrap up early due to showers and storms lifting from the southwest. Upon zipping up the tent, I took off towards home but paused to shoot the somewhat photogenic leading edge.

c/o RadarScope

This wave of precipitation was of no concern with respect to the festival or at least our tent that could handle it. While at home relaxing and watching new development later, a tornado watch would be issued namely for points southwest. On the verge of falling asleep, my iMap Weather Radio app went off with an alert that did not register until Ava was like "DADDY THERE'S A TORNADO WARNING FOR SPRINGFIELD!!!" Jumping up to make an immediate assessment, I quickly got my stuff together and rolled out but not for the existing warning. To the south and east of the warned cell, I noted circulations moving into Christian County that could potentially intensify so I carefully maneuvered in that direction. On back roads southwest of Mt. Auburn I found myself watching both a strong area to the immediate west and a weaker eastern component to stream nearly overhead that upon passage became a bit more vigorous. While being both cautious and attentive under this broad area of rotation, I was awed by an array of circular motions as well as plumes of condensation that were rapidly ascending. Unfortunately I am at loss to name this phenomena for I could not discern vorticity to use the term 'funnel cloud'. No complaints though for anomalous macro mesoscale features fascinate me to no end and the experience was very surreal.

The stronger area to the west that also developed a 'hook' on radar shortly before this shot. I wish I could have got it at the precise moment so to offer visual confirmation for everyone following this storm online.

My attention was now turning to what had passed nearly overhead including multiple areas of interest with the strongest area of rotation further upstream and can be seen in the end video. Things would eventually calm down for points east of Springfield despite new warnings in Sangamon County.

Much later towards dusk and downstream from the previously warned cells out west aligned along the same boundary draping SE into Macon County, some mushy structure in the blue hour light. Although warnings had all but expired by now, this would not be the end of the story to this particular weather event.

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