Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ten Years Ago, The Six State Supercell

Yesterday, March 12th, marked the ten year anniversary of a remarkable storm to canvas the mid state under the cover of darkness. Hard to believe a decade has passed. So much has changed and yet so much has remained the same. Most everyone has a story or at least knows where they were that night. It was among my most profound personal life experiences. The following was copied from an earlier blog.

With March you never know what you'll get due to the volatile clash of seasonal air masses. For this reason it is one of my favorite months although unlike January and February of this year (2014) it has been quiet by comparison. On the 12th in 2006, March volatility manifest in one of the most intense examples I have personally witnessed as a six state traversing supercell thunderstorm that wreaked havoc across the heart of Central Illinois. Originating in Oklahoma and cycling over an impressive near 800 miles before final dissipation in Michigan (Source), it stands as being the longest tracked supercell on record having even beaten The Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925. Armed with a weather radio and point and shoot camera from out in western Macon county north of Niantic, I was privileged to watch this beast pass through our area. Unsure of what I would go home with other than haunting visuals indelibly burned into my consciousness with the split second flicker of each lightning strike, I was very dismayed by what came off the camera initially. Fortunately there was just enough detail picked up due to the unimpeded full moon soaring high overhead that careful work in Photoshop enabled me to reveal not only structure but also a few tornadoes from what were otherwise scenes of black. If there ever was an event I wish I could revisit with my current knowledge of shooting in low light situations, this would be it. I'm confident that the terrified residents to find themselves in the unfortunate path of this historic storm would however, unanimously object.

Video captures

The storm is pulling away to the northeast, who knows what could be happening under there.

School Road facing west towards Lincoln Memorial Road, the tree top originated from the property in the distance.

SE corner of Kenney and School roads, still in the ground!

NW corner but was lifted and lofted up over to past the NE corner, a survey map of the path can be found HERE.

Later, the cold front and associated squall line would come raging through complete with vivid lightning and additional tornado warnings after midnight.


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