21 April 2011

April 19th, 2011 - Central Illinois Supercell and Tornado

Started off the day in Effingham, IL. Storms developed to the west near Quincy, IL and quickly went tornado warned. Reed Timmer caught a nice tornado near Bowling Green, MO. We went west to Litchfield and a little bit further west to Carlinville to watch a newly develop cell. This cell was splitting on radar and I plotted us to the ESE of the splitting cell in hopes the right split would turn right and tornado. Eventually the cell would get its' act together and drop a beautiful tornado on I 55. It unfortunately damaged a home and was given an EF-2 rating. Pics and video below.

* Large HP base approaching... upon closer glance this was a moderately rotating wall cloud with strong inflow. The storm was just now tornado warned.
* Closer it got. Was moving E at 45-50 mph. The right to left motion on the right side of the wall cloud was getting stronger. It still looked pretty ragged but with rotation increasing it was a good idea to move.
* As we drove east on CR1600N I pointed the video camera behind me to see what I could get. A classic rounded supercell base with inflow bands curling around the cloud base. It was really getting wrapped up!
* Pretty bad screen grab, but this was to illustrate the rounded cloud base of this supercell with a wall cloud forming to the far right.
* Just west of I-55 stopped along the side of 1600N. I was keeping an eye on the far right of the image. I was wondering if some sort of tornado may be hidden in there, but it became clear that the show was directly in front of us... Intense rotation was present in this area.... I knew we had to get east as this storm was moving ENE and was going to drop just north of the road.
* Found a nice spot to pull off on a frontage road just E of I 55. Rapid rotation was ongoing and little rope funnels would develop and then dissipate.
* Thinking we were going to be teased, the storm finally dropped a large funnel and immediately a power flash occurred with tons of dirt being lofted.
* Tornado in progress about to cross I 55.
* Large tornado crossing I 55
* Tornado widens and is about to hit a home just E of I 55
* Tornado inflicting EF-2 damage on log cabin home
* Tornado continues NE into field near Raymond, IL before dissipating
* Tornado dissipates... was rated EF-2 with path length 3.5 miles and width of 200 yards.
* Crossing the damage path we stumble on this home with it's western wall taken off and numerous tree debris
* Wall cloud moving off to the east as the area is in shambles after the tornado passed through
* We go to check on the well-being of the home owner but are unable to make entrance due to down powerlines.... Bart Comstock is seen in front of us.

*Full version of the chase... initial wall cloud to full life cycle of tornado to damage afterwards.

* Just the full life cycle of the tornado here... the meat and potatoes!

Thanks as always for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I viewed and shared this video on my FB page. (naturally I supplied the credits) That was a great intercept, you were in the perfect position. Good job!
    Glenn Geise