I wasn’t really planning on chasing today, but the SPC teased me with the first morning Day 1 and the moderate risk that it plotted. The next 2 outlooks ended up moving the threat further east and south, but I wasn’t giving up hope yet. They issued a mesoscale discussion for eastern IL and western/central Indiana stating a possible watch was in the works. Satellite showed a nice clear slot pushing into IL and the upper level low was heading this way. Luckily things at work were going real slow, so I was able to sneak out early and prepare for a possible chase. The first severe cells were down in Perry/Washington county and were hauling it to the northeast. My plan was to head south and then jog east/south to intercept them.
I departed a little after 2:00pm and stopped to top off the gas tank. ($2.29/gal) I headed south on I-57 until I reached Mattoon. I decided to head east on Rt 16 till I got to Charleston. (go EIU!) After struggling through traffic, I made my way out of town a few miles. I heard a broken transmission on the scanner reporting a tornado on the ground in Macon county. I quickly pulled off the road and called my pal Mike Cox for an update. He said it looked like junk on radar, but said the warning stated there was a confirmed tornado on the ground. I decided to get back online and check this for myself. The stuff I was originally going for south of me seemed to be moving at a pretty good clip. I said the heck with it and decided to head back west and then north.