There’s nothing like waking up in December to a tornado watch, flash flood watch, and wind advisory all at the same time. I had my eye on this day for awhile so I was anxious to get back out there one more time this year. The SPC had issued a moderate risk for SW Illinois mainly for high winds but tornadoes were also possible given the amount of wind shear. Things were starting to fire up around 10:00am in western Illinois. I started going through all my gear and realized I needed to reactivate my AT&T data card. Unfortunately, they apparently decided to do away with their unlimited data option for prepaid service so that seriously limited my options. I don’t like to chase without data, so I decided to wait for the storms to get closer before venturing out. I grabbed the camera gear, GPS, and cell phone and left the laptop at home. (old school chasing, sort of!) 🙂
I hit the road at 12:45pm and headed west on RT 10 from Champaign. Due to the rapid movement of the line of storms, there wasn’t really a target area. The goal was to try to get in front of a bowing section of the line and see what happened. At 1:24pm, I stopped at 2150N / 400E in Piatt County just SW of Deland. That part of the line was just approaching my location, but I did not encounter the 60-70mph winds that the western counties were receiving. I continued on south and then east through Monticello as I tried to keep up with the storms. I stopped again at 1:50pm east of Monticello to shoot some more video of the approaching storms. I put the anemometer on the roof of the car and anxiously watched the displayed. Unfortunately, I only managed to squeak out a boring 36 mph wind gust. I decided to call it a chase at this point and head back home to Champaign.
Not too shabby for an end of the year chase. Chasing without the laptop was challenging yet was a tad bit fun at the same time. I will need to work out a few kinks for next chase season, but I had fun today. At least all the ice we’ve had melted away today, but we have more on the way. 🙂
Total Miles: 62
Good for you man! Whale’s mouth in December… didn’t see such here but am guessing the line was still transitioning. Seemed like the tor warnings ceased after exiting Macon county though I wasn’t paying absolute attention. Nothing more fitting to end an unusual year than with an unusual event.
btw, that little iphone is pretty sharp 🙂
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