I’m not even sure what day it is, but I did manage to chase yet again today after Saturday’s 1,200 mile marathon. After going to bed around 11:00am (yes, that says AM), I woke up around 1:20pm to the sounds of wind and rain hitting the roof. I loaded up radar and saw a nice looking cell up to the north of me. The next radar scan showed 1.25″ hail possible, so I knew it was growing rapidly. The NWS in Chicago issued a severe thunderstorm warning on it, so I couldn’t ignore it. I quickly gathered all my gear and stumbled to my car. (only 2 hours of sleep!) I made a gas stop to fill up the tank ($2.34/gal) and then headed north on I-57.
I got off at the Gilman exit and headed east on US 24 to follow the storms. At 2:24pm, a tornado warning went up for Iroquois county in IL as well as Benton/Newton counties in IN. I was picking up some traffic on the scanner of a confirmed touchdown south of Watseka. Data was spotty until I got into Indiana and visually the storm was not really visible. (too much rain) I continued into Indiana and then went north at Goodland, IN on SR 55. No matter how hard I tried, I could not keep up with the storms which had now gone linear. Data was showing some rotation on the velocity scan, but it was 20-25 miles east of me. I finally gave up and turned around south of Rensselaer, IN.
On the way back, I did notice a grain silo was damaged with debris thrown across the street in a field. I made my way back to I-57 and headed south to Champaign. I arrived back around 5:30pm.
Another frustrating chase day of 2005. I broke my cardinal rule of chasing to the east. Unless the storms are sitting still, do not chase to the east! 🙂 *yawn* I need some sleep…
Total Mileage: 210 Miles