May 15, 2009 – Chase in Champaign County

After Wednesday’s adventure, I was really not wanting nor planning on chasing today. I had a lot of things to catch up on at work, but I wasn’t completely ignoring the weather. At 2:35pm, a tornado watch was issued for a big chunk of central Illinois and part of eastern Missouri. A tornado warning was issued shortly after for a cell in western Illinois. I watched it progress across central IL, but I was not seeing any reports of tornadoes. It continued to generate tornado warnings as it moved east, so I continued to keep an eye on it. Around 6pm I finally finished up my work and needed to head to the post office to mail some things. I decided since I was heading outside, I might as well take the gear with me and do a local chase. After setting up the gear and filling up the gas tank, I departed Champaign at 7:00pm. I stopped out in the country on CR 1500N just west of Rising road to watch the storm roll in. I wasn’t seeing much of a concern from my vantage point, though I was probably too far north to see the potential area of circulation. I decided to head south and then east to keep ahead of the storm. Around 7:30pm I encountered about a minute of small hail which I thought was going to last longer than it actually did. (luckily not the golf ball sized that was reported in Monticello!)

I made it to Tolono and decided to head back north on Rt. 45 towards Champaign as it was getting dark and the storm was piddling out. It was slow going as it was really pouring and water was starting to pond on the roadway. As I attempted to get back home, the flooded roads in Champaign were making that simple task very difficult. I turned around numerous times and then finally pushed through a flooded section of Prospect Ave hoping the car wouldn’t die. I finally arrived home at 8:20pm.

Final Thoughts:
Not too bad for such a short and impromptu chase. At least the belt stayed on the car this time despite driving through some decent amounts of water. 🙂 Hopefully I won’t have to worry about that issue any further.


Total Mileage: 38 miles
Gas per gallon: $2.29

2 thoughts on “May 15, 2009 – Chase in Champaign County

    1. Stan Olson Post author

      Yeah I was really hoping the hail would have lasted longer. It always makes for great video, but it just wasn’t meant to be. They showed some golfball – baseball sized hail on the news last night, so I guess it’s good that I missed that. 🙂

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