After not chasing since April, I was beginning to wonder if there would be anything left to chase this year. The morning SPC Outlook had central and eastern IL in a slight risk with the main focus on large hail and damaging winds. The mid-morning forecast discussion from ILX had mentioned the lower freezing level which meant hail would have a better chance than the past few days. A few storms fired up in northern Vermilion county during the morning, but nothing further west. I didn’t really expect anything to fire up, but I kept the weather software rolling throughout the day.
Around 1:15pm, a mesoscale discussion was issued for Missouri through Illinois regarding the possibility of severe thunderstorms. Storms started firing up in western IL around 2:00pm, but they didn’t look very promising at the start. Eventually the one got its act together and prompted a severe thunderstorm warning for Tazwell and McLean counties. At 3:10pm, a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for central/southern IL to western IN. (yay!) This cell was moving to the east-southeast somewhat towards Champaign county, but it appeared it wouldn’t make the city. (I’m getting lazy!) I decided to give it a go and left work at 3:30pm to grab my gear. (where did I put those darn cameras??)