October 3, 2006

Statistics:

Initial Target: Monroe, WI
Departure: Chicago, IL 12:00 pm CDT
Arrival: Chicago, IL 10:00 pm CDT
Intercepts: None
Tornadoes: 0
Hail: None
Wind: Non-Severe (not measured)
Features: None
Miles: 251.0

Summary:

Chased slight risk setup in southern Wisconsin.  Departed from Chicago with Fabian Guerra targetting Monroe, WI.  Blue skies all the way to Monroe.  CINH erosion proved insufficient, and cap never broke.  Called chase a bust at dusk without spotting a single cumulus.

Crew and Equipment:

Chase team included Fabian Guerra. Equipment consisted of a TH-F6A Tribander, and GPS/Cell Phone equipped laptop.

Details:

Fabian and I geared up for a late season chase.  We knew the cap was going to be an issue, and that initiation wasn't expected until the evening so we held off our departure until the afternoon.

This was my last chase with the Averatec laptop, as it died on me a month later, taking all my pictures from this chase with it.  I didn't lose much though.

We headed toward Rockford on 90 and then took 20 west, before turning north and winding up in Monroe WI.  We got some dinner at the Subway and gassed up at a country store/gas station.  They had every kind of nut, mix, snack, candy you could think of.  I was in heaven.  I picked up some pumpkin seeds and chocolate covered almonds.  Excellent chase snacks.  Monroe itself was a nice stop.  The road options were good with North/South, and East/West options, and free wifi at the hotel.  I'll definitely base my operations there next time I target southern WI.

Fabian and I spent the rest of the day and evening sitting in the parking lot of a hotel stealing wifi.  There was a CINH hole over the IA/WI border extending up into MN, and we were hoping things would initiate in there.  However, the next RUC run spelled our doom as the hole started to fill back in.  We didn't give up hope though, as there was a chance the low level jet moving in later could force storms over the cap.  We stayed put and SPC stuck to their forecast as well.

I milled around taking pictures of ducks and the setting sun at a nearby pond.  Fabian chilled in the van.  The cap never broke and we didn't spot so much as a cumulus cloud the entire day.  At dusk we finally called it a bust and started heading back.  It was a blue skies bust, but the indices had suckered us out.  At one point the supercell composite had a bullseye of 44 over southwest WI.  Nothing could get over the cap though.
Conclusion:

It was a blue skies bust, which is better than a missed tornado bust.  We would have been kicking ourselves big time if we blew off the chase because of the cap, and the storms managed to break it.  Milling around on an otherwise beautiful day was a small price to pay.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • Monroe, WI is a great chase stop.
  • Don't wait several months before writing your chase logs.