June 28, 2015


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Hannibal, MO
Springfield, IL 2:31 PM 6/28/2015
Springfield, IL 8:00 PM 6/28/2015
Hannibal, MO
0 mph
Funnel Cloud, Wall Cloud


Warm front, northwest flow play in eastern MO. Targeted MO for afternoon supercells, arriving under tornado warning. Noted rope funnel just west of Hannibal and tracked rotating wall cloud over river valley. Targeted new storm to the southwest noting rotating wall cloud before it became heavily rain wrapped.

Crew and Equipment

Solo chase. Equipment: Canon 60D, Canon t2i, Canon EFS 10-22, Canon EF 50mm, Sony HDR-xr500v.




I headed out for a late season warm front play with some northwest flow over the MS River Valley. I initially targeted Hannibal, MO and arrived just in time. I got the SMS alert on my phone for the tornado warning while at the gas pump in town.
I scrambled west of town for a view of the base. A nice RFD clear slot came into view with a small cone funnel. It lasted a minute or two before roping out into a long, snakey thread nearly horizontal to the ground.

Wall Cloud
5 miles W of Hannibal, MO
4:34 PM
The storm cycled as it moved southeast over Hannibal, redeveloping a robust wall cloud.

Wall Cloud and Terrain
8 miles NE of New London, MO
5:06 PM
I tracked the storm southeast, following just behind the wall cloud on highways that parallel the Mississippi. The river bluffs and trees obscured views below the base for much of the time, but the storm's structure was dramatic.

Wrapping Up
11 miles E of New London, MO
5:27 PM
I found a scenic overlook with an elevated view over the River Valley and bumped into Tony Laubach there. The wall cloud looked it was wrapping up like we were about to get a grogeous elevated view of a tornado. It would have been the perfect shot. But it didn't happen and the storm started to fall apart.
Another cell to the west had a reported tornado on it, which turned out to be a brief rain wrapped spin up. I darted west through the forests of eastern MO for the intercept, coming into the small town of Eolia just as the storm arrived from the north. I had no view in town due to structures and trees. I chanced driving up a resident's driveway to get a peek at was happening behind. The homeowner was standing on his back porch. I introduced myself and told him I was out spotting storms. The apex of a rotating wall cloud was moving directly overhead, but there was no tornado yet. I advised him to take shelter as I ducked east out of town to the highway to clear the path of the wall cloud. Tracking the storm south a few miles, the wall cloud got dangerously close to the ground with some obvious motion underneath. It may have been another brief, weak tornado, but I couldn't confirm it at my position. The feature quickly became rain wrapped and the cell started to deteriorate. I called the chase and started heading home for Springfield.


I missed intercepting any of the several reported tornadoes in the region. They looked like small, brief ones though. The funnel cloud and structure more than made this relatively short range chase for me.

Lessons Learned

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