July 11, 2015


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Gillespie, IL
Springfield, IL 3:07 PM 7/11/2015
Springfield, IL 8:39 PM 7/11/2015
Gillespie, IL
0 mph
RFD Clear Slot


Low probability, local chase in central IL. Intercepted afternoon storms noting base with possible RFD clear slot and lowering. Brief condensation or dust cloud noted at surface, but unable to confirm tornado.

Crew and Equipment

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




Low expectation chase in my Illinois "backyard". I wasn't expecting a tornado, just hoping for some pretty storm shots.

Core Punch
8 miles NNE of Shipman, IL
7:06 PM
Punching the core in some very un-Illinois like terrain.
Chasing in July has some disadvantages. The corn is tall enough that it can seriously obstruct your view of the base. THe high humidity often contributes to a substantial lightning hazard too. These storms were spitting out cloud to ground bolts left and right. The lightning can be photogenic and dramatic, but for safety's sake you have to stay in the car when there is CG activity like this.

Rotating storm
4 miles WNW of Gillespie, IL
7:19 PM
Near Gillespie I caught up with a rotating storm that may have been a weak/brief supercell. It wrapped up with what looked like a rear flanking downdraft clear slot and a scuddy lowering with some vertical motion. I even some condensation or dust kick up from the ground for about two seconds. It was gone before I could get a camera on it, although another local storm chaser was able to capture a shot of it. It may have been a weak tornado, but I'm not going to count it since I can't really confirm it.


Fun for a backyard chase, but this was a borderline bust in terms getting photogenic storm structure. I didn't miss much across the region though as this was also a low expectations day.

Lessons Learned

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