April 30, 2022


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Bloomington, IL
Springfield, IL 11:24 AM 4/30/2022
Springfield, IL 9:50 PM 4/30/2022
Flanagan, IL; Ransom, IL; Strawn, IL
0 mph
Wall Cloud, RFD Clear Slot, Gust Front, Rainbow


Slight risk local play across IL. Targeted Bloomington area for afternoon supercells, intercepting storm north of the city with wall cloud before it gusted out over Joliet. Intercepted photogenic storm near Ransom, IL, followed by tornado warned storm with pretty sunset structure near Strawn, IL.

Crew and Equipment

Solo chase. Equipment: Sony AX100, Canon 60D with EF-S 10-22, Samsung S9.




I was rolling by late morning up 55 toward Bloomington to get ahead of early afternoon storms. I caught a small cluster of cells north of Bloomington with some initial wall cloud structure. Approaching from the west:
I dropped to Tail End Charlie in the cluster along with a few other local chasers. The RFD clear slot of one cell went directly overhead but I didn't see any tight rotation. Some wall cloud structure was attempted again as I tracked the storm north and east, but it was in the process of gusting out at this point. I followed the complex all the way into Joliet, getting mixed up in traffic and heavy rain before bailing back to the west for new development coming off the frontal boundary.

7 miles NNE of Streator, IL
5:49 PM
East of Streator a more classic type storm came into view.
There were some interesting looking lowerings in the inflow notch, but again I didn't see any strong or tight rotation.
The core behind a bowing gust front briefly clipped me, but I escaped to the south and east.

Sunset Updraft Base
5 miles NNW of Forrest, IL
6:51 PM
I tried to head off new development to my southeast coming out of the Bloomington area. The evening light was starting to get really pretty.
A cell went tornado warned between Bloomington and Gibson City before I could get to it. I waited downstream for it as it looked the circulation was heavily embedded within the precipitation core. It weakened and the warning was dropped before it got to me. I let the core of the storm pass overhead with some gusty wind and heavy rain.
The sun quickly appeared through the now narrow rain core. The back of the storm was lit up in brilliant colors and rainbows.

8 miles NW of Roberts, IL
7:32 PM

Colorful Gust Front
8 miles NW of Roberts, IL
7:33 PM

Rainbow and Sunset Gust Front
8 miles NW of Roberts, IL
7:33 PM
Following behind the RFD gust front, the storm was front lit by setting sunlight. I had to stop to shoot it as the colors were exquisite. The clouds were fiery orange and the background sky was a piercing electric blue. It was one of the most photogenic scenes of the season for me, and made my chase.
The colors shifted into deep shades of rose, burnt orange, purple and then flat grey as the sunlight faded. The storms also dwindled as the surface cooled. I called the chase and meandered down highway 54 for home.


A few tornadoes were reported in the region but I didn't come close to seeing any of them. I don't think I missed much in that regard, but the structure and color more than made this backyard storm chase for me.

Lessons Learned

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