May 17/18, 2004


Driving home from Norway, IL the weather radio sounded with a severe thunderstorm warning for La Salle County.  Sheridan was in the warning text and it was just down the road so I pulled off in an open area to "spot."  Storm rolled in at 1:20 am, measured peak gust of 26.3 mph, heavy rain, and no hail.  Warning was cancelled 10 minutes later and so I went home.


Well, I'm not going to write much up on this one.  I was on my way home from a date with Jenny.  We saw the movie Troy and then ate ice cream while watching lightning in the distance.  A slight risk, and later a severe thunderstorm watch were in effect.  However, this was a day to see Jenny not go storm chasing.
I left Jenny's house in Norway at about a quarter to 1, and not long after, a severe thunderstorm warning came up on the radio for La Salle County.  The storm was forecasted to reach Sheridan at 1:20 am (its now May 18, even though the event is listed at the 17th).  Well, Sheridan was just down the road so why not?  I found a nice open area a few miles east of Sheridan and watched the shelf cloud come in right on cue at 1:20 am.  The air was eerily calm before the storm struck.  The anemometer read 0 for a long time.  The radio warned of 60-75 mph gusts and penny sized hail.    However after the shelf passed I was greeted with a maximum gust of 26.3, heavy rain, and no hail.  The warning was cancelled 10 minutes later, and so I headed home in the rain.


I didn't get a chance to call in any severe weather on this spotting event, but I got a nice lightning show.  No severe weather reports came in close by.  The storm line must have intensified briefly on doppler to trigger a warning, even though nothing materialized.  After 1:30 everything was weakening to a blob of rain.