May 19, 2005


Local chase originally anticipated but called off due to lack of storms.  Cells finally fired early in the evening with one severe warned cell approaching Plainfield.  Doppler radar indicated midlevel rotation so left for Plainfield to spot.  Greeted by shelf cloud and tornado sirens in Plainfield.  Encountered pea sized hail and sub-severe winds.  Encountered large tree down at Route 59 and Route 30, filed Local Storm Report over the Bolingbrook Skywarn repeater.


My cousin Bob and I were planning on a local chase based on marginal conditions for severe weather.  Bob hung around until 4:30 before we called the day a bust.  Storms fired shortly after but I was still reluctant to plot a bust. 

Just after 5, a severe warned cell intensified northwest of Plainfield.  Doppler radar was indicating rotation in the mid-levels of the storm with a large couplet on the velocity display.  With this I left to do some local spotting.

I originally planned on taking Weber Road to I-55 to get into Plainfield but it was peak rush hour and the traffic was backed up for miles.  After wasting almost twenty minutes stuck in traffic I finally caught a side road and zig-zagged my way west.

The storm had a prominent shelf cloud, which I was unable to photograph while driving.  The traffic caught back up with me just as I entered Plainfield, and I was caught in the core.  Pea sized hail and winds up to 40 mph (estimated) engulfed the Shibster for a couple of minutes. 

Local Storm Reports
The storm killed the power in town, but despite the traffic lights being out, the traffic finally cleared and I was able to proceed south on Rt. 59 to keep up with the storm.  At the intersection of Rt. 59 and Rt. 30 I encountered a tree approximately 1 foot in diameter downed and in the road.  I reported the wind damage over the Bolingbrook Skywarn repeater and the report made the Local Storm Reports log (woohoo).  Other hams on the repeater were reporting quarter sized hail on the south end of the town.  I continued south but the storm had passed by already, leaving the ground white in its wake.