June 8, 2010


Initial Target: Jacksonville, IL
Departure: Westchester, IL 2:00 pm CDT
Arrival: Troy KS 12:00 am CDT
Intercepts: Jacksonville, IL
Tornadoes: 0
Hail: Non-Severe (not measured)
Wind: Non-Severe (not measured)
Features: None
Miles: 523


Marginal warm front chase across west central IL. Targeted storms initiating near Jacksonville but they failed to organize. Stopped for dinner with Adam Lucio, Danny Neal, and Matt Cumberland in Jacksonville and then headed west for a high plains chase the next day, noting dramatic sunset stormscape.

Crew and Equipment:

Solo chase.  Equipment:  Kenwood TH-F6A Tribander, Dell Inspiron Laptop.  Kyocera data card and router, Holux 236 GPS, Robotic camera dome with Sony XR-520V.




Tuesday's setup looked like a fairly marginal day across central Illinois. There wasn't much organization at the surface to pinpoint a target, and SPC went with a rather mediocre 5% which covered rather broad zonal flow across the area with moderate instability. I targeted west central Illinois hoping to keep the chase in Illinois and not have to cross into Missouri. The following days looked like there could be some good upslope play out in Colorado or Wyoming so I used this day as a stepping stone for my trip out west.

I fooled around with some very linear storms near Jacksonville, IL before I realized they were not going to organize into supercells. I called off the chase and met up with Adam Lucio, Danny Neal, and Matt Cumberland at the Hardees in Jacksonville for some dinner.

After dinner I headed west into Missouri. I punched through a severe warned storm right at sunset. Coming out on the backside I had quite the stormscape as the setting sun lit up turbulent low clouds fiery shades of orange. It was rather surreal looking and was a pretty end to an otherwise big bust of a chase.

I made it all the way to eastern Kansas before I got tired and pulled off for the night. I found a hilly area by some farms on a quite dirt road to bunk down for the night. I stepped outside for just a moment to test to see if the ground was OK to park on and when I got back into the van a gigantic horsefly had gotten inside. The thing must have been a couple inches long and it sounded like an airplane flying around. The next couple of minutes was a life and death struggle between me and the fly before I was finally able to smash the thing on the door leaving a huge mess.



This chase was a big bust, but I was heading out to chase upslope setups on the high plains the next few days, so I didn't feel like it was a waste at all. It was nice meeting up with Adam, Danny, and Matt as well as seeing the cool stormscape at the dusk. It seems like every other target produced tornadoes except Illinois including the dreaded Iowa where I had busted terribly three days earlier.



Lessons Learned: 

  • Be careful of the bugs when stopping for the night in rural parts of the plains.