Sunday, July 25, 2010

07/19/10 Ring of Fire: MCS

The "Ring of Fire" weather pattern sparks a severe
over west-central Illinois south of Kewanee, IL

Monday, a rather large and potent MCS formed across portions of northeast Missouri and west-central Illinois. This MCS formed along a remnant outflow boundary from morning convection earlier in the day. This boundary set the stage for the clash of air masses with a more "stable" boundary layer to the northeast and a very unstable air mass to the southwest across Missouri. Add a rather potent shortwave trough and severe thunderstorms quickly initiated by late-evening across west-central Illinois along the edge of the central plains heat dome. Unfortunately, I was unable to get out and chase this event. I was kicking myself for not driving an hour or two south near Pekin, IL where some chasers found a picturesque shelf cloud at sunset though. Anyhow, I ended up staying home and decided to do some sunset/lightning photography with some atomic bomb anvils in the southern horizon. My laziness actually kind of payed off with a few decent photo opportunities at sunset, but not what I was hoping for. I've added some photos from the evening and night below:

One of those "atomic bomb" anvils at dusk
Looking southeast at the anvil blow-off off from
nasty convection in central Illinois
The sun sets on a decaying updraft in the western horizon
A few bolts I was able to grab around 10:00pm or so

Over the last few days we've really missed out on several chances for severe weather in the local-area. This was all due to the stationary front that had been hanging around for nearly a week never lined up quite right. Convection either fired south across central Illinois or way north along the IL/WI border for the most part this past week. Both of those areas however had major flooding problems over the last few days due to the heavy rainfall over prolonged periods. Anyhow, yesterday I did manage to get off work early enough to chase some severe convection in central Illinois last evening. I'll post those photos when I get a chance. One of the best shelf clouds I've seen in years actually! Stay tuned...