Saturday, September 15, 2012

09/07/12 September Elevated Convection

Elevated convection trying to become
surface-based outside Lincoln, IL

On September 7th, I started the day in my hometown of Kewanee, IL. It seemed the "consensus" was that a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) would form in Iowa the previous night and head into west-central Illinois near sunrise. Elevated convection formed in eastern Iowa as expected before sunrise and began to head into west-central Illinois so I was already out photographing by 5:00am. I found myself setting up in my parent's backyard knowing I was possibly chasing later in the day across central Illinois. I captured some CG's from this elevated convection as it approached Kewanee, IL. I ended up seeing a nice shelf at sunrise, but poor lighting and raindrops killed my chances to photograph it to my standards. If I had been at my apartment in Peoria, IL I would have fared much better seen here. By early morning, I was already arriving back in Peoria, IL to analyze the afternoon chase potential. I was in a box on this day as I couldn't go far as I had to work early on Saturday so I chose to play around most of the afternoon with elevated convection in central Illinois near Lincoln, IL and hope something would go crazy and become surface-based. It may have not been what I was thinking or hoping for, but I was able to capture some photogenic convection that was elevated along I-55 outside Lincoln, IL. This convection was trying to become surface-based. This area was characterized by 1,000J/kg of CAPE, 0-6km shear at 50kts, and the presence of a moist boundary-layer with dew points near 65°F. After realizing it just wasn't gonna happen on this day with lingering convection an issue I headed back to Peoria, IL by early evening. I've added photos and a video from the "chase" day below:

Elevated convection prior to sunrise as
 it approached Kewanee, IL...
 Probably the best of this bunch...
 Early-afternoon elevated convection along I-55...
 Elevated, but about to get a little more interesting!
 This storm having a tough time becoming
surface-based at this time...
 Much better looking at this point! (30 minutes later)
You can actually see the updraft nicely tilted (left)...
Low-CAPE/high shear environment!
 Picturesque elevated convection looking southwest
with a rain foot!
 One last shot as I throw in the towel!
I've added a YouTube time-lapse (above)

That's all for now. I'm already looking forward to fall photos here in the coming weeks. Hopefully, like year's past I'll find some time to check out a few local destinations to observe some fall colors over the next month.