Wednesday, July 2, 2014

06/21/14 West-central Illinois: MCS

 Stormy skies move into west-central Illinois along U.S. 136 as a MCS pushes east of Havana, IL

On June 21st, I monitored the weather situation through midday from Peoria, IL while waiting for a Mesoscale Convective Vortex (MCV) to initiate convection in west-central Illinois. The region in west-central Illinois featured 3,000J/kg of CAPE, 0-6km shear near 30kts, and a moist boundary-layer with dew points near 71°F. The first severe thunderstorm would initiate during the early-afternoon near Bushnell, IL. I decided to chase on this day realizing that convection would quickly morph into a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) once these severe thunderstorms formed a cold-pool. I headed south and west to intercept this intensifying severe thunderstorm along the Illinois River. I found myself heading south near Glasford, IL and later heading southwest along U.S. 24 near Havana, IL where I first got a good view of these severe thunderstorms becoming outflow dominate. New storms quickly developed as well morphing into a severe MCS. I crossed the Illinois River at Havana, IL and kept up with the shelf cloud and outflow dominate severe thunderstorms along U.S. 136. I pulled over several times along this highway throughout the mid-afternoon snapping many photos of the shelf cloud from these storms. I was pleasantly surprised to find some photogenic scenes along this highway to my enjoyment. I continued tracking this MCS all the way to I-55. Once it appeared these storms were weakening I dropped south on the interstate and briefly ventured on I-72 west of Springfield, IL. The storms were pushing to far south at that point though from home so I decided to drive back to Peoria, IL to relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend. I've added photos from this local chase day below:

 Picturesque whale's mouth moving overhead!
 Illinois grain bins and the storm rollin' in...
 A beautiful spot along U.S. 136 with wild flowers in the foreground and quite a storm moving-in!
 A beautiful June storm and a colorful foreground!
 An irrigation system and more stormy skies...
 This might very well be my favorite shot on this afternoon!
 This white barn worked perfect with the teal background...
 My last shot of the day just off I-55 along U.S. 136 near Emden, IL

Another successful chase with photogenic scenes once again. It's nice to do some "shelf cloud" chasing from time to time when tornadoes are not in the forecast. I also caught another severe thunderstorm locally on June 22nd. I'll update with that post at a later date.