Sunday, August 27, 2017

06/17/17 Alpha, IL Supercell

A rotating wall cloud northwest of Alpha, IL 

On June 17th, I spent the day in Peoria, IL and by mid-day headed west toward Monmouth, IL to wait for severe convection to develop later in the evening. The area in west-central Illinois that I was targeting featured 3,500J/kg of CAPE, 0-6km shear at 35kts, and a moist boundary-layer with dew points near 71°F. By evening, storms had initiated in southeast Iowa and eastern Iowa. I decided to head north on I-74 toward Alpha, IL to intercept a developing supercell that initiated near Muscatine, IA that was moving southeast. I pulled off the interstate and watched this supercell get closer with a nice rotating wall cloud. At one point, it did funnel off the wall cloud and I heard of a tornado being reported, but I never could get a clear view if the funnel touched down or not based on my position to the storm at that time. Once the storm got closer I continued east and south straddling the supercell, but never could pull back ahead of it like I wanted to near Wyoming, IL where it had some rotation on radar. Eventually new storms developed along I-74 and began to overtake me from the southwest at sunset as I drove back home to Peoria, IL. I shot all the photos below with my Canon 5D Mark III and a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I've added a few photos from the late evening chase below:

First view of the wall cloud!
A lot of water/hail in this supercell!
High-precipitation (HP) supercell to my north!
Funnel cloud attempt off the wall cloud...
A circulation, but the storm is struggling to contain its outflow...
 One more photo before heading back southeast...

That will wrap up this post and my summer vacation. Overall, it was a successful trip and I had a good time traveling, storm chasing, and visiting some neat places and national parks. After my vacation, I've been quite busy with portrait photo-shoots and some nature photography as well. I also traveled and photographed the solar eclipse near Hopkinsville, KY on August 21, 2017. It was amazing and I'll be adding a post in the coming weeks featuring some of my shots from the solar eclipse. I also plan on doing more photography during the fall so I'm sure I'll be posting more as needed over the next few months. Stay tuned.