- Andrew Pritchard
June 25 2015 | Carlinville, IL
This one hurt. I'm not sure why so much more than the others - perhaps accumulated frustration, or pressing too hard feeling the weight of 3 years with zero tornadoes and yet another peak tornado season coming to a quick end - but things didn't go at all how I'd expected and it sucks.
11:30 AM SPC Day 1 Outlook with a 'Slight Risk' over southern Illinois:
11:30 AM Tornado Probabilities at 2% in my southwest Illinois target:
Chased this one with both my dad and brother. We left the Champaign area right around 1 PM with a preliminary target of Springfield, IL and the plan to adjust either west or south from there after taking a look at things. Approaching Springfield I opted for us to drop south. Morning convection had exited the area and southwest Illinois was heating up nicely. I also expected shear along a boundary just south of Springfield to be conducive for supercells and at least one or two tornadoes.
It's two weeks after the fact at this point, and I don't feel like rehashing the ups and downs that then came along with sitting in Litchfield for about three hours watching subsidence/weak lapse rates win as towers would explode and then immediatelty turn to mush. Countless blips on the radar would quickly intensify and then disappear. No worries though - a complete mess of storms had already formed in eastern Missouri and was crossing into Illinois. These storms were barely severe, but completely capable of ruining the perfectly good environment that had been established in our target area.
After nearly giving completely up - low and behold, a classic mini-supercell quickly develops right in our target area. The only issue - the complete utter mess of rain and thunder was rapidly closing in and our supercell didn't have long before it would be swallowed up. To expedite the process, the storm cluster shot out a left-split (a storm that quickly moved northeast, the opposite direction of the other storms, which more quickly allowed it to swallow up our storm.
Meanwhile, our supercell quickly took on classic structure and developed a wall cloud. Upward vertical motion was intense, and it looked as it the storm could produce a tornado in the next 5-10 minutes. And then it was over. The mess from the south came swooping in, ate our storm, and went about it's business doing absolutely nothing. A complete waste, and a completely deflating chase. You target well, you finally, after much waiting, get a tornado-capable storm to develop in front of you, and a rogue mess of storms comes flying in and eats it up and ends your day. It's drives home after this kind of thing that I wonder why I bother.
Classic mini-supercell structure near Carlinville, IL:
Wider shot of the supercell over Carlinville moments before it was absorbed:
Supercell has been absorbed and killed, and a weak gust front gets in our way home: