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  • Andrew Pritchard

April 29th 2017 | Allenville, IL QLCS Embedded Supercell

A slight risk day across central Illinois that had linear storm mode written all over it. All of the convection allowing models showed bowing line segments racing across central and southern Illinois during the evening. What made this a little different than your typical linear storm day was the environment that these segments would be moving into. A warm front draped between Interstate 72 and Interstate 70 would play a roll in inducing embedded supercell structures within the line, and the potential for very brief, typically weak tornadoes. These are often fleeting, hard to see, and generally weak. But it was local, and a Saturday in April, so you chase.

It's a goal of mine to get Sophie a tornado, and things played out as such that she could come along with me on this day. I always worry about taking along non-chasers who don't truly understand how much driving, and how little watching tornadoes that storm chasing really involves. But hey, if you can't spend a few hours in the car with your wife...

We left Urbana during the mid-afternoon targeting a kink in the line that was soon to be interacting with the warm front near my general target area of Taylorville to Shelbyville, IL. (I wound up intercepting near Allenville... apparently the hot-spot for the 'Villes!)

Almost like magic, the moment we began approaching the supercell embedded within the line a Tornado Warning was issued for our area. Rotation was apparent on radar - it was time!

Our first views of the supercell were murky, as is often the case with supercells embedded within a line, as well as intercepting a storm that is riding a warm front. However, the murk quickly cleared and we were treated to a gorgeous view of a rotating wall cloud tucked in a notch along the leading edge of the line. I truly thought we were going to witness a brief tornado as the storm spun across the road in front of us and continued racing away to the northeast.

It wasn't meant to be, and while we zig-zagged toward home along with the storm it never really showed any tornado potential beyond that moment.

I've compiled a few minutes worth of video of the more interesting moments during the chase:

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SKYDRAMA | Meteorologist & Atmospheric Photographer Andrew Pritchard

I'm a meteorologist born and raised in the American Midwest passionate about forecasting and observing severe storms.

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