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  • Andrew Pritchard

May 16th 2019 | HP Tornado Warned Supercell on the Illinois/Indiana Border

What a storm this was, on a day that I hadn't even planned to chase.

An overnight MCS, or organized cluster of thunderstorms was dropping out of Wisconsin and into northern Illinois. While forecasts the day before hadn't called for thunderstorms in the area, the environment was primed ahead of this ongoing area of storms. Question marks remained during the morning however - would the storms simply die out during the late morning? Would they continue on as they were, producing mostly damaging winds? Or was there a chance that we could see downscale organization into discrete, supercell thunderstorms? Obviously the latter evolution would be preferred.

I had a flexible work day ahead, so I worked from the home office and kept one screen focused on the radar as the storms continued dropping south.

As luck would have it, as the storms dropped into eastern Illinois, the western flank began to show some signs of downscale organization into individual, discrete storms. I decided it was close enough that it was worth heading out and keeping things honest. If things didn't pan out, I'd only be an hour or so away from home. We were leaving for our extended storm chasing trip in a few days, so this felt like a nice appetizer.

I'll let the video and photos tell the rest of the story:


The storm begins taking on a supercellular appearance in northern Vermilion County, IL:

While making my way back home, windows down, Cubs game blasting, blissed out on supercellular goodness - I decided that I'd absolutely earned the first banana cream pie tornado from the Sidney Dairy Barn in Sidney, IL.

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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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