Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: May 30, 2008
Miles Logged: 850
States Chased: IL
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

I started Friday May 30th off by working a half day, leaving work around 11:45 am. After meeting my dad at his house, we finally got on the road around 12:45 after wasting some precious time.

We shot down I-69 to I-94 and made it to the Illinois Toll Road and then down I-57 where we drove into the rain bands between Champaign and Kanakee. The cell we were in was actually tornado warned as we were going through it, but it didn’t look impressive in person or on radar, so we continued to the south and west where the more isolated cells were. We got off I-57 at 136 and took that to 54 southwest towards Clinton. The cell coming into Clinton, IL at the time was Tornado Warned and looked somewhat impressive on radar. Some of the roads were pretty flooded in Clinton, and we got south right into the area of rotation on radar. Everything was a mess.

After chasing after the Clinton cell for a bit, we dropped south to Decatur and got onto I-72 and took it over to Mechanicsburg, IL which was in the direct path of the cell coming out of Springfield, IL. Tornado Sirens were blaring in Mechanicsburg when we dropped south a way and took some footage of a beautiful HP Supercell.

We dropped further south to the updraft region of the cell as it appeared to be cycling. We ended up just east of Edinburg, and went west towards another promising cell. We stopped at Edinburg to fill up the van and headed west on 104 towards I-55 and Pawnee. We got almost to I-55 when the cell was reportedly dropping a Tornado near Waverly, IL. We dropped south and paralleled I-55 for about 5-10 miles before hanging back to observe the cell go by. Huge hail was reported with the cell, and we didn’t want to get cored.

As the sun was about to go down, we decided to call it a night and drove back through Langleyville, IL and up 48 to Decatur where we stopped at the Tasty Texas Roadhouse for dinner. We then drove all the way back to Michigan, arriving in Michigan back around 5 am.

All in all, 850 miles in about 17 hours, and it was worth every bit.