Chase Date: March 8, 2009
Miles Logged: 690
States Chased: IN
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks
The setup was highly sheared/low instability, and I had the day off, so I thought I would get out for the first time in 2009. My original target was near West Lafayette, IN, however, I woke up to convection already in Illinois. I took off in a hurry and hit 69 south.
The original plan was to go west on 70, and get towards Western Indiana, however, by the time I hit Indianapolis I realized that the line had broken into 2 segments, and the only tornado warned cells were to my southwest in Southern Illinois. After realizing this, I was already on I-70 so I had to take the I-465 loop back to I-65 to head south as that looked like my best road option. I took I-65 to Columbus, IN and then took IN-46 west towards Nashville and Bloomington, IN.
The original plan was to get to Bloomington and then south to get in front of the storms on IN-37, however, I had to stop to use the rest room and filled up my gas tank. I also was unaware of how hilly and full of trees the area west of I-65 was in Indiana, and spent most of my time annoyed trying to get through. I made it to Bloomington as reports were coming in of funnel clouds to my Southwest.
I headed down IN-446 south through the Hoosier National Forest (Chasing in a National Forest is worse than stabbing yourself in the eye) and intercepted the cell as it was leaving Bedford, IN. I got in the rotation, but didn’t see much more than some rain wrapped hills. I followed the cell across US-50, and ended up seeing a wall cloud just east of Brownstown. I stopped off in Seymour, IN to take some footage of clouds with tornado siren backdrops. I then called it a day and headed home, stopping off at John Brouwers house in Fort Wayne before getting home a little before midnight.
All in all, a great first chase. I was disappointed to find out that the Fayetteville, IN tornado was rated EF-3 as I missed it by about 15 minutes. NWS Indianapolis Writeup
Also, my new Cradlepoint CTR 350 came on Friday, and I got to test it out during this chase. It worked even better than expected, and I was very happy with the performance.