8/29/09 Chase Recap & 6/19/09 MI Tornado Survey

Last Saturday looked like there could be a possibility of waterspouts over Lake Michigan. I checked over all the data, and even the forecasts discussions pointed to a possibility of waterspouts.

I then proceeded to grab some BUFKIT profiles near the shore of Lake Michigan, and begin my forecasting process. At first I was a little worried about the cloud depth, as it didn't look great, but as the days got closer, it got better-but not as great as it could be. Luckily BUFKIT has a lake effect setting to set water temps (which I grabbed off the NOAA GL Forecast) and then it gives you your surface temp to H85 temp split, or delta-t. Two days before last Saturday, I became more worried about the winds, as they showed 20-30kts.

All forecasting aside, I headed up to Muskegon to look for waterspouts, but busted. I'm going to assume the winds were too strong, and undercut any stretching of vertical vorticity. I recorded 21mph sustained winds and a 32.6mph gust-all over 4 hours.

8/19/09: Tornadoes in Central Illinois

Event Summary:

An MCS pushed ENE-ward through Missouri, and Illinois, and had a few embedded supercells in it, and was dropping tornadoes left and right.

At least two were confirmed in central Illinois. A small town of Williamsville, IL also got hit, where some houses were destroyed as well as a convenience/gas station. It seemed to be pick and choose, as I counted as many as four distinct rotations at one time. It was all just a matter of which storm the chasers wanted to choose.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting at home doing some hefty armchair chasing, and watching these embedded supercells in high resolution through GRLevel2 AE. I notice some crazy rotation just about to hit Williamsville, so I check the NROT values, and they are at 2.0+.

A yellow TVS then pops up, which showed a NROT of ~2.0 at 800ft! You will see in some of the pictures below how pronounced this rotation was.I've also created an animated image of SRV in 3D, where you can clearly see the tornado, which lasted for many scans.

8/9/09 Chase Recap

Large cells had exploded in IA that morning, and were headed our way. My Dad and I left around 5:30PM and went towards Kalamazoo on I-94. The squall line that had just come ashore didn't look very impressive on radar. I looked at the velocities, and noticed the storm coming ashore near Grand Haven. We didn't have much time, so we quickly headed toward Grand Rapids.

Just north of Grand Rapids, it began to get really windy. Trees were blowing like crazy, and you could hear the wind hitting the car as we cruised down the road. Debris started to fly across the road, but luckily it was only leaves, and small branches. We were now in the bulk of the storm, but not quite far enough in front like I planned.

I was hoping to get far enough ahead of it for a little bit so I could pull off the road, and get some wind measurements. By the time we could get anywhere remotely in front of the storm, it had started to die out.

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