The morning view of the models showed an environment not quite as favorable for tornadoes as the night before, which was already marginal to begin with. Since I finally had the time, however, I decided to make a run for it, or at least get part of the way to St. Louis and monitor conditions, then if storms fired continue west.
The day didn’t start off well, as I had issues with my laptop. I had tried loading the Blackberry software onto it, and it didn’t fully install, and since that was corrupt, it wouldn’t let me remove it either! This was what I thought was causing an error when I turned on Tether to connect to the internet through my phone. As it turns out, in trying to remove the software, I also removed the necessary drivers for Tether to work, and that was the REAL problem. I ended up fixing the install and removing the BB software anyway.
So as I finally got on the road, there was an elevated cell going through northern Missouri dropping some BIG hail (reports of 4.5″ hail!). I decided I would intercept it since it was relatively on my way, thinking it would just be an appetizer for the main course further west a little bit later. As it turned out, this was all there really was to see yesterday. I caught up to it near Lakewood, IL and got into some decent hail, then kept driving around looking for bigger hail, and finally stopped and picked up some 1.25″ stones off the ground. By this time, however, it was 10 minutes after the hail fell, so I’m sure it was at least 1.5″ when it fell.
After that I sat on the side of the road within sight of a cell tower and watched the visible satellite images, and looked at the forecast models. Things didn’t really look favorable for anymore development, as the RUC showed a strong cap in place the remainder of the evening. I had already figured as much, since all of MO was under cloud cover. The only clearing was in southern IL, and the environment there wasn’t as favorable to begin with. So I packed it up and headed home in time to catch the UFC fight.