I said yesterday was a surprise chase, but I suppose that isn’t completely true. I was aware of the marginal risk, and the stationary front, though said front was draped over northern Indiana, so I did not expect much down here. I was actually laying on the couch dozing off into nap land when I heard that glorious sound… thunder! To most people, this probably wouldn’t phase them, and they’d continue into a full-blown nap. For me, this was as good as blowing an air horn directly in my ear. Suddenly, I was wide awake.
I pulled up my trusty radar to find multiple storms in the area, one of which carried a severe t-storm warning. I gathered all of my electronic devices and headed out to see what kind of hail was in said storm.
The storm that caught my eye was actually in front of the currently warned storm. It had gained some intensity, but as soon as I started heading west, it began losing strength. Visually, I could see a pretty decent updraft, so I decided to get somewhere with a good view and at least watch it. As it approached, I was in awe that this thing was actually developing some decent structure.
A wall cloud forming with a little tail cloud, and are those striations? In Indiana?! Is there even that much shear in this environment? It didn’t look impressive at all on radar, but continued to look great in person. Obviously I had hoped that some sort of rotation would appear, and perhaps a funnel reaching down and high-fiving the ground, but I digress.
The storm wasn’t moving too fast, and there was a pretty good road network, so I was able to stay out in front of it pretty easily. The only issue was the trees. It took a little bit of searching to find an open area. Further west, the structure became even more impressive.
Are you kidding me?! I’ve never seen anything like this in my home state. And to think, this storm didn’t have any sort of warning on it! It was just a plain old run-of-the-mill thunderstorm. But who really cares about titles, anyway? All that matters is that the storm and I know the kind of relationship we have. And it was a good one!
I continued west, hoping that maybe, just maybe, this could turn into something more, although every time I took a peak at the radar it appeared this storm was losing intensity, rather than gaining it. The inflow looked pretty nice at one point, and even began to pick up some velocity, but there was never any left-to-right motion on the other side.
The striations are very evident on the picture above. That whole flying saucer was rotating broadly, albeit slowly. The wall cloud, however, never got any rotation. I ended up staying at this spot and letting the storm over-take me. After this, I drove south to get into the storm just behind this one. It carried with it some small hail. Like, really small. Not much to see there. I tried and tried to get some lightning shots, but to no avail. I actually did capture one earlier in the evening, but it was so quick on my long exposure that it was extremely faint on the picture. Well, I suppose I can’t complain! No big hail, no tornado, nothing severe at all, not even a warning of anything severe, but mind-blowing structure! I’ll take it!