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May 24, 2006, nc IL Supercell/Lightning

 

When I left Blair this day I wasn't hoping for much and I was thinking I'd get in a chase in eastern IA and head back home that night. Well it didn't quite work out that way. While getting data east of Des Moines at a rest stop Amos Magliocco pulled up. He was on his way to Iowa City to meet up with some friends and hang out. It can be very odd how and where you meet chasers you know.

I headed east with my boundary and was soon in a tornado watch. I thought for sure the convection in ne MO was going to screw up my portion of the boundary while stuff in sw WI looked ok yet. But I was now there anyway so figured I might as well keep my boundary honest...and honest it was for quite some time. I've never chased in IL and have always cracked on it as a chase state with friends online(several from there). My best tornado encounter to date actually ended right on the IL/MO border. That was the closest I had ever came to chasing in IL. Well before I knew it I was crossing the Mississippi River into IL. I crossed at Savanna IL. The next couple images are on the Mississippi there. The first is looking sw at convection trying to get better. They seemed to do better right as I got into IL.

 

The area around Savanna was really pretty nice.

 

Tower still trying, now further into IL. I'm not sure if it was before or after this that I got pulled over. I'm in IL less than an hour and get a ticket for no seatbelt! What a crock. I wear my seatbelt whenever I'm highways, more or less. I'd say 90% of the time I'm on the highway it is on. Well for whatever reason it wasn't on as I went through some small town in the nw corner of the state. I'm going north through town when the cop goes by going south. Soon as he goes by he flips a u-turn in the street and pulls me over. It was certainly the longest stop I've ever had as well. So not only was I getting this bs ticket which doesn't have crap to do with the safety of anyone other than myself, I'm now falling behind my damn boundary again. I was pissed. They have nothing better to do than write tickets for that? It is an extremely stupid thing to ticket for if you think about it. I could smoke some cigarettes, drink some vodka every day of my life, do ultimate fighting, or any other possible harmful thing, but can't drive my own car without a seatbelt on. Stupid. What is more potentially harmful to the public, me not having a seatbelt on passing through or a copping flipping a u-turn right in the middle of town to ticket me for it? He asked me what I was doing and I told him. Then after 20 minutes of doing whatever back in his car he gives me the ticket and wishes me luck. I'm like, yeah now I'll have to speed to catch back up. Thanks!

 

After getting to leave that small town I RACED(lol) east to catch back up with things. As I neared I-39 just south of Rockford IL I noticed a storm to north getting much more interesting. The base was getting quite large back in the rain. I was actually already on some south highway next to I-39 and not able to get many looks at what it was doing. I go east on some highway to the north of De Kalb and watch a storm to its south approach from the west. There was another strong cell to the sw of this one, the most southern cell. My storm had some pretty good structure as it approached. I think it was a supercell with a mesocyclone on radar at this time. The next two images are of this storm. It was pretty HP in nature.

 

That storm went just north of me and I chose not to follow it east. I was pretty shocked when I saw how close I was to Chicago. I had backed the gps out a bit and was like, whoa, Chicago! I'm too far east! The southern storm still looked good on radar so I tried to drop south infront of it. I got into De Kalb and went south from there. I didn't make it. All I saw from it was blinding rain.

The real show started during twilight yet again. As a sky chaser I couldn't ask for much more than the following. The following exposures were all over 1 minute long I'm pretty sure. You can get some amazing images during twilight, that's all I can say I guess. It was nice that the anvil blow off wasn't very severe. For one this would allow you to see the stars behind the storm and two you get some cool wind blown looks from the long exposures. The other cool thing was the city added a smidge of red around the horizon. Thank you IL!

 

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