Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: September 27, 2009
Miles Logged: 504
States Chased: IL, IN
Largest Hail Encountered: 1"
Highest Wind Encountered: 60MPH
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

I started off already in the Chicago area. I had dropped Scott Bennett off at the hotel in the late afternoon time frame, and looked at radar. It looked like things were firing to the north of Chicago and would head over the lake and impact Michigan, so my inclination was to head back home. I was heading down I-294 and just passed I-55 when the SPC came out with a Mesoscale discussion. With the dynamics in place, I decided to stick around and head towards Joliet. Unfortunately I had passed I-55, so my next best option was down at I-80.

I headed down to I-80 then west towards Joliet where I stopped and got some food and filled up my gas tank along with prepping all of my streaming gear and chase gear. I then headed west down I-80 towards I-39 where I was going ot intercept the cell coming out of Clinton, IA. About the time I was getting to that cell, it fell apart, so I went back up to I-88 then over to DeKalb where I dropped back south to the cell developing to it’s Southwest.

As I was leaving DeKalb, the SPC issued a Tornado Watch. I ended up intercepting the cell down near Waterman, IL and followed it east on the decent road network in that area over towards Kaneville and then into Batavia where I found some tree branches of pretty significant size (4-6″) down in the road.

I then headed back down I-88 to I-355 and headed down to I-55 then to the Tri State Tollway. In retrospect, it would have been smarter to take I-355 all the way to I-80, but Streets & Trips didn’t show it going all the way down there.

A Tornado Warning was issued for the southern end of the line, and I managed to get down and into the action again. I ran into some 1/2 inch to 1inch sized hail near the IN/IL state line on I-94.

It was mostly uneventful after this, and I drove most of the way back home. I arrived home somewhere around 2am.