This section is for any miscellaneous and other storm chases conducted during my stay in the Midwestern United States and regions nearby for 2006 that are not part of a dedicated chase log. Here you should find many picture of lightning as well as many severe thunderstorm elements. Keep in mind that this chase log is scientific evidence and portrays my on-going storm chasing research. It has been placed on this page for easy reference and meteorological interests. Please do not plagiarize or copy this document to other sites for distribution.

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ABOUT THIS SPECIAL CHASE LOG FOR THE MIDWEST

This is a special chase log for any chases during 2006 in the Midwest and Central United States that fall into a "miscellaneous" chase category and / or do not have a dedicated page for them. Each chase section within this area will have its own details and such for that particular chase. This area was set up in the fall of 2006, since severe storms become more active during the perios from September through October in the US Plains and Midwest (this fall period is actually considered a "mini chase season" opposed to spring). Equipment use in such chases range from cell phone to HAM radio communications, digital / still cameras, video (SD) and high-definition (HD) camcorders, and data logging / GPS via laptop computer. Storm chasing involved driving in harsh conditions and / or for long periods of time.

All chases and observations are in chronological order and a chase number is assigned to each entry. Please bear in mind that all observations adhere to modern storm analysis standards and do not include all storms that occurred in a given area for a particular chase period.

Any kind of storm such as a thunderstorm, tornado, waterspout, tropical cyclone, and extratropical storm can be chased or observed. I have tried to keep this log of any storms that I have observed as accurate as possible, while using terms and expressions to abide by those used by most meteorologists and storm spotters today.

Storm chasing and observation can be extremely dangerous and may result in serious injury or death. I have received intermediate and advanced training for storm spotting in 1996. I strongly urge anyone who is to try their hand at storm spotting to get training before doing so. You must also have a good understanding of meteorology and storm dynamics. "If you don't know what you're doing, Don't do it!" Contact your local National Weather Service office for information on storm spotting and about training to become a Skywarn storm Spotter.


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Video Of Missouri Severe Storms On September 27, 2006


CHASE FOR SEPTEMBER 27, 2006

September 27, 2006 was a chase day with severe thunderstorms intercepted in extreme southeastern Missouri and near the southern tip of Illinois, particularly in the areas near Cape Girardeau to Sikeston, Missouri near the Interstate 55 corridor. The chase began in the mid-afternoon leaving Creve Coeur, Missouri west of Saint Louis via Interstate 270, just missing rush-hour traffic. The primary target was pretty much the Cape Girardeau area itself, since while forecasting, a surface boundary (wind shift line) was draped across that area and was well ahead of an approaching cold front, currently over Saint Louis at the time and moving quickly southeast. This boundary also had an increase in moisture, with surface dewpoints nearing the low 60's south of it with SSW winds and upper 50's north of it with more westerly winds.

Also interesting, this surface boundary intersected the cold front to the west of the target area, creating a shallow "triple point". Temperatures in this area also re-bounded into the upper 70's by the afternoon, yielding a surface CAPE of about 1,500 to 2,000 J / Kg. Helicities were also highest in this region, about 100 to 150, not terribly high, yielding an EHI of about 1.0 to 2.0, enough for supercells. Upper winds were moderate to strong, with roughly 40-50 Knots of bulk shear to 6 km (500 MB) and the exit of an H3 jet stream moving in farther up. The only negatives would be the lack of directional shear and the fast storm movements, so a plan for hail and severe winds were the agenda for chasing. At SPC, a slight was issued for the 16:30z outlook, with a 2% tornado probability, 30% hail, and 15% damaging wind. A mesoscale discussion (MD) and subsequent severe thunderstorm watch went up for the same target area.

The trip to the target area continued off I-270 then south on Interstate 55 to the Cape Girardeau area. The surface boundary, with a line of elevated cumulus was encountered about 15 miles to th NW of Cape Girardeau. A severe thunderstorm developed on this boundary and matured near Marble Hill in Bollinger County. This storm was intercepted at about 5:30 PM and followed across Cape Girardeau and across the Mississippi river into Illinois where it weakened near Mclure. Back west, another storm developed near Poplar Bluff, so I headed back west into Cape Girardeau then south on Interstate 55 and got off at Benton, MO where the storm was just southwest of me. This storm became a prolific lightning producer. The storm weakened by about 7:30 PM as it passed near and to the east of Sikeston, MO. Both storms were HP supercell / multicell cluster in nature, and both produced severe winds and hail. No tornadoes were observed, but some small funnels were noted. The chase finished with a drive pretty much back north on I-55 into Saint Louis, then back to Creve Coeur on I-270. Total mileage was 367 miles.


SEPTEMBER 27 CHASE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

CHASER NAMEHOME CITYCALLSIGNCHASE DATESOCCUPATION
CHRIS COLLURAMIRAMAR, FLKG4PJN9-27IT CONSULTANT


FORECASTED TARGET AREA AND CHASE MAP

The diagram above is a map showing the chase area for this chase trip. The heavy blue line is the chase path around eastern and extreme southeastern Missouri / southern Illinois as well as the chase itself. The initial target area is shaded in yellow (that is the area forecasted where convective initiation or storm development should occur) and is centered near Cape Girardeau, Missouri and near the Interstate 55 corridor. Note that this initial target area is shaped irregularly to avoid complications with terrain / rivers as well. You can also compare this target area with the graphic from the SPC mesoscale discussion product and watch box area from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). The red X's are where severe storm interceptions were done. The red circle is my start and finish location in Creve Coeur near Saint Louis, Missouri.


STORM PREDICTION CENTER PRODUCTS

Above are two images taken from forecast products from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) for the late afternoon of September 27, 2006. The image to the left is the SPC Mesoscale Discussion (MD) showing important weather developing that may lead to the formation of severe thunderstorms. The MD product has a graphic, like this one, showing fronts, lows, boundaries, and other factors (surface and aloft) for the importance of the MD. An MD is often issued before a severe weather watch box, like the one in the image to the right. The blue parallelogram is the areal extent of the box, and affected counties within it are colored. Compare the areas that SPC forecasted with the target area in my chase forecast and map above above.


RADAR IMAGE DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE STORMS

The annotated diagram above shows two radar images from the Peducah, Kentucky radar of the storms over Illinois and Missouri. To the left, is the base reflectivity image and to the right, the corresponding velocity image. The circles on each image denote the cells intercepted, the first one having made it all the way into Illinois to the right. The second is the severe storm that produced the incredible lightning at the time of intercept. Note the core is higher than 65 DBz on the reflectivity, and a small yellow area appears on it in the velocity (going away from the radar is yellow to red, coming towards it is light blue to dark blue). This is a small mesocyclone associated with that intense cell (HP supercell within a storm cluster). You will see later in the pictures to follow, a wall cloud can be seen with that same cell as well as inflow banding.


DETAILED LOG FOR ALL CHASES

1). September 27, 5:30 PM - Interception and penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Bollinger County, Missouri and eastward through Saint Girardeau and to near Mclure, Illinois. The storm was initially encountered near the towns of Marble Hill and Whitewater along Highways 34 and SR A. The storm was a line segment with a very intense storm on its western end (upper winds were WNW, so this might have been a "tail end charley" storm). A small RFD notch was observed on the updraft base of the cell in this region, along with some small funnel clouds. The storm was supercellular briefly before evolving to a multicell cluster of severe thunderstorms. The storm's western fringe was penetrated, and penny sized hail was encountered with heavy rains and winds over 50-MPH. The storm moved quickly east into illinois and weakened a bit before moving out of reach. Lightning also occurred with this storm, and some minor tree damage was observed. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, surface boundary / shear axis, and strong winds aloft (upper trough and jet stream). A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for this area until 12 AM CDT.

2). September 27, 7:30 PM - Interception and penetration of another severe thunderstorm in Scott County, Missouri from Morley to Sikeston near Highway 77. The storm was a cluster of thunderstorms containing within a posible HP supercell storm. The storm produced nearly continuous lightning with frequent and consistant CG (cloud to ground) strokes. When a portion of this storm cluster was penetrated, penny sized hail, 60-MPH (or more) winds, and torrential rains were also observed. The HP type storm embedded in this storm cluster also produced a wall cloud and possible small funnel underneath it, illuminated by the frequent lightning. An interesting swath of tree damage was also noted about 5 miles north of Sikeston after the storm moved to the east. Power was also knocked out in sections of Sikeston, MO. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, surface boundary interactions, an approaching cold front, and strong winds aloft (upper level disturbance). A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for this area until 12 AM CDT.

This concludes the Chase Log for the southeastern Missouri chase trip on September 27, 2006. The summary includes a total of 2 severe thunderstorms. The main chase vehicle conducting all chases was a 2006 Ford Focus. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


GALLERY FOR SEPTEMBER 27, 2006

Looking south on Interstate 55 about 15 miles north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, evidence of a surface boundary is denoted by a line high-base cumulus clouds. This is not the actual cold front, but a wind-shift line (shear axis) where southerly winds and higher dewpoints (more moisture) to the south give way to drier air and more westerly winds to its north. Severe thunderstorms often develop along and near such important boundaries because air is being lifted up along them (called forcing).
A thunderstorm cell initiates (begins to develop) as a cluster of enhanced cumulus clouds along the same boundary which rises high enough to form cumulonimbus clouds. The view is to the west and the storm is developing near Marble Hill, Missouri. Upper-level winds are WNW so the storms "rear flank" will be on its west and northwestern side.
In this picture, also looking west, the updraft base and vertical structure of the now severe-warned storm becomes apparent. The intense precipitation core is developing to the far left.
Here is a nice view of the rain-free base of the severe thunderstorm upfdraft. Note the little funnel appearing directly above the passing car on the road in this picture.
This is a picture of a small region of rotation, indicating the storm may have briefly became a supercell, on the rear-flank of the storm and updraft region. The view is to the west (remember, the rear-flank of a NW flow storm is on its NW side). The hint of an RFD (clearer) area is in the center of the picture. The hail core is to the left. Note the little "swirl" in the rain-free updraft base and lowering to the far right.
Here is a picture of a rain (or hail) bow that formed on the southwestern side of the severe thunderstorm as it was near Whitewater, Missouri. I am now behind a storm that is racing eastwards at 40 MPH. Note the whitish green color of the sky (hail).
As the severe storm moves on into Illinois, a great view of the beack-sheared anvil and western portion of the anvil "rollover" can be seen. The view here is to the southeast near Mclure, Illinois.
Another severe thunderstorm complex develops farther to the southwest near Poplar Bluff, Missouri. In this picture, looking WSW from Highway 146 in east Cape Girardeau, Illinois, the storm complex is to the left and about 35 miles away. The storms are moving east at 35-40 MPH and I am in front of them, so I forfeit the Illinois storms and turn my attention to the ones I am now in the path of intercepting.
I set up about 10 miles to the east of the second severe thunderstorm cluster, and begin shooting digital stills of the frequent and very photogenic lightning. In this picture, it's a bit blurry as I am still adjusting the camera's focus (Canon Digital Rebel with bulb setting and cable release). This is just west of Morley, Missouri and along the right side of Highway 91.
A wall cloud becomes visible with many flashes of the frequent lightning to my west and southwest. The wall cloud is associated with an HP supercell storm embedded in the cluster of thunderstorms. The view here is right into the inflow "notch" of this supercell storm. The wall cloud is just a hair left of the center of this picture just above the ground. Note the inflow "banding" to the upper left too.
Here is a great picture of multiple cloud to ground (CG) lightning strokes from a time-exposure of about 20-25 seconds looking southwest.
This is a video frame-capture of the wall cloud to my west with slightly better illumination by the lightning. Lots of inflow banding visible again to the upper left.
Here is a self portrait of myself watching the "show" of lightning. This is NOT a "Photoshopping" of me added into an existing lightning shot, this is how it looked if you were actually there. Contrast and focus adjustments were the only touching-up done to this image.
With the storm drawing closer, here is a shot up the road (to the west on Highway 91) with a time-exposure of a passing car headed right into the "lightning core"!
This is a zoomed in shot up the road (Highway 91) with a nearly perfectly centered CG lightning hit. Note the bolt also captured to the far upper left corner.
Here is another brilliant and hot CG lightning hit to the end of Highway 91. Now it is time to move, storm is close and it's too dangerous to stay outside.
Here is a picture of some damage observed south of where the storm cluster (and possible the HP storm, or what was left of it) passed. This is along highway 61 about 5 miles north of Sikeston, MO. Some branches, and numerous twigs and leaves were scattered across this roadway in a path about 200 yards wide (microburst)?
Some areas of Sikeston, MO lost power from the storms, like this dark store front. Stopping for gas was fun too, as I finally paid $1.96 a gallon after having not paid under $2 in about 2 years. The gas pump charged me $69.00 for 7 gallons of gas, which was more than likely a power issue from lightning hosing the computer up! The gas station clerk in Sikeston was helpful and manually charged me the right amount.


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