June 26, 2021   
Woke up to a continuing string of low-end, potential tornado day possibilities.  My son calls me mid-morning to ask me if I was for sure set on not chasing this day.  I said absolutely no way I could chase today due to prior commitments.  To our northeast was a 5% tornado risk with a 2% further southwest through St. Louis, Missouri and beyond.  My son knew that I had a full day of commitments with a picnic during the afternoon and another commitment for the evening.  Our chase partner Brian Stertz chimed in that if he were in town, he'd chase this setup.  Between the two of them, I soon was bowing out of the picnic and my night commitment and heading for a target city of Bloomington, Illinois with my son.

With our late morning start, we made our way up Interstate 55 in route to Bloomington.  Potential brief tornadoes were forecast to occur in the mid to late afternoon, so we figured we had a little time to work before rotating storms fired along the boundary, but wanted to be in position before things got going.  Just about the time we enter Illinois, a couple tornado warnings come out on storms northeast of Bloomington.  So, were we too late?  Brian assured us by text that things would get better later.

As Ryan looked through data, he noticed that Interstate 55 was at a near standstill between Lincoln, Illinois and Bloomington, Illinois, so we bailed off of the Interstate and grabbed Highway 54 out of Springfield going northeast toward Clinton, Illinois.  Road options were plentiful out of that city.  Once in Clinton, we reevaluated our options.

There was a semi-broken line of storms just to the west of us including a couple tornado warnings to our southwest.  As there wasn't anything of interest in our area, we grabbed a quick lunch at the McDonald's as we contemplated whether we should move west toward Lincoln or move north toward Bloomington.  We decided on the road going north to Bloomington as the still slow-moving Interstate was the deciding factor.

We worked our way northward to just north of Bloomington.  As we continued to monitor radar, we saw a circulation develop to our southwest near Danvers, Illinois.

We moved slightly west and lined ourselves up with it and then watched it approach. 

As it got to us it gained some intensity.

The circulation tightened and a brief, narrow funnel cloud appeared out of the middle of the spin.

It did not last very long and gusted out quickly.  We followed the storm, but the circulation weakened.

We continued to move northeast on Interstate 55 and exited at Highway 24 at Chenoa, Illinois as the line of storms filled in.  Along the line, Many of the cells now embedded in the line showed rotation and became Tornado warned as they tracked northeast.

We found ourselves looking at the circulation in the cell as it passed and then moved a little further east on Highway 24 and would look at the next circulation in the line. 

Unfortunately, these cells would not reach the intensity of the first cell that we observed west of Bloomington.  As the line filled in further, the line became a huge rain-maker.  The last circulation we encountered was completely wrapped in rain.  We saw the huge wall of rain approaching as we moved in to intercept.  Regardless, we lined ourselves up with the rain-wrapped circulation hoping near it, the rain would lighten up for a view. 

No such luck as once the rain and circulation arrived, it was near zero visibility in the heavy rain and we were forced to back out.

We eventually made it east to Interstate 57 for the drive back southward toward home.  The line of storms had now caught up with us and we dealt with huge amounts of rain, but we did keep our eyes on the radar and made a play on a couple more embedded circulations, all to no avail as the circulations were short lived and weak.

To end the day, we were treated to a fat rainbow as we finally broke free of the rain and once we got to Interstate 70 moving westward, we passed to the back side of the line of storms and saw the very orange sunset.


As a note of interest, we were in 5 different Tornado Warnings today.

Total Miles  - 509

Click on the link below to see video of some of these storms.

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