April 13, 2022  
The much anticipated first chase of the year and hopes were high as the Storm Prediction Center had issued a moderate risk for severe storm including the strongly worded language stating High Wind (>70mph), Large Hail (2+ inches), and Tornadoes (potentially strong, long tracked). Because of the travel distance, we decided not to chase the storms in Iowa the day before as there were too many miles between the Iowa target area for day 1 and the potential Arkansas target area for day 2.  We decided to only chase this second day as the parameters seemed better for day 2 and we wanted to avoid the long drive during the night.

My son Ryan and I woke up early to verify a chase was still on and to make a decision where to target.  There was a large area projected to have tornado possibilities from the Great Lakes down to the Gulf of Mexico including a large moderate risk in the center of the risk area.

It was very tempting to stay close to home as the forecasters were calling for tornadoes right in our the local region.  The drawback would be that the tornadic supercells would be embedded within a line of storms ahead of a cold front rather than the traditional, stand-alone supercell.  We certainly considered how much more difficult it would be to predict, find, and visually see a tornado with this type of storm.

My son Ryan joined me around 7:00am and we decided rather than staying with the closer target, we would travel down Interstate 55 to the Missouri/Arkansas border as our preliminary target.  Down there, the possibility of having a discrete, more traditional Supercell out in front of the main line of storms was a much better probability.  As we drove south, we made a phone call to our chase partner Brian Stertz (who was unable to chase with us today) who confirmed our decision to go south and advised us the better parameters for discrete cells may be down closer to Interstate 40 around the Memphis area.

Since we arrived in Arkansas in mid-morning, it allowed us a little time to do some wildlife exploring at a local Northeast Arkansas Wildlife Area.  Birds and Snakes were the primary photo targets at this spot.

After an hour or so, we were back on the road down to our target area down by Interstate 40.   A line of storms was out to the west, but to our dismay, nothing was forming out ahead of the line.  Had some lunch and watched the line of storms approach on radar.  It became apparent that no discrete storms were going to fire on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River, so we made the decision to cross over into Tennessee holding out some hope for the renegade storm out in front of the charging line of storms.  Now in Tennessee, we took Highway 51 which went north-northeast out of the Memphis area as we stayed just ahead of the advancing storm line.  Several areas of weak rotation prompted several Tornado Warnings in the line of storms to our north, but rotation was not sustained and threats were extremely short lived.

Eventually, a Tornado Warning was issued along the line where we were.  It had a very minimal hook when it showed up on the radar and disappeared as quick as it showed up. 

As the spot in the line that prompted the warning came toward us, it looked like a typical gust front. 
As it came over us, it was very electrical with many cloud to ground lightning bolts at close range.

Gust Front Approaching
Area that prompted Tornado Warning
Cloud to Ground Bolt

The line of Storms contained a large amount of rainfall.  Many times we found ourselves driving through water over the road in the blinding rain.

Blinding Rain with a Flooded Roadway

As we drove back home, we drove through a very narrow band of rain that was right on the cold front.  Lot of cloud action and the strongest winds we encountered all day.  Once we passed through it, the temperatures plummeted.

Although anticipation was very high today for tornadic storms, the highly advertised risk of tornadoes did not develop into what was expected.  Certainly had strong storms within the line with heavy rain and in many areas, strong wind, but Ryan and I never ran into anything meeting any severe parameters.

14.5 Hours  654 Miles

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

Return to the
Summary 2022 Page

Return to the
Storm Index Page