April 4 2010 Intense Straight Line Winds

Feb 27, 2012
Left home to chase “day before the day” setup. Intercepted intense HP supercell near Clifton Hill, MO with rapidly rotating wall cloud and potentially rain wrapped tornado which passed just to my south. Documented intense winds which caused damage to the truck. Got cored by the storm behind it while trying to navigate tricky MO roads with barrage of hail up to quarter size. Tried to keep up with storms once on better roads but fast storm speeds prevented me from catching up. Met up with fellow chasers and roomed up at Jesse Risleys house in Colchester, IL
Tornadoes: 0 [not counting it due to lack of visual confirmation.]
Hail: 1.00″ [quarter]
Winds: est 65mph winds feeding into potentially rain wrapped tornado.
Miles: 848
Something learned: That part of MO is difficult to chase.
Detailed account:
I awoke Sunday morning and went over the forecast to decide if I wanted to head out. I knew I would be chasing Monday and Tuesday so if Sundays target would favor the overall marathon I would go for it. I decided it would and left Chicago around 11am. I set up a rendezvous is Monmouth, IL because I wasn’t sure if the warm front would light up first as shown by models, or if the southern target near Kansas City would go. It became apparent the southern target was the best option so once reaching Monmouth I pressed on through Quincy and into Missouri.
Storms began to fire near KC and quickly went severe. Storms also fired north of my location but I was concerned they would be short lived so after some nowcasting advice from Ryan I decided to make a run for the intense supercell that formed just east of Kansas City.
I began to notice it as I head west.
It was the first decent structure I have seen this year so I began to get excited. The updraft and anvil began to look impressive.
Missouri roads and terrain are tricky, but I found a decent road to intercept on and with luck was able to find a clearing atop a hill to get a good view. I was able to stream a suggestive looking lowering which prompted a couple phone calls asking if I was viewing a tornado, but to me it looked like rising scud. The storm was moving southeast and was beginning to wrap in rain so I had to move south as my road began to deteriorate.
Here is where the fun begins, Once I cleared the rain I began to notice some rotation to my west and almost overhead. The road I was on lead directly into it so I decided I had to stop and let it pass to my south. Unknowingly to me at the time, someone was filming a tornado in a nearby town which can be seen on youtube.
As I sat there filming the rapidly rotating wall cloud almost directly overhead I suddenly heard a loud howl, the loudest I have ever heard.
Winds picked up quickly and were feeding right into the wall cloud, I decided I was too close and had powerlines behind me so I backed up a bit in case they decided to come down. I was then hit hard by ferocious winds that managed to rip off one of the rain guards on my trucks door. It was a pretty wild ride. The storm also went tornado warned just as this was happening.
I will let the footage speak for itself!

It was a pretty intense encounter to say the least.
Once that was done I tried to keep up but the roads would not allow it. I never noticed some significant damage but there were some small evergreen trees blown over and some light property damage in the form of mangled trampolines and some shingles. Nothing widespread from anywhere I went.
Here is a picture of the damage to my own vehicle. These guards are supposed to be pretty tough so I was impressed the wind was able to crack it off like that.
I lost the storm due to the roads and wound up getting cored by the next storm in line. Luckily GR3 was over estimating the hail and it was only up to quarter size. I began to head back hoping to catch the storms as they were heading off but once it became apparent there was no hope I called the chase and decided to meet up with Brad and Jesse, who also intercepted the same storm only a mile east and on a better road and got really nice video of the rotation.
Radar shot the moment the tornado warning came out.
I have strong reason to believe there was in fact a rain wrapped tornado in these winds and the only reason I am not counting it is I did not have visual confirmation. I used my GPS log to illustrate what was going on.
Here is the unconfirmed tornado report:
0000 10 SE
And the youtube video showing the tornado. THIS IS NOT MY FOOTAGE!!!

Given everything that happened I would not be surprised if there was a very weak, rain wrapped tornado embedded in all that rain in my video.
This was a great way to start off 3 days of early season chasing. The footage is my best wind footage to date. I really wish I could say it was a tornado, but regardless of what it was, it was intense and justified my decision to start my early season marathon 1 day sooner than originally planned. The hail cores also added an element of excitement to the chase, but I lucked out they weren’t any bigger as it could have been a bad situation in terms of vehicle damage. I learned a little bit about intercepting storms in hilly, jungle terrain with poor road networks as I’ve never really had a chase of this manor.
SPC storm reports.

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