August 23 2006 Tornado Hits Michigan City Indiana

Mar 05, 2012

This was a day traffic forever ruined a good potential intercept.

Still learning the ropes about chasing further from home I decided to leave work early to go after some major storms that formed over lake Michigan that would make “landfall” on the Indiana shoreline. I called Matt to see if he was down for the pursuit and arranged for him to pick me up from the train station. From there it was a 2 minute stop at home to grab my cameras, which were the only things in my chase arsenal then.
During this time though local intercepts were made nearly impossible due to construction projects on every major highway. We got stuck for about 45 minutes and only went about 5 miles. Once the construction eased up we quickly picked up the pace but it was too late. The supercell had already done its damage. We could see it well off to our south now:
We would have called it off but some linear convection blew up over the lake in the supercells wake so we decided to continue on. We can see the new convection still off to our north and we stood a decent shot at making an intercept.
We came close, however the storms gust front caught us before we could get safely ahead of it.
The storm was nearly on us and the sky turned an evil pitch black, it was pretty intimidating. If only I could have leveled the camera to properly capture it.
Whales Mouth, although I had no idea thats what it was called at the time.
The punch the storm dealt wasn’t all that impressive. We experienced some torrential downpours and maybe 40mph gusts. We made a detour off the highway eventually due to a reported tornado. The storm quickly died out though and we turned around and headed for home.
The initial storm we went after ended up producing a tornado and causing some decent damage in Michigan City, which is a city I often visited for beach parties back then. The following weekend I had a trip scheduled there and got to see the damage first hand. Entire trees were downed on houses and parks had their stadium seats and gazebos destroyed. I should have taken pics.
Storm reports.

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