June 21 2006 Indiana Storm Chase Fail With Rainbow

Mar 05, 2012

Ugh. Probably my first big fail as new chaser.

At this point I was recently introduced to SPC. I began to follow these ever so knowing gods of severe weather forecasting. Their issuance of a MDT risk this day had me taking a half day off work to go chasing. The first time I had ever done so.
I picked up Matt, he wanted to target central IL but for some reason what little forecasting skill I had told me I wanted to to southern MI. As we debated and argued for nearly an hour storms began to blow up in, sure enough, southern MI so off we went.
Way behind and way late, we made a mad dash to catch the storms. Chasing mostly blind with only cell phone radar to keep us informed we found ourselves stuck in construction traffic. This was starting to get on my nerves, every single chase was halted due to construction. I-80 was at a stand still. After being grid-locked for over an hour we finally were able to move. It was too late though, we were far behind everything. Desperately trying to catch up.
I guess my driving was somewhat erratic because one of the locals was kind enough to give me a hand gesture indicating so. We got close enough to the back ends of the storms to see the CG strikes and hear the thunder but as soon as we would catch up our road would end.
Eventually we came across some significant damage in the form of crushed cars and damaged roofs. I knew these storms were packing quite a punch.
We eventually gave up, we ended up near a decent sized lake so we parked and watched them slip away. I had fishing poles in the van so I tried my luck and almost landed a bass. Eventually a nice rainbow formed over the lake and provided one decent shot from which to remember this largely failed chase.
This was the first time I did not get what I set out for. It stung a bit, but seeing the damage, a brief chance to fish and the rainbow photo op helped the ease the psychological damage. I told myself that if I was to continue pursuing this passion I better be prepared for many more failures. Its all part of the game.
Storm reports. All the way across northern IN. The storms really were significant.

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