April 05, 2017  

Seeing the potential for supercells within a leisurely drive from the house, the decision was made to give these storms a chase.  My son, Ryan, decided not to chase due to his work schedule, so I put out a chase invitation through my St. Louis chaser friends and Tyler Schlitt took me up on the invitation to join me.

We met at 9:30am at my house and set out for our initial target of Mount Vernon, Illinois to grab potential supercellular storms between Mount Vernon and Evansville, Indiana around 2:00pm.  Stopped for lunch at Mount Vernon and after data and conversations, we reset our target city to Evansville, Indiana.  As we looped around the Evansville, we decided to cross the Ohio River and watch from the Kentucky side.  Filled up the gas tank and watched as a string cells went up just to our south and east. 

Worked our way south checking a few of the cells.  We could also see on the radar multiple cells going up in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.  We also figured into the mix that a tornado watch box was to our east along with a 10% hatched tornado area.  Decision, decisions.  As we watched, the cells to the west didn't appear to be growing, the string of cells we were looking at just to our east looked good visually, but were not showing tornadic promise either as they flew by us at 55mph.  Then there was more convection further east.  We made the decision to move east into what appeared to be the better tornado environment.

We moved east toward Owensboro, Kentucky.  Then worked our way south into central Kentucky, then east toward Elizabethtown, Kentucky.  We stopped again short of Elizabethtown and continued to watch for signs of cells going severe or cells with rotation, a cell finally went up in front of us that became tornado warned heading for Elizabethtown.   As we came up from behind the storm, we went through the hail path which appeared to have dumped 1.25"-1.50" hail.  We did not stop for pictures, but just continued on.  That cell weakened.  Latched onto another cell and again another hail path with slightly smaller stones.  Still nothing appeared to be taking off, so rather than continuing to follow these storms further east and making a longer return trip, we gave the chase up.  Backtracked back to the interstate to begin a long trek home and took some pictures of the remaining hail left on the road.

On the trip home, there continued to be minor cells that continued to form.  Nothing severe, but made for some good photo opportunities in the diminishing light.

This trip certainly ended differently than we had envisioned it from the beginning with it becoming a 4 state, long trip.  On a side note, during the drive through Kentucky, we found out that the word "Parkway" is just another name for what we know in the plains as a "Turnpike".  Exits were rare and were never available when you wanted to change directions.  Contrary to my original belief, I was very surprised that in the northern part of Kentucky that we drove through, there were plenty of places with a good line of vision to clearly see storms.  I will have no reservations to chase there again someday.  Had a very enjoyable time with Tyler as my chase partner.

15 Hours  -  641 Miles

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

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