November 05, 2017  

Day started with decisions to be made about where to chase.  A couple days out, the target looked to be Northern Indiana, but as the chase got closer, the target seemed to shift south and hinted at further west.  The day of, my son Ryan and I with the input from Brian Stertz, made the decision to stay in our local area for the chase as the possibility of tornadoes seemed to increase.  As we left, our decision was to play potential storms that formed in Missouri and crossed over into Illinois.  We went down Interstate 55 and stopped in Bloomsdale, MO to wait for the storms to fire.  We were several hours early which gave us some time to just watch.  As we pulled up to the Love's Gas Station to wait it out, we discovered that fellow chasers Jesse Mayfield and Tyler Schlitt had chosen the same spot to set up.

As time went on, storms developed to our north in the St. Louis area.  Although it was a bit tempting to shoot back north for these storms, we held our ground as the parameters favored the area south later in the day.  Those storms up to the north began taking on a super-cellular look and were putting out severe hail.  The storms did have some hooks on the back side as we still held our ground.

Eventually, storms fired out to our west.  The looked good on radar as they went up, but as they approached, they seemed to fall apart a bit.  That grew some concern from both of us.

Jesse and Tyler decided to go up after the storms to the north.  We held and watched for a few minutes, but decided ourselves that the best opportunity appeared to be up to our north as we watched a storm heading toward Festus, MO intensify as the storms to the south were weakening.  We decided to go south and cross the Mississippi River at Chester and meet the storm after it crossed over the river.

We got to Red Bud, IL about the same time the storm got there.  We ran into some 1" hail, maybe a few slightly bigger.  Backed out to re-position and watched/followed a wall cloud until it got surrounded by precipitation.  We were unable to determine if it was rotating although the velocity on radar indicated the storm had some rotation.

We followed the storm track all the way over to Sparta, IL.  We watched a well defined shelf cloud on the leading edge of the storm.  We let the storm pass and headed back toward home.

8.0 Hours  -  233 Miles

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

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