4/16/98 Chase Summary by Chris Taylor


From: Chris Taylor (chtaylor@IX.NETCOM.COM):

Storm Chase Report - 4/16/98 - Northwest Ohio - 1st Chase of the Year


The day started out overcast and damp with a low cloud deck. A warm front
had passed through overnight with a few rumbles of thunder. A cold front
was forecast to arrive about 6pm. Since I had to work until 3:30pm, I
checked the morning soundings and models and with the help of Rob Dale,
N8GSK,(thanks Rob!), determined that the LI could be somewhere <0 , and
CAPE about 1000 in the area about 60 miles or so south of Toledo(TOL). This
was based on the hope that we would see some sun. With the limited time I
had, this looked like the only hope. I felt that Lake Erie would kill any
storms around the Toledo area(48 degree water temps).

The sun popped out about 12N, and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued
about 2pm for the area. Arriving home about 4pm and checking the GOES-8
soundings, conditions did look good, but nothing was happening in my target
area. LI was -4 with a CAPE of 1000, DP's low 60's, temp upper 60's. But,
the winds had shifted to the SW(from ESE, earlier in the day) ahead of the
cold front with W winds behind. Not much sheer, and possibly a lack of
triggering mechanism? The front itself was still in western to mid-Indiana.

A little after 4pm, North Webster, Indiana(IWX) radar showed an isolated
cell had popped up SW of Jay Co., Indiana. This was out a ways ahead of the
cold front. In several scans of the radar, it was obvious that it was
building rapidly. As it moved into Jay County, a radar-based tornado
warning was issued by IWX.

I left home about 4:15pm and planned on intercepting this storm between
Findlay and Lima, Ohio. At this point, there had been Severe Thunderstorm
Warnings for all the counties after Jay County for large hail(up to 1.75").
At 5:20pm, I was approaching Beaverdam, which is NE of Lima, and realized
that I was still too far north(again, thanks Rob for the radar update!).
The storm was approaching from the SW at 35 mph. I jogged 5 miles south,
driving through heavy rain, and broke out of the rain in time to see the
main part of the storm still to my west, moving NE. As the storm passed by,
it was apparent that there was some rotation in the SW corner of the storm,
however, this feature seemed to dissipate within 15 minutes. I then got
back into heavy rain and pea-sized hail, and decided to move south and east
to get out of the hail. Due to roads, this ended up putting me much farther
south than I wanted to be. I was then in a position of playing catch-up.
Good roads(Rt. 30 East) allowed me to catch up to the south end of this
storm about 6 miles west of Upper Sandusky. I then began working NE
following the rain-free base, seeing several short-lived lowerings.  After
passing north of Upper Sandusky on CR 42, I took SR 67  NE through
Sycamore, which was without power(not sure of the reason). It was now about
6:30pm, and I had about another 45 minutes of light left. Just as I got
through Sycamore, I noticed a new lowering to my NNE. This rapidly built
into a classic wall cloud with scud tags being pulled straight up into it.
However, I could not see any rotation. I followed the wall cloud east on CR
58 for about 5 miles before it dissipated. I estimate the wall cloud
persisted for about 15-20 minutes. I arrived at SR4 and CR 58 at 7:15pm,
and light was quickly failing. The cell seemed to be evolving into a squall
line as a storm to it's south grew rapidly. I halted at this point, as the
new cell to the south had an obvious hail shaft, and watched the storms
head off in the distance. I did not come across any hail other than that in
Hardin Co.(beginining of chase), and did not find any damage from the
storm. Water covered roadways, however, were another matter.  :-o

Not a bad 1st chase of the year. Had a chance to dust off the equipment,
help Skywarn and see a decent thunderstorm that was not moving at warp
speed! Just at dusk, I stopped again to look at the storms, and for the 1st
time, I could actually see the upper-level structure as it was being lit up
by the setting sun. I arrived home at 10:00pm.

Total time: 5 hours, 45 minutes
Miles: 234


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Chris Taylor                    Email: chtaylor@ix.netcom.com
Coordinator, NW Ohio Skywarn    WWW page:http://www2.netcom.com/~chtaylor/
Asst. EC, Lucas Co. - Skywarn   Packet: N8WGB@W8HHF.#tol.oh.usa.na
NWOhio Skywarn Net page: http://skywarn.home.ml.org
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