June 6, 1996 DeKalb, IL Chase By Gilbert Sebenste


Chase Summary, 6/6/96: I can't believe this!

WFUS1 KCHI 062115
TORCHI
ILC037-062145-
 
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
412 PM CDT THU JUN 6 1996
 
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A
TORNADO WARNING EFFECTIVE UNTIL  445 PM CDT
FOR PEOPLE IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATION...
 
IN NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS
 
   ...NORTHERN DE KALB COUNTY
                                                                         
AT 415 PM A STATE TROOPER REPORTED A TORNADO ON THE GROUND IN MALTA.
RADAR INDICATED THE STORM WAS MOVING NORTHEAST AT 15 MPH TOWARD GENOA
AND SYCAMORE.
 
A TORNADO IS ON THE GROUND!  TAKE SHELTER NOW!
 
TAYLOR

Flash back to 4 PM...

After a long day at work, and a long week (read: short of sleep), I
decided at 2PM to settle down for a long afternoon nap. I can go 4 hours;
I've got all my work done, so this will be a nice time to relax before
a great weekend I had planned to enjoy.

Not quite.

At about 4PM, Mike Falout from Precision Weather calls me up and rudely
wakes me out of bed. I answer the phone half asleep:

Mike: "GIL, THERE'S A TORNADO ON THE GROUND JUST OUTSIDE OF DEKALB!!!"
Gilbert, half asleep: "Gsilfdufysyedf?"
Mike: "IT'S ALL THE WAY DOWN, I SWEAR!"
Gilbert, coming to his senses: "are you sure it isn't low scud?"
MIKE: "No, I SWEAR, HEAD OUT WEST ON 38. NEVER MIND. I'M PICKING YOU UP!
BE THERE IN A MINUTE!"
(click.)

A few moments later, we headed west on State road 38. I see a thunderstorm
off to our northwest as we exit town. Right as you exit the city, the
view is totally unobstructed from the northwest to the southwest.

Well, it's 4:10PM. I see the storm, but buildings and trees are blocking
the way. Then, I see the storm. And there's...nothing! It's a piece of
crap!

"THERE!!!" Mike screams, and I'm looking at the storm going..."Huh???
Where?" Suddenly, I catch something out of the corner of my eye to the
southwest. I can't believe what I see. Along the flanking line of the storm,
with towering cumulus above it, is a well-developed landspout!

"OH MY GOD!" I cry. There are tons of police, NIU people just getting off work,
and gawkers watching this thing. We fly back to my apartment after it lifts
30 seconds later (sadly, I wish I was more awake: it had stayed on the
ground, apparently, for 15 minutes).

After grabbing my camera, we head west towards Malta. At 4:18, we see
another
one form to our northwest! This one lasts about 30 seconds. A minute
later, another one forms, a funnel cloud hanging down about 1/4 of the
way, before it disappears. I got both of these on video.

We spent the next hour driving along the flanking line of this storm,
hoping for more development, but, sadly, there was none. Still,
these were my first two landspouts! Mike saw the first one in it's
mature stage. Unfortunately, he was without a camera, but it looked
like a "classic Colorado landspout".

Yowsah! This is what I get for chasing with Stumpf this year, I guess! :-)
Oh, speaking of Stumpf, there's a supercell just south of Norman right now.
Wonder if anything's going on there...

Gilbert

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Gilbert Sebenste                                                     ********
Internet: sebenste@geog.niu.edu    (My opinions only!)                 *****
Owner of the Storm Chaser Homepage                                     ***
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