Well, not much to show for tonight’s little severe weather adventure. However, I really did enjoy the entire chase. Lots of time just following the storm and enjoying the weather. Sure, there was the potential for tornadoes and whatnot but that is all part of the fun of storm chasing. I started out north of Cameron, MO. An exit ramp would provide my vantage point for the storms that I had forecast to develop. To my surprise, they started pushing into the troposphere only seven miles from my initial target area. Most of the parameters had not fully came to fruition at this point in time, though, so a quick look at the forecast showed more storms forming off to my southwest that would move into a better environment to sustain the storms once they matured. The wind shear, instability, and moisture were just enough to get the party started, too.
After a few moments of shooting the breeze with another chaser that I just met, we decided to push to our southwest and get a better view of the maturing storm southwest of St. Joseph, MO. The storm down that direction was appearing to take on supercellular characteristics as it developed it hook like features near Iatan, MO.
The storms were only moving about 40mph to the northeast so I stopped on a hill just north of Easton, MO along 36 highway to admire the approaching storm as it slinked through the night with its constant array of in cloud lightning. The inflow notch was pretty small but easy to see at first. The storms were pretty much low precipitation supercells because of the wind speeds aloft giving the storms the needed shear to tilt their updrafts.
As the storm approached, a nice lowering started to develop under the rain free base (a.k.a the mesocycolne). I quickly shot through the town of Easton, MO and headed towards Hemple on N highway in northwestern Clinton County. Just outside of Hemple, I stopped again on a hill top to see what I could see.
I knew the storm had taken on supercell characteristics, but I did not expect to see so much of it. From the top of this perch, just outside of Hemple, MO, I watched this lowering start drawing in more air from my east. It was a small wall cloud, but the storm definitely had rotation within it so I knew that a tornado could be possible. Fortunately, for the people asleep in the two nearby small towns, this did not happen.
The storm was not so silent in its midnight approach to my location, either. You could hear the rain beating against and blowing through the leafless trees just a half mile to my west. The sound kept getting louder and louder. I jumped into my chase vehicle just as the rain from the RFD gust front pushed its way over top. Blinding rain, driven by the strong winds. Yet, only a few hundred feet wide. Getting back on N highway I pushed my way back east of the storm to again make the storm visible. The inflow notch had closed off and the storm began to weaken.
I opted at this point to head back home, which was fairly close by at this point, when I saw the storm behind the Hemple storm had matured and was heading directly towards my house! Cautiously watching this impending danger, I made my way towards home after calling my wife to give her an update on the potential situation.
The storm moved closer to me and the winds blew it in a way that caused the storm to miss my house by about 1 mile. As the storm continued, though, a nice wall cloud started to develop on this storm, too! To my surprise, the show was not over yet! Thank to the full moon tonight, or the Frost Moon, every break in the clouds was visible, including the RFD clear slot. This also allowed in just enough light to see the funnel develop from under the wall cloud north of NN and west of 33 highway. A moment later I was on the phone with the Clinton County EMS manager reporting what I had seen to him. I felt a lot better about my report when he informed me that two other spotters/chasers reported the same thing as I did AT THE EXACT SAME TIME!
Then as quickly as it began, the storm quickly started falling apart. The funnel did not fully condense, however, I will be going back out to where I saw this to check for damages in the morning. Overall, it is November 16th. This isn’t May but it sure felt good to get out and play under the meso’s tonight.