7/22/10 & 7/23/10 Chase Recaps

Chase Stats
SPC Outlook: SLGT, SLGT
States Driven: MI
Miles: 215, 128
Departure City: Battle Creek, MI
Target City: None
Ending City: Battle Creek, MI
Outcome: Heavy Rain, Scud (SLC's)
Chase Pics: Unavilable

July 22nd was kind of a surprise day here in Michigan. I wasn't expecting much this day, because the main action looked to be just across the lake in extreme northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin. For some reason or another, I stayed up pretty late, and woke up early to assess the weather situation. Not seeing any great potential for us, I ate some breakfast, and did a few things including getting my car ready for the next day. Eventually I went inside, and took a nap. Sometime around 4 o'clock or so, my weather radio went off. Having my radio set to only go off for tornado warnings, I realized our County was indeed in a tornado warning.

I went out to my computer, loaded GR2AE, and pulled up the Grand Rapids radar. Out of nowhere, there was supercell that was headed ESE towards Battle Creek. It did exhibit some decent rotation, and had a nice inflow notch. I was still kind of half asleep, and by the time I was awake, and brought some of the gear to my car, the storm would be gone, so I was forced to sit at home for this little cell. Keeping an eye on the radar, I pulled up Mesoanalysis, and noticed all the helicity had pushed across the lake into Michigan. I looked at a few thermodynamic profiles, and noticed that there was hardly any CAPE. By now the storm was over the Battle Creek airport, and spotters as well as law enforcement were reporting a brief touchdown.

Eventually the storm started to die out, and the rotation stayed to the south of us. Pictures and video started coming in on the news and showed nothing more than a low hanging inflow tail. By this time my dad had came to work, and the NWS had issued a small tornado watch box for a few of the southern counties. We headed south, and intercepted a nice storm just east of Coldwater. Unfortunately we got on the storm just a little too late as another cell had merged with it, and cut off its inflow.

These cells eventually formed a quasi-linear mess, and nothing was worth sticking around for. We headed north towards Jackson, got some Culver's for dinner, and let my dad go home with my sister who came to pick him up. I then headed north to Lansing for Ben Holcomb's "going away" party with the gang from our IRC chat. We had a good time, and then headed out to chase the stuff coming across the lake. I went home for the night, but Ben and the others stayed out and chased for a while.

June 23rd on the other hand was pretty bland. This was another one of your basic Michigan setups. I chased a storm near Homer and Litchfield which produced nothing more than heavy downpours. It was a pretty uneventful day, and on the way home, I ran into Ben Holcomb shooting footage of flooding near the new casino in town.