Reed Timmer’s Chase, and Tornado Images from NE Illinois; NW Indiana, Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Mesoscale Discussion #166 February 27, 2024 - Featured
Mesoscale Discussion #166 February 27, 2024 - Featured.

Reed Timmer and Edgar O’Neal storm chasing in Illinois near I-80 from south of Geneseo near Atkinson, Annawan, Manilius, Princeton, Arlington, West Brooklyn, Compton, Steward, Paw Paw, Shabbona, Waterman, Hinckley, Sugar Grove, North Aurora, Batavia, West Chicago, Geneva, and Elburn and getting hit by tennis ball-size hail. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Meteorologist and storm chaser Reed Timmer and storm chaser Edgar O’Neal live-streamed during a storm/tornado chase near Interstate 80 and along US 30 from Minonk, Illinois to Batavia and Elburn, Illinois from about 5:00 p.m. to 8:25 p.m. (at the end turning back from West Chicago toward Sugar Grove on Fabyan Parkway and passing Suncast Corporation).

Timmer and O’Neal took a break at the end of the north central Illinois chase at the Speedway at 1501 West Roosevelt Road in West Chicago, about the time that the storm was approaching Arlington Heights at 7:45 p.m. Observations in central Arlington Heights showed only pea-size hail, mostly cloud-to-cloud lightning, and moderate gusty winds. NWS Chicago at O’Hare International Airport reported a maximum gust speed of only 41 MPH. The storm chasers decided, while Timmer was recharging with a Celsius drink, to end the chase and not follow the squall line that was passing across the northwest and north suburbs.

Also, when the squall line was approaching Arlington Heights and possibly weakening at about 7:36 p.m., Executive Producer Brian V. O’Toole mentioned the term Quasi-Linear Convective System (QLCS) — a condition when there is a line of storms where tornadoes can spin up. The more severe activity was near Palatine and Long Grove, not Arlington Heights. Timmer noted dangerous circulation just to the north and northwest side of Palatine.

Palatine was one of the communities in the northwest suburbs where more damage occurred (See: Storm Damage Report for Tuesday Evening February 27, 2024 and ).

Compare the weakened storm in the northwest suburbs (the storm chasers called it downtrending) to the stronger storms of the previous couple of hours in north central Illinois located about 40 to 60 miles north of Peoria. Timmer and O’Neal experienced a wall cloud, a few tornadoes, and tennis ball-size hail while driving east and north on rural roads, and east on US 30.

During the break at the West Chicago Speedway, Timmer and O’Neal discussed the rarity of February tornadoes. Timmer said he hadn’t seen a February tornado since 2017. The crew also discussed where to go next, while Timmer mentioned the term HRRR.

HRRR (High-Resolution Rapid Refresh) is a NOAA real-time 3-km resolution, hourly updated, cloud-resolving, convection-allowing atmospheric model, initialized by 3km grids with 3km radar assimilation. Radar data is assimilated in the HRRR every 15 min over a 1-h period adding further detail to that provided by the hourly data assimilation from the 13km radar-enhanced Rapid Refresh.

HRRR is known to be helpful for …

#1) improved cloud representation for boundary-top clouds, especially for shallow cold-air layers with cold-air retention,

#2) better cloud bands (snow squalls, hurricane bands, lake-effect bands),

#3) 3km ensemble data assimilation for improved storm prediction for 1-12h (helpful for storm chasing),

#4) inline smoke prediction,

#5) better monitoring of lake temperatures, and

#6) extension to a 48h forecast every 6h.

The live stream ended with Timmer and O’Neal heading south and west on Fabyan Parkway in West Chicago, while planning a possible chase in southern Indiana (which apparently did not happen).

SUMMARY VIDEO FEBRUARY 27, 2024: Team Dominator storm chasers intercept multiple tornadoes with a rare February severe weather outbreak across the Great Lakes Region! Temperatures rocketed into the 70s and supercells erupted west of Chicago, dropping tornadoes and gorilla hail. We were directly in the path of a scary nighttime tornado near Somonauk, Illinois. Baseball hail shredded the rental. Never stop chasing. YouTube Tips ⓘ

“Don’t you understand Bernoulli?!”



Tornado images on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 from a wide variety of sources.

Notice how difficult it can be to recognize a tornado at night while driving …

Not a tornado (directly below)? … it was dark when tornadoes came through Hoffman Estates, and some analysts have questioned the validity of this image …


CARDINAL NEWS | Microburst Suspected After Part of Roof Removed from Apartment Building on Washington Blvd, Mundelein

CARDINAL NEWS | Storm Damage Report for Tuesday Evening February 27, 2024

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