Preliminary pictures from May 24, 2006 Storm Chase
I will be putting together a complete web page about this on my weather site within the next few days. For now here is a sampling of what we saw:
Shelf cloud near the I-90/Highway N interchange. We received outflow winds of about 40-45 mph as this passed over; raising a dust cloud in a dirt driveway to our south.
From this point we took I-90 south toward Edgerton and stopped at another truck stop northeast of town on Highway 59; trying unsucessfully to get Jim's laptop to connect to the wireless network they supposedly had. We were just ahead of the shelf cloud and the winds were beginning to pick up again. Alex informed us that radar indicated an area of rotation embedded in the squall line and heading our way. We turned around to face west so we could see what was coming at us, and saw this:
I am still not 100% positive what this feature was; like the lowering I saw on May 17th it was not clearly a shelf cloud and not clearly a wall cloud. I could not distinguish rotation in real time and I will have to do a thorough video analysis.
Driving southwest into Edgerton we saw this lowering which looked more like a classic wall cloud. This image is lousy because of the powerlines and streetlight; but we drove right up to this later and observed scud clouds rising into it.
From Edgerton we headed south to Janesville and then attempted to get ahead of the storm by driving northeast through Milton to Whitewater; back on Highway 59. From Whitewater we took Highway 89 south by about four miles. During this entire journey we were enveloped in a nearly blinding rainstorm as the cells on the end of the squall line began to congeal and quashed any slight remaining possibility of tornadic storms. We finally began to regain visibility as the line of storms passed and revealed a beautiful sunset to the west:
Meanwhile, the squall line raged on to the east with torrential rain; brilliant lightning and a nice display of mammatus clouds:
A day that began like any other storm day ended up as my first chase; and I had a blast! Thanks to Jim and Leslie for a great chase experience and to Alex Lamers for some excellent nowcasting, especially considering he was without the Milwaukee/Sullivan radar which crashed during the storms!