Detailed Observations of Severe Weather Events, 1996-2006

by John Farley

IMPORTANT NOTE: This Web page is no longer being updated. I will keep it here to maintain an archive of storm observations from 1996 to 2006, but beginning with December, 2006, all new weather observations will be posted here.

This page includes detailed reports on severe storms that I have observed over the past decade or so. If you like what you see here and want to see reports from other people, an excellent source is the Storm Track/Storm Chaser Home Page. This Web page also includes extensive weather forecasting and weather photography links, and is a good place to start for anyone with an interest in severe weather. Storm Track also publishes a Storm Chaser Directory with links to lots more pages like this one - in fact, the most comprehensive collection of such Web pages around. And by all means, if you are even thinking of heading out to try to observe severe weather in the field, see this Web page from Storm Track first to learn about safety and severe weather education. Another excellent source for beginning severe weather observers is this page, originally developed by Allan Rosenberg and now maintained by Jason Politte. Remember - severe weather observation is inherently dangerous, and only those with considerable knowledge of severe storms should attempt it. Finally, if you are interested in getting weather data over the Web, the links I use most often can be accessed here.

One important note: all photos on this page and on the report pages linked from here are copyrighted. Please do not use these pictures, other than for your own personal use, without my permission. Now, here are my reports, with the links annotated to show what I saw and images included in the report:


September 27, 2006 - A photogenic supecell thunderstorm produces large hail as it moves across far southern Illinois. Includes photos.

September 22, 2006 - I intercept three tornado-warned storms in Monroe County, IL. Although the second storm produces a number of hail reports, there were no tornadoes in or near Monroe Co. Includes photos.

September 11, 2006 - A storm in Pike County, IL produces two photogenic wall clouds. Includes photos.

July 29, 2006 - I find a vantage point in Collinsville to watch a severe storm cross from the city of St. Louis into St. Clair County, IL.

July 27, 2006 - A storm in central Illinois produces flash flooding and re-forms its base at a lower level, as it moves into a high-moisture environment north and northeast of Decatur where heavy rain fell the night before. Then, near home, I see a small needle funnel under a storm near Marine. Includes photos.

July 19, 2006 - Looking through surging rain curtains, I see what may have been a brief tornado or funnel cloud at the north edge of Springfield, IL, as a violent MCS surges southward through central Illinois. This is the same storm complex that later knocked out power to nearly 600,000 customers in the St. Louis area. Includes video capture, LSRs, and storm damage survey.

July 13, 2006 - I get a nice video capture of a lightning strike just a couple hundred yards away - safely, from my car with the windows closed. Includes video capture.

June 14, 2006 - A fishing outing turns into a storm observation outing, as a severe storm sweeps down out of the mountains and over Eagle Nest Lake, NM. Includes photos.

June 6, 2006 - I observe what looked like a dust devil in the Santa Fe, NM area - but since it was under the leading edge of an approaching thunderstorm, perhaps the more proper designation would be a gustnado. You can look at the pics and decide.

May 24, 2006 - After intercepting severe storms in Pike Co., IL and Lincoln Co., MO, I pursue a severe storm from near Troy, MO through the Edwardsville and Marine areas to Highland, IL and beyond. The storm produces interesting features as it causes damage near Edwardsville, and lots of blowing dust and a gustnado near Highland. Includes photos and LSRs.

April 30, 2006 - I get a few shelf cloud and lightning pics as storms pass northeast and southeast of Edwardsville.

April 16, 2006 - I see, but am unable to photograph, the F2 tornado that occurred southeast of Effingham, IL shortly after 5 p.m. I also see, and do get nice photos of, a rotating wall cloud and brief spinup tornado near Assumption, IL earlier in the day, as well as a number of other interesting storms that occurred from around Springfield, IL all the way southeast to Robinson, near the Indiana border.

April 7, 2006 - I encounter a series of prolific hailers in Southern Illinois, and, without trying to get in the hail, manage to get my best hail video ever. Includes photos, video captures, LSRs, and warning texts.


November 5, 2005 - A chase to the Warrenton, MO area produces nothing, but I catch a couple nice lightning pics later that night as the storms, which did not initiate until sunset, push through the Edwardsville area around 10 p.m. Later that night, the same line of storms produced the deadly tornado in Evansville, IN. Includes lightning photos.

September 13, 2005 - A long track storm moving across central MO moves a little faster than I could on Missouri's hilly, curvy roads. Includes local storm reports.

June 13, 2005 - A classic supercell over Jersey and Macoupin Counties, IL produces golfball hail, a spectacular wall cloud, funnel clouds, and a tornado. Then, on the way home, I encounter the edge of a nasty bow echo, as the worst passes just to my north. Includes photos, video captures, and local storm reports.

June 8, 2005 - A view from central Missouri of a complex of severe storms that went all the way from Montana and South Dakota to Arkansas and Tennessee. Includes photo of the approaching storm.

A long weekend of storm observation in Oklahoma and Kansas! On June 3, I followed a marginally severe but very photogenic storm from northern OK to southern KS. On June 4 I missed the Hiawatha,KS tornado by about 30 miles, but did catch some supercell action in northeast KS before the storms merged into a massive line. I also caught a nice sunset in Springfield, MO en route. Reports include photos and local storm reports.

April 21, 2005 - A central Missouri storm chase yields four tornado-warned storms, wall clouds, and lots of hail. Includes video captures and NWS local storm reports.


October 18, 2004 - I get some nice pics as a cluster of supercells crosses the Mississippi into southern Illinois near Prairie du Rocher. Includes photos and DV captures.

August 14, 2004 - Chasing in northeast New Mexico, Alice and I see a spectacular HP supercell with one of the most menacing wall clouds I have ever seen. Includes DV captures, radar images, and NWS local storm reports.

July 22, 2004 - A short local chase yields two severe storms near Lebanon and Mascoutah, IL. Features include large non-rotating wall cloud and lots of CG. Includes DV captures and NWS local storm reports.

July 13, 2004 - Due to work commitments, I get too late a start to see the day's tornadoes or giant hail, but still get a couple nice pics in central IL.

July 5, 2004 - A violent and spectacular storm surges through the St. Louis area, producing widespread wind damage and numerous hail reports. And the chase ended with a surprise - seeing a brief tornado just 5 miles from my house! Includes photo and video captures, radar images and analysis, and local storm reports.

July 4, 2004 - A chase from Litchfield, IL to Vandalia, IL of a fast-moving storm. It was strong, but not severe, until after I broke off from it to return home for 4th of July festivities. It did produce a nice "look-alike" lowering and drop a little hail on me, though. Includes a couple photos.

June 18, 2004 - A tornado-warned HP supercell crosses the Mississippi into SW IL, then produces wind damage and flooding as it collapses in Randolph and Perry Counties. Includes video captures and local storm reports.

May 29, 2004 - A chase through western and central Oklahoma yields an anticyclonic tornado near Calumet, and up to 3 more possible tornadoes, multiple funnel clouds, both cyclonic and anticyclonic rotating wall clouds, and giant 4-inch hail, as a monsterous tornadic supercell moves all the way across Oklahoma. Includes digital video caputures, photo scans, radar images, and NWS statements.


July 9, 2003 - A tornado-warned storm produces a rotating wall cloud near Kilbourne, IL. Also several other non-rotating wall clouds and lots of other high-contrast structure on a picturesque, slow-moving storm. Includes digital video captures, radar iamges, LSRs, and warning texts.

May 28, 2003 - Weak but persistent tornadic circulation under the flanking line of a supercell NE of Lincoln, IL - on the ground for 7-10 minutes and at least 2 miles. Includes video captures, LSRs, warning texts, and radar images.

May 10, 2003 - Madison Co., IL morning supercells; tornado-warned Edwardsville storm produces funnel cloud (which I miss) and big hail (which I don't). Includes LSRs, warning texts, and radar images.

May 9, 2003 - Severe storms near Chester, IL and in Perry Co., IL, with inadvertent sampling of hail core. Includes photos, radar images, and LSRs.

May 6, 2003 - Monster HP supercell near Union, MO, with large rain-wrapped lowering. Storm produced golfball hail and wind damage in Union, and tornadoes before and after I was on it. Best chase so far this season. Includes video captures, warnings, and LSRs.

May 4, 2003 - Intercepted supercells that produced long-track Kansas City tornado and Johnson Co., MO tornado - just as the storms died. Did get nice meso on second Johnson/Pettis Co. storm, and a sampling of its hail. Includes video captures, LSRs, tornado damage surveys, radar images, and tornado path map showing my locations and times.

April 29, 2003 - Mini chase from Edwardsville to Wood River - Severe storm entering from north St. Louis County fizzles.

April 4, 2003 - Big-time hailer near Farmsersville, IL. Includes photos, LSRs, warnings, and radar images.


July 22, 2002 - Severe storm; lots of intense outflow-driven dust from Jacksonville to Springfield, IL. Includes photos, LSRs, warnings, and radar images.

July 21, 2002 - A spectacular backyard view of an example of the human influence on weather, as storms go up over the Wood River, IL refinery complex.

June 11, 2002 - Mini-chase of a severe storm that occurred in Edwardsville when a weakening bow echo overtook a cluster of newly developing storms north of STL. Includes LSRs, warning, and radar image - no pics because I didn't have a camera.

June 4, 2002 - A severe storm with both large hail and damaging wind produces a spectacular shelf cloud between Eureka and Bloomington, IL. Includes video captures, radar images, and text of watch, warnings, LSRs, and severe wx statements.

May 1, 2002 - Poor intercept strategy causes a "near-tornadic bust" close to home. Includes LSR text, radar images, and a link to a tornado damage survey from the St. Louis NWS office.

April 21, 2002 - ILCHASE caravan observes a spectacular, fast-moving supercell in Southern Illinois. Includes photos, video captures, radar image, and text of watches, warnings, statements, and LSRs.

April 19, 2002 - Severe HPish storm in Macoupin Co., IL. Includes video captures, radar image, and texts of watches, warnings, statements, and LSRs.


October 24, 2001 - Bad decisions let a fast-moving (and, later, tornadic) central Illinois supercell get away. Includes radar images and a few photos.

August 18, 2001 - A spectacular tornado-warned supercell and a likely funnel in southern Illinois, and two encounters with a severe squall line in central and southern Illinois. Includes photos, radar images, and text of warnings, statements, and local storm reports.

June 2, 2001 - A very photogenic though non-severe storm in northeast New Mexico, in an area of spectacular scenery. Interesting animal encounters, too! Includes photos and links to weather statements.

May 5 and 6, 2001 - Two days of storm observation in Oklahoma! May 5 features Cordell, OK storm viewed from just after its initiation near Altus, OK through tornadogenesis just north of Cordell. A truly spectacular storm and my first tornado in 3 years! May 6 features menacing supercell/squall line hybrid that produced large and heavy hail in the northern suburbs of Tulsa, as well as a tornado warning for Tulsa Co. Includes photos and video stills of storms; warnings, severe westher statements, and local storm reports for both storms, as well as links to other reports on the Cordell storm.


August 8, 2000 - Near Carlyle Lake and O'Fallon, IL - Isolated severe storm with large hail - brightly backlit with great storm structure! Includes photos and video still of storm, warning and severe weather statement texts, and local storm reports.

July 18, 2000 - Near Shipman and Bunker Hill, IL - Tornadic supercell, partially-rain wrapped meso. Includes video stills of storms, watch/warning/wx statement texts, radar images, and local storm reports.

June 4, 2000 - Jersey Co., IL - A feast for the eyes: brilliant sunlit mammatus, bright rainbow, anvil-crawler lightning. Includes photos and video still of storm and local storm reports.

May 18, 2000 - Near Hamel and Pocahontas, IL - Photogenic supercells, wall clouds, best storm structure so far in 2000. Includes photos and video stills of storms, warning texts, and local storm reports.

May 12, 2000 - Macoupin County, Illinois - Severe storm producing 2-inch hail; developing supercell imbedded in squall line. Includes photos and video stills of storm, warning texts, local storms reports, and NWS tornado damage survey.

April 16, 2000 - Southwest Illinois - 4 severe storms, supercell, hailers, wall clouds. Includes photos and video stills of storms, radar data, warning texts, and local storm reports.

March 8, 2000 - Central Illinois bust (but nice sunset photo).


August 23, 1999 - Near Winchester and White Hall, IL - Severe squall line, shelf cloud, lots of lightning. Includes video stills of storm.

Jacksonville, IL, August 12, 1999 - Severe squall line and spectacular lightning show. Includes photo of storm.

June 27, 1999 - Near Cape Girardeau and Sikeston, MO - Isolated storm and fast-moving squall line. Includes photos and video stills of storm.

June 11, 1999 - Northern Madison County, IL - Severe pulse storm. Includes video still of CG lightning and photos of tree damage and field flooding.

June 1, 1999 - Near Columbia, MO; Montgomery City, MO; and Alton, IL - Severe storms; multicell storms with embedded supercells; wall clouds; possible brief funnels. Includes video stills and photos of storms.

May 5, 1999 - Various locations across southern IL - 2 severe storms (giant hail producers), splitting supercell, wall clouds, mammatus. Includes video stills and photos of storms.


September 30, 1998 - Bloomington, Chenoa, and El Paso, IL - Squall line, hail, shelf cloud. Includes video still and photos of storm.

Jacksonville, IL, June 28, 1998 - Severe storm, high wind, shelf cloud. Includes photo and video stills of storm.

Carlinville/Palmyra, IL, May 12, 1998 - Tornadic storm, wall cloud, funnel clouds, supercell. Includes video stills of storm as well as radar images.

Macoupin County, IL, May 1, 1998 - Severe storm, large and heavy hail. Photos and video stills of storm appear on Weather Photos Page but not in this report.

Red Bud, IL, April 15, 1998 - Possible tornado, severe storm, wall clouds, HP supercell. Includes photos and video stills of storm, as well as radar images. (The opening photo above is also from this storm.)

Edwardsville, IL, April 13, 1998 - Tornadic storm, F1 tornado damage in Edwardsville, HP supercell. Includes damage photos.

Carlinville, IL, April 7, 1998 - Severe storm, wall cloud, funnel clouds, classic supercell. Includes photos and video stills of storm.

Macoupin and Madison Counties, IL, March 31, 1998 - Nothing severe, but lots of rainbows and photogenic cloud structures. Photos of storm appear on Weather Photos Page but not in this report.

Poplar Bluff, MO, March 27, 1998 - Bust, no photos


Henry County, IL, near Quad Cities, July 27, 1997 - Non-supercell tornado, severe storms, wall cloud. Includes photos of storm.

Jennings, OK, May 25, 1997 - Wall clouds, funnel cloud. Includes photos and video stills of storm.

Macoupin County, IL, April 30, 1997 - Severe storm, possible funnels, supercell, dust storm(!) Includes photos of storm.


Evansville, IL, December 23, 1996 - Tornadic storm with F1 tornado damage in Evansville; golfball hail, wall clouds, funnels, developing tornado. Includes photos of storm as well as damage photos.

This page was last modified September 28, 2006.

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