Okay...maybe it wasn't a tornado, but I wanted to slip in a little Buffett. On Tuesday, I got a text message saying that there was a severe thunderstorm watch that morning. Normally, I don't think much about these watches as we get them quite often in the summer, but I hopped on the Weather Channel for a minute to see what was coming.
I brought the car into the garage as soon as I saw the radar. We had a bow echo, and it appeared that we were right at the front, where the wind speeds were usually fastest. The last radar update before it hit us pretty much confirmed that:
In case you have been living under a rock for the past ten years, that snapshot comes courtesy of the Weather Channel. We live right at the tip of the bowed-out part...looks like a nose on the radar return.
I thought we had a little more time as the stations in Peoria were just bracing for the storm...they were back in the bow. One look outside, and I knew it was going to be a fun one:
Lots of folks were outside watching the skies. A few minutes later, I looked back outside and saw the clouds overhead. I flipped it to video to show the actual shape:
I was facing west taking this, and the wind came straight from the west...it increased from 5 mph to around 40-50 in the span of a couple of seconds, and the rain came out of nowhere (thus the "calling it a day").
The center of the bow was about 30 miles deep, so we were going to be in for some fun for a bit. I looked east and saw what folks usually see in a hurricane (from footage I've watched). I grabbed the camera and got this:
Check out the bird attempting to fly about 18 seconds in. The boys' commentary was pretty good...I loved Eric's "It's so foggy!", and Aaron the know-it-all educating Eric about stuff (he is my son).
I can't imagine the coastal folks going through that for hours on end. Winds were estimated somewhere around 50-60 mph. We got between 1.8 and 1.9 inches of rain in a 45 minute time span. Le Roy, a town about 5 miles east of us, really had some straight-line wind damage. No damage around here in Downs nearby our house, but several large trees went down (one on a house a couple of miles west of us), and a lot of corn was flattened. Local coverage of the storm can be found here.