This section is for storm chases done in the central / Midwestern United States during the year of 2018. This includes all storm chasing activities (including any major chase "expeditions") during the year of 2018 in the central USA (aka "Tornado Alley"). For 2018, all chases in the central USA will be logged in this section, with many of the chases being possible "spot" chases / major severe weather "setups" chased. Here you should find many pictures of lightning, tornadoes, hail, strong winds, along with many severe thunderstorm elements. Keep in mind that this chase log is scientific evidence and portrays my on-going storm chasing research. It has been placed on this page for easy reference and meteorological interests. Please do not plagiarize or copy this document to other sites for distribution.

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This is a chase log for any chases during 2018 in the Midwest and Central United States that were conducted as "spot" chases as well as any dedicated chase trip. Each chase section within this area will have its own details and such for that particular chase. This area was set up in the spring of 2018 and is for any chase that was conducted in the US Plains and Midwest. Equipment use in such chases range from cell phone to HAM radio communications, digital / still cameras, video (SD) and high-definition (HD) camcorders, and data logging / GPS via laptop computer. Storm chasing involved driving in harsh conditions and / or for long periods of time.

All chases and observations are in chronological order and a chase number is assigned to each entry. Please bear in mind that all observations adhere to modern storm analysis standards and do not include all storms that occurred in a given area for a particular chase period.

Any kind of storm such as a thunderstorm, tornado, waterspout, tropical cyclone, and extratropical storm can be chased or observed. I have tried to keep this log of any storms that I have observed as accurate as possible, while using terms and expressions to abide by those used by most meteorologists and storm spotters today.

Storm chasing and observation can be extremely dangerous and may result in serious injury or death. I have received intermediate and advanced training for storm spotting in 1996. I strongly urge anyone who is to try their hand at storm spotting to get training before doing so. You must also have a good understanding of meteorology and storm dynamics. "If you don't know what you're doing, Don't do it!" Contact your local National Weather Service office for information on storm spotting and about training to become a Skywarn storm Spotter.


Video Clips Coming Soon


This is a chase map for the chase from March 18 through March 20, 2018. The chase track is in blue (which includes the long "ferry" trip from Florida and to the target areas). The target areas appear as yellow outlines for the main chase days, with storm intercepts denoted by the red "X's". The main chase day was March 19.


This chase trip was a short late-winter setup in the SE United States / deep south. The main chase day was March 19 in Northern Alabama, with the days before and after being travel days. I left my place in Deerfield Beach, Florida during the morning of March 18 via I-95 and the FL Turnpike northward. I passed through Orlando and around traffic in Ocala via 301 and eventually I-75 northward. I continued most of the day on I-75 northward and reached Atlanta, Georgia by late evening. I spent the night in Marietta, Georgia contemplating routes the following chase day to be either in N Alabama or south-central Tennessee.

March 19 was the main chase day of this trip, with the primary target area forecasted to be in north-central Alabama and possible a small portion of south-central Tennessee. The SPC had this area in an enhanced-risk that was later upgraded to a moderate risk on their 1630z outlook. The tornado probabilities were 15% (hatched for significant), along with a 30% (also hatched) hail and 15% wind risk. I left Atlanta back down I-75 and I-85 to avoid traffic and onto I-20 west into Alabama and near Birmingham. I then took I-65 north to near Decatur and the Tennessee River area to wait for storms (and that area was near the warm front). This gave Highway 72 and I-65 / I-565 as directional options.

The SPC (Storm Predictions Center) issued MCD (mesoscale discussion) 146 and subsequent PDS (particularly dangerous situation) tornado watch box 13 valid until 11 PM CDT covering much of north-central AL and south-central TN. Another tornado watch (number 14) was also valid in central Tennessee. The first storms developed near and west of Courtland as upper air support glanced the warm front. The storm was followed from near Courtland and north of Decatur, and finally east and northeast to near Huntsville and Meridianville in Madison County where large hail was observed. The second, and main round of storms, then developed later near the MS / AL border, and this area was targeted after abandoning the first round of storms near Huntsville.

I headed back west via Highways 231, then I-565 out of Huntsville, and west on Highway 72 to near Tuscumbia, then south on Highway 34 to Russellville, and west on Highway 24 for the main supercell storm of the day. From there, the storm was followed east and southeast from Franklin county along Highways 24, 157, and 278 to Cullman County near Summitt. A rain wrapped tornado was observed in poor contrast looking west and east of Russellville on Highway 24. The storm was abandoned after dark near Summitt and Blountsville (eventually it split and did more damage in Jacksonville, AL with another tornado at night). I finished the chase by heading back down Highway 231 and southwest on Highways 79 / 75 to I-59 / I-20 in Birmingham. I spend the night just SW of Birmingham near Bessemer.

March 20 was mainly a travel day, with very low chase prospects in the north Florida area - Despite that region being in an enhanced risk as per SPC (wind and hail at 30% and a 10% tornado risk). I left Birmingham / Bessemer via I-59 and I-459 east to I-65 and southeast to Montgomery. From there, I headed south on Highway 231, and eventually east all the way on Highway 82 into Georgia to near Tifton to take I-75 south from there. I continued south on I-75 into north Florida, passing Gainseville and Ocala and the FL Turnpike from there. The SPC issued MCD 157 and tornado watch 17 valid until 7 PM EDT for that area as well (north Florida and SE Georgia). Storms were noted but nothing organized enough to warrant an active chase. The return route pretty much remained behind this convection. After a stop in Orlando, I continued south on the FL Turnpike to Ft Pierce, then I-95 south to Deerfield Beach before midnight. The total mileage for this chase was 2042 miles.




These are two images from the storm Prediction Center (SPC) storm reports for March 19 (left) and 20 (right), 2018. A red dot denotes a tornado report, a blue dot a damaging severe wind report (58 MPH and up), and a green dot a severe hail report (1" and larger). Significant wind (65 knots and up) and significant hail (2" and larger) is denoted by a black square and triangle, respectively. Note the main track of the storms over northern Alabama on March 19.


1). March 23, 6:30 PM - Interception and observation of a very severe thunderstorm north of Huntsville and near Meridianville in Madison County, Alabama and along Highway 231. The storm was a high precipitation supercell storm, which initiated much farther west earlier near Courtland west of Decatur in Lawrence County and was followed east on Highway 72 and through Huntsville via I-565. The storm was fast moving. The core of the supercell was encountered near Meridianville and contained 60 MPH, frequent lightning, heavy rains, and hail to golfball sized (covering the ground at a gas station off Highway 231). A low area of rotation was also observed with this storm, but no tornadoes developed. Conditions causing the storm were a warm front, surface heating, low pressure trough, and upper trough. Documentation was still photos and digital HD video. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storm. A PDS (particularly dangerous situation) tornado watch was also valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

2). March 24, 8:30 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from west and through Russellville in Franklin County Alabama along Highway 24 and east and southeast through Moulton and Culleman along Highway 157 and ultimately near Summit in Cullman County and Highway 231. The storm began as a powerful classic supercell that evolved to HP near Russellville as it turned right (moving ESE). The main core of the storm was not penetrated, but contained hail to at least baseball sized (with record breaking hail sizes exceeding 5" near Cullman). The storm had a striking visual appearance as well, with rapidly rotating wall cloud and striated updraft and vault to the right when viewed west of Russellville. The storm produced a rain wrapped tornado that caused damage in Russellville. This tornado was barely visible from the east on Highway 24 looking towards Russellville. The storm continued rapidly east and southeast and a split occurred near Brooksville and ultimately caused another tornado that hit Jacksonville, AL. Conditions encountered were heavy rains, small hail (main core avoided), frequent lightning with close hits, and winds near 60 MPH (mainly inflow and RFD). This is the same storm that caused extreme hail near Cullman, where a record breaking (AL state record) hailstone of 5.25" fell! Conditions causing the storm were a stationary front / outflow boundary, surface heating, low pressure area, and upper trough. Documentation was still photos and digital HD video. A 2016 Jeep Wrangler was used to chase the storm. A PDS (particularly dangerous situation) tornado watch was also valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.

This concludes the chase log for the SE USA (including chases in Alabama) chase trip for March 18-20, 2018. The summary includes a total of 2 observations, out of which there were 2 severe thunderstorms. q tornado was observed from one of these severe storms. The main chase vehicle conducting this chase a 2016 Jeep Wrangler. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


Non severe storm in central Florida while beginning a long road trip to Georgia and Alabama during the afternoon of March 18, 2018.


March 19 was the main chase day of this trip. The image above to the left is the tornado outlook as per the SPC for the main target areas. In the middle image, tornado watch 13 is shown. The visible satellite is the image to the right, showing the storms over northern Alabama at about the time the Russellville tornado ocurred. A radar (base reflectivity) image of the Franklin County supercell is in the right inset.

Inside of my chase vehicle (a 2016 Jeep Wrangler) ready to chase on March 19, 2018.
Area of rotation to the southwest of Courtland, Alabama on the first supercell of the day on March 19. This was along the warm front and storm motions were fast and visibility poor.
Hail up to golfball sized affecting Meridianville, Alabama north of Huntsville around 4 PM on March 19.
View of backside of the hail core and area of weak rotation on March 19 near Meridianville, Alabama.
View of impressive anvil blowoff from an intensifying tornadic supercell west of Russellville, Alabama after 6 PM in Franklin County.
Supercell storm (in classic mode) to the west of Russellville, Alabama on Mrch 19. This is an intensifying storm and will produce a weak tornado soon.
Close-up view of rotating wall cloud to the west of Russellville, Alabama.
Intense rain-wrap and hail core while looking west towards Russellville, Alabama. There is a developing rain-wrapped tornado in there, and significant damage was being done in Russellville at the time.
Closer view of rain-wrapped tornado as is was doing damage in Russellville, Alababa. The tornado would be to the lower-left of the center of this picture.


March 20 was mainly a travel day back into Florida. In the images above, the SPC 12z outlook is shown to the left (enhanced-risk). In the middle is the graphic of tornado watch 17 for that area. In the right, are the disorganized severe storms (base reflectivity radar) over Florida during the afternoon of March 20.

Highway 82 in eastern Alabama extending into a "traffic-less" vanishing point while heading east of Montgomery on March 20, 2018.
Low topped non-severe storm west of Orlando while heading back to south Florida late in the day on March 20.


This section is for any other chases and / or storm pictures taken in the central United States / Midwestern areas during 2018. These include any chases or observations of storms that were local chases (or trips lasting a single day), but not part of a dedicated / longer chase trip. This area is also UNDER CONSTRUCTION, so please keep an eye on this page for future updates.


1). Jan 1, 0:00 PM - This is a TEMPLATE.

This concludes the chase log for the central United States and Midwest for ANY OTHER chases in 2018 not part of a special section (especially those for single-day "spot" chase trips). The summary includes a total of TBD observations. Out of the observations, there were TBD severe thunderstorms and TBD strong thunderstorm. Out of the thunderstorms, TBD possible tornadoe were observed. The main chase vehicle conducting these chases was a 2016 Jeep Wrangler / TBD. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.



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