Storm Story Sunday 12-3-17 - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Storm Story Sunday 12-3-17

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WSIL -- Weather Warrior Tony Laubach lists his favorite three storm chases of the year on this week's Storm Story Sunday. 

Number 3 on this list starts off right here at home back on April 26 just west of Pinckneyville.  Those storms were reported to have some intense winds, but little did I know exactly how intense.

Those winds were clocked at near 80mph and were enough to bend trees halfway to the ground as well as snap a large pine tree. This was the first time I had ever captured something like that on film, and it was good enough to get a plug from Ginger Zee on Good Morning America.

Number 2 of my top 3 storms also comes from Illinois, but it was born in Missouri as a run-of-the-mill severe storm with some hail and winds.  While that was decent, it was what the storm did for me when it crossed into Illinois.  Photographing lightning is always been one of my favorite aspects of chasing, and this gave me my best shots of the year, including one dramatic shot, which hit about two telephone poles away from me.  That shot was taken at 10mm, in case you're wondering.

The number 1 of this year's top 3 was the storm I chased from one of my favorite states, Colorado, into another one of my favorite states, Kansas, back on May 26.  This storm was a looker early in it's life cycle, and had a little spunk to it in Colorado.  It never produced a tornado, but it took on some amazing structure as it crossed into Kansas and followed I-70 to the east.  When dark set in, I decided to let the storm overtake me, and I barely made it into a gas station in the town of Colby when the leading edge of the storm hammered me with winds over 70mph.

Dirt and rocks sandblasted me as I waited for the window to roll up, one of those few times I wish I had a manual window cause I would've been gunning my muscles getting that closed faster. In total, I spent over 4 hours chasing this slow moving storm, and it easily was my favorite of the year.

Tony Laubach

Weather Warrior

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