Winter is no "off-season" for storms and severe weather in the Midwest, and this year is no exception. In fact, this winter season I have more convective thunderstorm/severe weather chases logged than I do snow/icy road events. The following is a recap of all of the events I've covered so far this winter.
December 16, 23 & 26, 2015 St. Louis winter lightning
The systems that produced the tornadoes in Mississippi and the Dallas metro also brought winter thunderstorms to the St. Louis metro in the days before and after Christmas. I captured these scenes (handheld video and dashcam):
Animated GIF of lightning with Christmas lights at New Baden from one of the dashcams on the 16th:
December 23 Illinois supercells
A legit winter chase day! Despite the better parameters down in Mississippi where a significant tornado occurred, as is my usual plan, I chased the secondary target close to the surface low in my backyard from Hannibal to Jacksonville. Only one storm produced a tornado in Illinois (the storm about 40 miles to my north) but I witnessed a decent supercell and small hail just south of Quincy. The video below is a timelapse from my new 4-way dashcam setup.
Another event typical of most winter chase days: a big setup in the Southern US states, with a secondary target in the Midwest. Of course, as usual, I chose the backyard target - which was my living room on this day. Despite good moisture return this far north, weak lapse rates kept the convection up here from organizing into anything interesting. I observed a few weak storms along I-55 at Livingston that initially looked promising, but they were continually undercut by outflow. I didn't take any pictures or videos, and was back home by 4PM. A wedge tornado was captured by a few chasers in Alabama.
January 19 St. Louis snowstorm
This is the only winter storm I've covered so far this season, and it wasn't much of one. The St. Louis metro picked up between 2 and 4 inches this day. I didn't capture anything noteworthy during the event.