top of page



From snowstorms to explosive thunderstorms, the world of weather never disappoints us. Storm chasers and meteorologists track these events daily.

In our area over the last year, we saw an increase in severe weather from mid to late July. 

Early Morning of 7/29/23

Early morning of 7/29/23 in the Ohio Valley started off like any other normal day. Birds were chirping, dogs were barking, and even a gentle breeze was blowing. There were hardly any clouds in the sky at the time. Everyone went on with their normal business. Cars drove to their early morning shift, while kids could already be heard outside playing.     

When visiting the Storm Prediction Center (SPC for short) website. There was a marginal level 1 out of 5 risk for much of the Ohio Valley, with a slight risk over Missouri.

Storm Prediction Center update 1300z (8 AM CDT)

Storm Prediction Center forecast image at 8 AM

Severe weather was not a thought, considering how nice the morning started 

Late morning update

Late morning became ridiculously hot and humid in the Ohio Valley. Clouds were starting to appear in the west but stayed away for a while.

Meanwhile, over in Missouri large clouds had immediately developed and were growing rapidly.   Radar showed that a line of thunderstorms had formed by noon. This line pushed across Western Missouri. People off to the east saw towering clouds, with quickly darkening skies. The line was racing fast off to the east and was already producing damaging winds.  

Doppler Radar image archive
Radar Data of severe storms moving quickly across Missouri 
Columbia Missouri Gets hit by storms.

Residents in Columbia, Missouri saw the quickly changing conditions and immediately took shelter in their homes. As the skies quickly darkened, streetlights had come on and were shining brightly. The air went quiet, except for the rumbling of thunder.

The sky had completely turned pitched black at this point. Flashes of lighting were visible as an ominous lowering was seen in the distance. Residents saw a shelf cloud completely expanding from north to south in general west direction. Winds picked up severely and reached up to 70 to even 75 mph! Trees were snapped along with damage being sustained to homes. Residents in the immediate reported this damage to officials. 

Storm Damage archive photos

 Photo taken by Chris Kelley and relayed on the National Weather Service slack   

Afternoon Weather Update

By the time we got to 2 PM CDT in the afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center quickly upgraded to “slight risk” of severe weather for Southern IL, western KY, and southwestern Indiana. This slight risk encompassed much of our local area. A slight risk means confidence has increased.


Storm Prediction Center forecast at 2 PM
 Storm Prediction Center update at 2000z (2 PM CDT)

At 3:55 PM the storms entered the Saint Louis metro area. Producing winds of up to 75 mph or greater and causing numerous tree damage reports.   

 As evening pushed in, so did the storms. Lightning had picked up intensely. Fierce winds also pushed in with a shelf cloud. 

What is a shelf cloud? You may ask. A shelf cloud is an arcing horizontal long cloud that is associated with squall line  

Storms reach our local area.

 The storms reached the Wabash River at 8 pm and present us with a beautiful shelf cloud with very dark and ominous skies.

Shelf cloud photo. Taken on a phone

This shelf cloud photo to the right was taken on July 29th, 2023, in rural Wabash County IL at exactly 7 PM CDT 

Once the main part passed on the backside, something spectacular happened. More thunderstorms had formed. The storms started producing a beautiful light show that would last until 9 PM CDT.

Doppler Radar image archive #2
Radar image at 7:50 PM CDT [7/29/23]

Light show begins

One after another, lightning crawlers shot across the sky. The darkness was illuminated in purple. Thunder was rumbling after every flash. People across the rural country side sat out and watched the light show. Amazed by mother natures art.

Lightning photo on the backside.

Lightning photo #2
Lighting in rural Wabash County IL July 29th, 2023  

Storms were not expected to turn out like this, and this shows how quickly our environment can change.  


This is just one of many stories to come. If you have ever had wild weather, let me know in the comments.
Also, should I do more stories like this? 

If you have not checked out the other blogs posted on here, You should! There are some remarkable stories and news related content.  


Log In to Connect With Members
View and follow other members, leave comments & more.
bottom of page