Severe Storms in Iowa

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Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: April 6, 2010
Chase Partners:
Solo

Chasers Encountered:
Adam Lucio, Scott Bennett, L.B. LaForce, Skip Talbot, Randy Cooper, Joe Rutkiewicz

Miles Logged: 773
States Chased: MO, IA, IL
Largest Hail Encountered: 1.5"
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

Adam Lucio and I split a hotel room on Monday night in St. Joseph, MO. We woke up semi-late. When I checked things out, there was ongoing Severe Weather in Lansing, MI. While I was taking a shower, Grand Rapids issued a Tornado Warning for my county. I stepped out of the shower and Adam told me to not bother coming out because I didn’t want to see what was going on – haha.

After getting things loaded into the chase van, we hit up the Rib Crib. I had a delicious brisket and rib lunch. Rib Crib is highly recommended for sure.

We hit the road, heading up I-35 north, stopping first at Osceola, IA and meeting up with Skip Talbot and Randy Cooper. Skip and Randy took off north towards the warm front which was situated closer to I-80 at the time being. There were storms going up near the Warm front, but they were crossing and dying off pretty fast, as well as having a real linear/elongated look on radar.

We decided eventually to inch north a bit then east on highway 92 to Indianola. We inched north to Monroe, IA then decided to go east and south to get in position to catch the storms which were firing near the IA/MO border.

Adam and I eventually decided to wait up for another cell as the original one we were on blasted away from us at rocket speeds. We got some decent structure pictures before everything turned into a linear mess.

We saw a report from Chris Rice of the Semi in the ditch along I-80, so we headed up there and shot some footage of that, then edited video in the rest area right next to the scene. We then decided to head east a bit near dark.

We got back into the line of storms, which had become broken at this point. The storm had a weird funnel/scud inflow looking feature that was hard to make out in the dark. I captured some video of it, so I’ll let you be the judge of it.

The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning shortly after for the radar indicated rotation. I still don’t know exactly what you’d call the feature, but it was interesting nonetheless.

We stopped off at a gas station and got cored again by some more messes of storms. I also used that opportunity to use their wifi to upload video.

We headed east to I-80 truck stop where we got some tasty Wendy’s. I ended up staying the night in Chicago at Adam’s house because there was no way I was going to make it back to Michigan awake.

All in all, great structure and some hail and a great chase. Iowa has somewhat redeemed itself, although I still have yet to see anything spectacular in Iowa.