Western Iowa Tornadoes

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Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: June 29, 2014
Chase Partners:
Jon Stone

Chasers Encountered:
Alec Scholten, Shanda Hinnant, Scott Bennett

Miles Logged: 929
States Chased: NE, IA
Tornadoes Witnessed: 2
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

Jon and I both were not very sold on Sunday’s setup, but after 2 blue sky busts in a row we decided to try for Sunday. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Salina and then headed east and north with an initial target around Marysville, KS. We stopped off in Abilene, KS to check out the Eisenhower presidential library before heading to Marysville.

Once in Marysville and examining the 18Z Topeka sounding, we decided we probably needed to get further north into Nebraska and maybe even into Iowa. The Topeka sounding was showing a pretty good cap and had a convective temp of near 100F.

We headed north out of Marysville up to Beatrice and then to Thomas and Nebraska City. A storm had really started to fire north of Omaha near Blair and we were heading up I-29 towards it.

The storm came into view north of Omaha and we first got onto it near Missouri Valley, IA. It had decent structure and was showing great signs of inflow and overall rotation. For whatever reason, shortly after that it seemed to almost become outflow dominant, showing a shelf cloud presentation. I theorize that the storm may have fallen off of the outflow boundary which was evident on visible satellite.

We continued east and the storm seemed to cycle and got less of a shelfy look and started to rotate again and even showed a little bit of striations around the meso. As we continued east on highway F58, we eventually witnessed a very brief and small funnel which apparently touched down very briefly.

We continued east until US59 where the storm really started falling apart again. The traffic by this point was insane, with a huge line of cars coming down F58. We decided to bail north to Harlan and then east into the core to Kimballton before dropping back south in front of everyone again.

The storm had definitely fallen apart so we decided to start heading back to Norman before seeing another severe warned storm off to our west. We decided to go after it since it was mostly on the way home.

We found some dirt/gravel roads to travel on near Portsmouth and saw some nice rotating structure on the storm like we had witnessed on the previous storm. We got up to 220th street and took it east where we witnessed our second tornado of the day, this time with corn stalks flying in the air and a quick vorticy fully condensing. Barn parts flew across the road and into the field next to us.

This would be the coolest thing we’d see all weekend and would follow the storm back to Harlan before giving up shortly east of town and heading back to Norman. We got back to Norman at 430 am! Yuck