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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

June 7th chase - north central IA


About time I finally had a decent chase closer to home. Was hemming and hawing about heading down to the Mason City Iowa area all day. Tried to get Dave to talk me into it but he insisted he was only going if something went up near Storm Lake Iowa so it would be an easy intercept as he was still processing photos from a wedding he shot in May. Cullen was no help either as he had his mind set on going fishing so I was pretty much on my own for this one. Kept looking at data all morning and it was pretty obvious this boundary running from west of LaCrosse, WI to the Omaha, NE area was going to stall out so I figured what the heck? It was close enough to home and there is no way it could be as bad as the chase on the 5th.

So I finally pulled the trigger and headed down I35. I stopped at the first gas station over the MN/IA border and no sooner than I hopped back into the car than a wall cloud stared to form off the cell coming up from just to the southwest. I followed it east to Northwood IA. Dave called and said he was coming down also and was heading towards the same area. Somehow I managed to miss the tornado between the gas station and Northwood but Dave got it so I was happy.

Long story short of the rest of the day. Chased 4 tornado warned supercells while basically driving a circle from Northwood IA to Leroy MN to St. Ansgar IA back to the Northwood area.

You have to look really close but there is a funnel waaaaay off in the distance just about in the middle of the page. This sucker was moving at nearly 45 mph to the northeast through a not so good road network so I had to let it go.

The only other remotely tornadic circulation was this area southwest of St. Ansgar IA. The video is pretty convincing with rapidly rotating rain curtains.

It did form a condensation funnel in the rain curtains for a few seconds. I'm sure this was a brief, weak tornado. Regardless, it was fun to watch and that is all I'm concerned with. I'll send a copy of the video to the DMX WFO so they can take a look at it also.

So what went wrong? The surface winds really were south to southwest for the most part so the storms really never to the strong surface inflow needed for rapid rotation at the lowest levels. All the wall clouds were non rotating or slowly rotating. LE and other chasers were reporting gustnadoes and only God knows what else as tornadoes again. I've seen one good pic of a tornado this day and nothing else.

What went right? Semi close distance to home and a decent road network to get around on. The ATT aircard functioned well but I learned if I activate the Spotternetwork program and I loose my connection to ATT, I need to close it before the card will reconnect.

All in all it was a very enjoyable chase. This is the first time in a LONG time I have chased totally solo without Cullen or Dave. Kinda weird though.


Anonymous said...

i was trying to find any pics of the tornado in omaha,ne from last night and reading your site u state the omaha storm stalled out which...if u look at any of the aftermath pics...tornado did hit and nonoe was warned about it..the storm did alot fo damage so maybe when u say storms stall out u shouldnt dismiss them since it was pretty rocky and at least 1 tornado has been confirmed by the nwc just so ya know

mnwxchaser said...

The boundary stalled out. Not the storms. If you note, all the storms trained along the boundary with the SW/NE H5 winds running parallel to the boundary. Never said anything the "storm stalling"...

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