06/11/04 REPORTS: Upper/Central Plains

Larry J. Kosch

As requested, I'm opening a REPORTS thread for today's chase reports. I understand we got some good chase reports coming in. Post your first-hand chase reports here. 8) LJK.
 
Here's my report: BEST CHASE OF MY SHORT STORM CHASING "CAREER". Headed north on 35 preparing to intercept the storms trying to form in NC Iowa. The crapped out so we blasted west to the storm going crazy over IA/MN border. We caught the tail end charlie storm. Saw a funnel coming down, soon producing a very week rope tornado that got wrapped in precip. This storm went linear with another tail end charlie supercell with real pretty structure. This soon produced a large dust plume on the ground. We got into better position and saw the funnel come down with a brief full condenstation funnel to the ground, as an elephant trunk, before it got wrapped in rain. We interecepted a couple other supercells that failed to produce. Soon a major MCS with HPs formed and we got to see some real pretty mammatus and structure. Finally we were on the boone county storm from a distance. there was intense lighting and we could see what appeared to be a possible brief tornado and large wall cloud. What a day.
 
After a long drive to Iowa from western Nebraska, I was able to catch the tornado south of Fort Dodge, IA this afternoon. Very nice tornado - but low contrast from my position about 6 miles to the northeast. Tried to get closer but a closed bridge blocked my route. A long, but good chase overall.

Video grabs:
http://stormhighway.com/june112004.php

Dan
 
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Well IA finally handed them out. I arrived late but still got 3 tors early east of Spencer somewhere...a white ropey one very beautiful but I wasn't setup and close yet and only got vid driving. Then opted east to get east of a lake and onto some gravel roads and it tor'd again with an elephant trunk/rope. Then pretty sure got one more very brief touchdown not long after the 2nd lifted. I wasn't very happy with the day having arrived kind of late once again...long story. These were from the storm that was near Webb IA after it was through the Webb area. I finally got into position where I wanted to be, closer and on the gravel grids and was right there close for any nice tors and boy did it try so hard so many times. I got to say I passed the tornado intercept vehicle 'intercepting'...lol. Meso rotating rapidly had slid east of the highway so I passed the TIV going north. He was crawling at like 20mph. Just felt kind of gooy passing this vehicle right there but there was obviously no tor chances right where we were located. Cold air seemed to be winning the day now so gave up on that area and just attempt to locate tail end charlie. I got pulled over for doing NOTHING wrong nw of Ft. Dodge. I just was playing with the line looking for some shots and I turned around and headed back east to the highway, but here comes this cop. I saw him turning around in my rearview and was like..hmmm...I know I have done NOTHING worth being pulled over for. He turned south behind me on the highway and quickly pulled me over. I was stumped. Like great some bored cop is going to dream up a ticket for me. Turned out there had been robberies in the area. He let me go....phew. Right after this while driving south what do you know...a dang funnel sticking out the back of this linear and elevated mess. I pulled over west of Ft. Dodge and it started kicking up dirt and was a nice little needle/small carrot like tornado for over 5 minutes. Here comes the cop. He flies west as it was to our sw. It starts to rain wrap so I go east to Ft. Dodge behind a few other chasers now. Here he comes back at, oh, 90mph? I saw him early befor this small crest and pulled onto the shoulder. I thought for sure he was going to cream these couple cars infront of me...he nearly did. This tornado was so tiny and basically was dying, yet he's doing 90 with lights blaring why? Totally added more harm then good here. Why? Because a block later he was pulled over spotting. So after this I drop south for what would be my intercept of the day, tor #5. Someone had to have gotten a ton of tors this day. I shot vid all day and didn't get any stills except for 4 very quickly of this one. The dust and debris..it hit something at least once..was rather amazing to watch. It was about 1/2 mile to my north. Watched it form west of the highway south of Ft. Dodge and raced east to get right south of it. I got soaked filming this whole encounter as the rain wrapping started up. I REALLY wish I had known my passenger window was down 1/3 the way. After about 5 minutes of filming getting soaked in my seat I look to my right. OH MY GOD....my parents new laptop(I've had to borrow as mine bit the dust)is in a puddle of water on my seat!!! Ooops? No, not oops. #$@#$ @#$#@ is more like it. I wiped the screen off and the keys with my shirt I had in the car. I tried to use the finger mouse pad and it was moving the wrong direction. Messed around some more and that started to work ok. Then the screen goes mostly black, but for a small hint at what was on it. Not good. I didn't want to shut it off as I was using gps on these gravel roads, but finally just shut it off. It now has a fan on it and I'm very scared to try and start it up. Tornado completely has wrapped in rain now, gone from view north of the road. Next I notice, this gravel road was not a very good one. I could barely move..it was turning to slime quickly and I'm in a mustang. I backed up a block in the rain to the next gravel road and back up and turn back west to try and get back to the highway. I got it rolling and then the tires kept spinning. I thought for sure I was going to come to a stop. Barely made it out of that but got back to the highway. Finished off the day with one hell of an amazing sky west of the line. While being all giddy from the day I turned onto a road to shoot this amazing site. I look at this house and the back yard and my heart sank. I felt like crap and no longer cared about this whole experience. Lots of small cages with small dogs in them...must of been at least 8 dogs that did not deserve to have this life. Maybe they are let out and played with, but by the looks of this setup I highly doubt it. Well, I'll end that rant as no one likely wants to hear it. Grrrrrrrrr. Oh yes, here are three images of a brief time frame of the day as I don't have time to put up vid caps yet. These three I shot south of Ft. Dodge IA.

Regards,
Mike

[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/11-1.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/11-3.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/11-2.jpg
 
Originally posted by Chris Hayes
Here's my report: BEST CHASE OF MY SHORT STORM CHASING \"CAREER\". Headed north on 35 preparing to intercept the storms trying to form in NC Iowa. The crapped out so we blasted west to the storm going crazy over IA/MN border. We caught the tail end charlie storm. Saw a funnel coming down, soon producing a very week rope tornado that got wrapped in precip. This storm went linear with another tail end charlie supercell with real pretty structure. This soon produced a large dust plume on the ground. We got into better position and saw the funnel come down with a brief full condenstation funnel to the ground, as an elephant trunk, before it got wrapped in rain. We interecepted a couple other supercells that failed to produce. Soon a major MCS with HPs formed and we got to see some real pretty mammatus and structure. Finally we were on the boone county storm from a distance. there was intense lighting and we could see what appeared to be a possible brief tornado and large wall cloud. What a day.


Seems you need to update your signature :wink:
 
My Chase partner, Alister chapman (who is currently driving for SLT right now) captured this tornado near to Storm Lake! It was on the ground for 30 mins. Alister reports that he has even better HD video of this tornado than our May 29th Harper county hose. They went on to se another 6 tornadoes which included another elephant trunk and a multi vortex.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/stu/June11th.jpg
 
Tornadofest in NW IA

Target was Storm Lake, IA. Drove up I-29 from Omaha in the morning. Saw first Cb develop near Correctionville, IA. The storm planted its first tornado near the town of Sioux ___ just after 2 pm and lasted about 25-30 minutes. It went from an elephant trunk to multi-vortex to large barrel back to a drill press trunk. Got the best footage near Webb, IA. Saw five more tornadoes with this storm. Then dropped south to Ft. Dodge to have steak dinner. Saw thin ropy tornado from the restaurant southwest of town. Headed south and filmed a nice 8-10 minute tornado up close. The last tornado was a thin rope lit orange in the setting sun. Heading for SLN to Beatrice today. First tornado chase in IA. What a day. I'm coming to IA every year to chase warm fronts. TM
 
Thanks D. I'll have to get some vid caps up. The video is kind of sweet. I hope no one was hurt as what looked to be a roof was flying around the outside of this thing. I didn't see it in the mix at the time just the debris in general. Nope those are actually rain drops. I was shocked they showed up that well.
 
This must be the year of the photogenic tornado - - - great work to everyone who caught those. Looks like everyone gets the chance to do it again today and tomorrow both!
 
Thank you Iowa

It was a marathon that paid off for me. I drove 400 miles from Chicago through the worst traffic and slowest drivers ever to drive. End result is that I caught an impressive tail end supercell at about 7:20 just east of Fort Dodge. I saw a nice tornado and spent the next 75 minutes admiring this storm. Amazing colors, great contrast and I was lucky enough to be in the perfect position (on the SE edge of the cell). Then it was a hellride back to Chicago weaving in and out of imbedded supercells in a messy MCS. I'll post pics one of these days.

Special thanks to Damon Shaw for his nowcasting help. Damon, you are always right on the mark!

Resting today and then hopefully a good chase day tomorrow. Until then, wishing Pete McConnel, Dan Robinson, Dave Crowley and everyone else chasing today a safe and successfull day today in KS, OK or wherever you go!

Peace,
Fabian
 
The long standing Iowa bust curse has ended!

Scott Kampas and I intercepted a tornado... near Charles City, Iowa on Friday, June 11 (near the town of Riceville, IA and later, Leroy, MN). This was the first Iowa tornado intercept for both of us ever - and officially breaks the five year stint of convective-free; and or convectively messy chases to the Hawkeye state. While I still find Iowa annoying (the masses of flys, odd roads within towns such as Charles City, and the like); the Friday chase was both enjoyable and satisfying. Scott and I ended up following the cell north into S. CEN. MN towards our original target region of Albert Lea. The surface conditions relative to the storm were amazing ... considering LCLs were at 1000mb; and exhibited multiple "scud-puppies" (which looked like multiple vortices) at treeline and ground level. Scott phoned this into NWSFO La Crosse, WI (as we were in their CWA); which somewhat debunked public reports of multiple tornado sightings. The chase concluded in Rochester, MN at a local Subway on some local road... followed by a breathtaking rainbow (with lightning between the bow); and "stormset" (sunset).

I phoned Vince Miller; whom provided us with an idea of what to expect on Saturday. Being primarily w/o data (very "Hoadley'esque these days; myself especially); Scott and I had a feeling Kansas would be the main play, but were not certain. Vince mentioned E. CEN. Kansas E of I-35 as being the focus for convective development on Saturday... yet it wasn't until the following morning at the Osceola, Iowa library that we became thrilled at the potential Saturday held. Two plays; one in S. CEN. KS near ITC; the other near Concordia to Manhattan in NE/N. CEN KS. We favored the N target due to a nice 850/700mb jet streak/wave progd. for early evening; that coupled with excellent surface flow; possible outflow boundary from early morning convection sinking southward (this hurt us later); and a nice theata-E tongue pointing right towards the Junction City, KS region and points northward. South we proceeded; forgoing the first TOR warned convection of the day in S. CEN. NE. Waited, waited, and waited some more at Junction City, KS; then in a 10-minute timeframe... our storm initiated and exploded just to our N. Scott and I headed N on HW77 and intercepted the storm; just as it became undercut by a southward moving bow echo. Shucks... we *almost* had a tornado with this storm. Had it not been undercut, a significant tornado would have been very possible.

Blew off this storm and headed W towards Concordia on HW24. TOR warned storm which was pretty for about 15 minutes before it too was undercut. Nice meso(s) with this tail end line storm... but no dice. Called off the chase in Concordia with a breathtaking sunset and lightshow above the KFC sign. The real kicker came about 15 hours later... following staying the evening at "The Big Inn" at Greenwood, NE... we departed back to IA (where Scott's car was stationed) due to academic and work related commitments. As we pressed E on I-80 near OMA; strong E/SE backed winds were noted; but the temp and Td were not extremely conducive (in our minds) for convective initiation until late in the day (when we couldn't chase)... alas, we headed E across the 18 state SLGT risk region (only hitting four states during the trip home)... and then heard about the tornadic supercells after the fact.

Never fails! Ah well; it was a great weekend, and now its time to get back to reality. Academia, work, and other random duties will keep me home for a good portion of the rest of the spring... *unless* its on a weekend and its another June 24, 2003!

Many thanks to Vince Miller, Chris Novy, Mark Sefried, Bill Reid, Jim Leonard, and Scott Weberpal for intput, nowcasting at times, and interesting inter-cell phone debauchery.

Scott K.... Excellent job navigating and thank you for tolerating my jackassery within the vehicle ;0)

..Blake..

Blake W. Naftel - KC8VPG
[email protected]
www.mammatus.com
 
Originally posted by Blake W. Naftel
While I still find Iowa annoying (the masses of flys, odd roads within towns such as Charles City, and the like)

I discovered on Friday that I am allergic to Iowa - no, seriously! My eyes were swollen and itching, and I was coughing the entire day. I spent four weeks on the Plains with no symptoms except during the Iowa chase. And as Blake said, the insects are unbelievable. Iowa mosquitoes are huge, tough, have an attitude, and are waiting in the grass for the next chaser to set up their tripod alongside the road! After the initial assault, I sprayed on a thick layer of OFF but was still getting eaten alive! I eventually gave up and got back in the truck to watch the storm while the cameras rolled outside. In 5 minutes my truck AND both my video cameras were covered with a swarm of flies and mosquitoes straight out of a low-budget horror movie. I had disturbed their peaceful grass and they were not happy, I guess. I spent the rest of the night's drive with the window open trying to clear out the ones that made it inside.

I can't knock Iowa too much, I did get a tornado - but I'm taking a beekeeper's suit and some Claritin next time I'm up there!
 
Iowa

I would have to agree with Dan that yes, the mosquitoes we have here in Iowa SUCK!! Right now I have atleast 2 dozen bites that are driving me CRAZY and my allergies are no joke either! I'm not worried about getting West Nile virus etc. more like I'm worried about scratching all my skin off!!! Dan, I was on the same tornado that you have a photo of and had an AWSOME time that day!! I drive a red 94 4 door Chevy Lumina if anyone saw me that day. :D After getting a couple of twisters and some AWSOME HP storm video I rode out the storm at the Jewell fire Dept. got blasted by 70+mph winds, TORRENTIAL rain and hail. Made for some great video!!
 
Jay Antle and I, along with a couple of his friends, chased Iowa on June 11th. We observed our first Iowa tornadoes since we both began chasing together in 1998. The Iowa suffering has ended! :lol:

We were late for the first early afternoon round in the Spencer, IA vicinity, but managed to catch a backlit, white tornado near Webb:

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/chase2004/jun11/Dscn8050.jpg width=300 height=225>
Looking northeast towards Webb, IA at around 3:01pm CDT

We then high tailed it south to catch the Fort Dodge southward propogating tornado producer. We missed the first tornado that was just southwest of Fort Dodge, but managed to observe the Otho tornado from a distance of about 7 miles away looking WSW from along US20:

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/chase2004/jun11/Dscn8072.jpg width=300 height=225>
Time ~7:28pm CDT near Otho, IA

More images and a brief account on my 2004 chase trip page at http://www.underthemeso.com/chase2004/triplog.html

Mike U
 
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