5/19/2004 REPORTS: NE, IA, SD, ND, MN

Dan Robinson

Wednesday 5/19/2004 - Big cap-induced bust in Iowa. Photo from a good chaser convergence southwest of Carrol, IA with chasers from 8 different states! (Illinois, Arkansas, West Virginia, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Maryland, and Oklahoma):

From left to right: Doug Kiesling, Neal Rasmussen, Sara Johnson, Dave Crowley, Pete McConnel, Damon Shaw, Fabian Guerra and me (behind the camera!):


After a nice steak dinner at Outback, currently staying in Omaha NE in preparation for a chase tomorrow in this vicinity.

Basically two major busts, but that's OK - that's chasing. Still plenty of opportunities left. Besides, after May 12 it will be a long time before I can complain!
May 19th was a major bust. Initially targeted Omaha but then checked out areas to the east and north of Omaha. Watched some sheared somewhat rotating showers develop near Manning, Iowa however these died. I hate the cap!

Sorry you all had a bust yesterday. Maybe that's why there's no forecast thread for today, because it could be another bust. There is a severe weather threat from CO to OH today with tornadoes possible in CO and KS. I am at 72/70 :shock: right now. That is the first time this year the dewpoint hit 70 for CHI-town, it is juicy air. Could be a derecho event here during the afternoon. Also, hail threat is 25% according to SPC. Boundaries from overnight MCS's are setting up here. TCU field is already blooming. Lots of grunge clouds though.

Here is some forecast sounding data for KLOT 15 hrs from now.... :shock:

Showalter Index: -4.34 C Risk: Severe thunderstorms possible
Total Totals Index: 53.66 C Risk: Scattered heavy thunderstorms
Vertical Totals Index: 28.43 C
Cross Totals Index: 25.23 C
K Index: 35.03 Risk: > 80 % chance of thunderstorms
Sweat Index: 452.98 Risk: Severe Thunderstorms possible
Energy Index: -3.03 Risk: Severe Thunderstorms probable

Parcel Indices
Parcel: using 100 mb layer
CAPE (B+): 3265.10 J/kg :shock:
Max Up Vert Vel: 80.81 m/s
Conv Inhibition (B-): 1.75 J/kg WEAK INHIBITION:!:
Cap Strength: 0.36 C
Lift Cond Lev (LCL): 887.16 mb = 1159.99 m = 3805.70 ft
Lev Free Conv (LFC): 872.16 mb = 1307.03 m = 4288.09 ft
Equ Level (EL): 152.16 mb = 13922.10 m = 45675.63 ft
B at Equ Level: 3251.86 J/kg

Looks like Chicago's gonna get it this evening....
Yeah....nice day for a drive though. Played the Nebraska/Iowa state line for quite some time before finially admitting defeat and making the long drive back to Oklahoma. Oh well, if I would have stayed at home, it would have been the biggest outbreak day of the year.
I left work in KC at 2:00 p.m., arrived in St. Joe to check data at around 3:00 ... found two of the mets from a local KC station in search of data, so we used my laptop to go over things ... they were smart and went back to KC as soon as they saw the massive cap building. Since I had taken the afternoon off anyway, I decided to play the remote possibilities and went up to Neb City to wait things out. It was hot, muggy and overcast until about 7:30, when the cloud deck finally broke. By that time the weather radio had replaced its statement saying that spotter activation was likely with the statement that it was not likely. So we went to a local lake up there in bluffs where I used to go when I was a kid - took a few photos, and then came on home. Looking forward to next week - - -
Scott Eubanks, Amos Magliocco, the Weathervine Crew, and myself (a couple others whose names I can't recall) spent the day roaming Western Iowa under a cap that wouldn't give way for anything. It was a fun joyride none-the-less. We ended the day on I-80 about 40 miles west of Des Moines where I split from the gang and headed into Ames to crash for the night. More details on what is now my 5th bust in a row later! :)
bust report

Like many others...started out near Omaha on the 19th, drove east with time, saw nothing giving up 38 miles west of Des Moines before sunset.
Likewise here. Kept the stuff north of the front near Sioux City honest and tore after them a few radar frames in(45minutes or so) when the west one had a left split and back built to the west once. I didn't want it to back build and turn right and want to ride the "warmfront" se...front was crap, should of known better. Anyway, gave up as I was due east of Sioux City when it appeared the ne movement was not about to change. Wound se to Denison then east...then south to the interstate west of Des Moines. Then drove home and caught a "cell" near Logan IA. Pretty sad what you'll pray on when hope is running out. Didn't give up hope till the sun had set, which is the only way to do this stuff. Too many cases where I've given up around 7pm or so only to be pissed a couple hours later.


Spent most of the day at the public library at Avoca in Pottawatamie County, Iowa. Things looked AWSOME for awhile but the darn cap would not give in!! Did meet alot of chasers at the Avoca library and for a short time it looked like a small chaser convention! We all poised briefly for a pic for the local newspaper there!!Also had a close encounter with a black squirrel (highlight of the day!)lol. The little fella had what seemed to be a pretty good time playing peek-a-boo with us on a local tree.
Pressed for time as per usual; However it should be noted that my Iowa bust curse was resurrected on Wednesday, May 19. Those fortunate to be treated to the surreal experience known as a "BNIIB" (Blake Naftel Induced Iowa Bust) were my chase partners Steven Jascourt (whom flew into OMA from Washington, DC), Tim Jones from OMA, and eventually Todd Sprinkmann (whom met up with us on the road) from Milwaukee.

Departed KZO abruptly after my alarm clock proceeded to fail me at 4am ET; internal alarm forcing me into a mad-dash wowwie zowwie scramble at 6:45am ET. Nearly forgetting my pants, tossed those on, grabbed my pre-packed camera bags and departed. Made excellent time, even though I hit seven construction zones between KZO and OMA. Reached OMA at 2pm CT (forward vector of 65-75mph with "gusts" to 80mph on I-80); Tim had picked up Stephen from the airport and were oogling over data at Tim's apartment. Upon arriving; helped myself to a 7UP; talked with others around the area; and became a data whore myself. We finally departed OMA and headed E into SW IA on I-80. Cb'O'congestus observed directly to our E; Blue Box was issued... with the congestus maturing into full blown CBs. Marginally nice RFB's observed with a few lowering/danglies near the town of Adair (home of the giant smilely face water tower -- AND -- simley face tornado sirens). Headed S on "local road" to observe the once nice looking quasi-storm become useless jibber-jabber. Fortunately, a local farmer and his six kids stopped by to converse ... making for some excellent sound bytes/video my untitled (as of yet) upcoming documentary on storm chaser culture (yeah, I have to plug it once in awhile).

Dr. MesoMonkey (Scott Weberpal) phoned to mock me about my Iowa curse; eventually meeting up with Tim, Stephen, Todd, and myself on the side of "local road". Tim and Stephen went back to OMA, Todd drove to the casinos, and Scott and I vectored back E on I-80.... dining at Grandma Max's restaurant E of Des Monies before heading home. I stopped for three hours of sleep at a local Iowa City rest area before proceeding back to Kalamazoo (arriving at 8am ET). Too tired for my 9am class; alas I emailed homework to my prof; came home and slept; then went into my midday workshift at WWMT.

It should be noted that I lost a hubcap someplace on I-80/94 W of I-65 in NW Indiana... I was also startled by a "autoflush" urinal unit someplace near Davenport... when it proceeded to beep (as if a bomb was about to explode) before flushing the refuse back into the Iowa water table.

Thanks to Stephen Jascourt, Tim Jones, and Todd Sprinkmann for the data/company -- sorry everyone within a 100 mile radius of my presence busted Wednesday... the day looked too good to sit out. Now packing; departing for Norman sometime tonight (not chasing until Saturday when I start driving for Tempest Tours/Tour 3).

Enjoy your precious 5000 J/KGs of CAPE in N. CEN IL today.


Blake W. Naftel - KC8VPG
[email protected]
Hey Blake, stay out of Iowa today! :lol: Oh, and thanks for clearing up the smiley face water tower question in my head, I could not remember where (on the way to Sioux City) I saw that!
Nothing to report as we ventured east from Michigan to Colorado. Looks like we would have had to have taken I94 west to see anything too exciting. Wasn't going to happen.

Along the way through Nebraska we did see the "CAR" that is supposed to be driven into a tornado. I about fell out of my jeep when I saw it eastbound on I80. I was laughing my butt off :lol: It was hillarious!!!!

Also ran into the chase group from Ball State when we were headed south from I80 to Hays, KS. We followed them all the way down since we were already headed to Hays. I think they stayed there last night.

So my HIGHLIGHT from yesterday: Seeing that stupid car!!!! I wish I would have had a camera handy, it was hillarious watching it in traffic.

LMAO - From now on, anytime a moderate risk is posted for Iowa - any chasers spotting Blake Naftel should quickly escort him to the nearest state line. Great report -

We heard the blurb about Adair County having the potential to ignite later in the evening, but had no desire to go after anything over there that late in the game. We were kind of laughing at that point, because the wx-radio was saying: 'the possibility for tornadoes is greatest along and north of a warm front draped across Kansas, eastern Nebraska and Iowa" and then practically in the same sentence said, 'there is no potential for severe weather today.' We were like 'huh?'
Having chased this event on the net while doing laundry yesterday, I thought I should post some of my findings from this event. A total of 11 tornado reports were taken by SPC in North Dakota and at least four of those included some damage. Environment Canada received only two reports of very small hail in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Apparently a spotter named Erica Adrian caught some pictures of a tornado that tore through her farm yard near Binford, ND. Here is a link to the story and hopefully someone can find this person and get her to post a pic or two. :wink:


Also I am posting a little blurb about it on my site...

Hmmmmm. How can we officially ban Blake from Iowa?? Should we start another thread for this?? :D

David Drummond, Graham Butler, Chip Legett and I headed out of Omaha around 130pm with a target area of Norfolk. We stopped for data around Fremont to check the now downgraded and increasinly crappy looking new outlook. With a watch now issued in ND/SD and the front having lifted far too rapidly we knew there was no way we would make it to ND before dark to catch the action. After alot of discussion we decided to race back south towards SE IA and meet up with Philip Flory hoping against all hope the cap would break and we would be in business... it didn't. We all decided to shoot up north to try to intercept the cell riding along the IA/MN border but got a report half way there it was dying out and the sun was setting.. We, like everyone else, busted big time. We headed back to Omaha for the night and David and gang are currently on their way to CO/NW KS. I had to take a down day to take care of some kid stuff :(

It sucks we busted but it was pretty fun BSing with the rest of the busted out chasers we came into contact with and passing many more people I know on the roads. Lots of funny stories from yesterday. I'll update my page when I get a chance with some seriously gut busting moments. It also kinda funny to see the a story on the local news about the storm chasers taking over the town.