6/6/06 REPORTS: WI / IA / MO

May 1, 2004
Springfield, IL
Pictures from the Wisconsin Dells/Portage cell showing a nice wall cloud, and rotating scud fingers/funnels. These were shot about 5 miles south of Portage off of I-39 at about 7:35pm. Courtesy Katie Kane.




I followed a tornado warned supercell from near Barnaveld, WI to near Albany. It likely produced a weak tornado just W. of Barnaveld, but my view was partially obstructed by trees. Though the storm didn't produce any photogenic tornadoes such as the stovepipe Doug Raflik witnessed near Wisconsin Dells, the structure was fantastic! It seems the last 5 years or so WI gets at least one of these NW flow events every year and we get numerous tornadoes along with it...not that I mind.


Here is one of Doug Raflik's images from near Wisconsin Dells:

Here is my short account that Scott talked of...

This was 2 miles SE of Wisconsin Dells. Its about a mile in front of me.
(Doesnt look like it cause I have my 14mm lens on.) (The picture is also


Then around the Portage area, just sw of it actually I saw what I am
calling a wedge tornado. It could be a meso on the ground, but it sure
looked mean.
EDIT: After reviewing video and based on other reports, I am 99% convinced this was a tornado at this time.

Here it is closer. Soon after this picture as I was scooping up the
cameras, you could hear the roar, and the wind really picked up from the
west (left side of screen)

And now for the oddity of the chase... Its 6-6-06 and my odometer read
666 the whole chase. I have 166,6xx.x miles on my van, so for one
hundred miles during the heat of the chase it read 666. \m/

Doug Raflik
[email protected]
Hello all,

We decided to head towards southeast/east central Iowa for yesterday's set up. I liked the MUCH higher dews, respectable shear profile and outflow boundaries left over from overnight convection. I wish we could have made it to WI, but it wasn't going to happen.

We headed east from Omaha, and after a quick stop in Des Moines, headed for the wind shift/frontal boundary just east of town. Dews rose to 70 about 50 miles east of Des Moines and I could see convection firing along the boundary west of Cedar Rapids. We stopped in Iowa City for a break and to watch things develop. At about 2:15 the first severe cell developed and to my surprise quickly became tornado warned. We blasted north on highway 1 and stopped about 10 mile north of town. CGs were intense and the core was very messy. We waited for the updraft to approach us just north of Iowa City. A nice well developed block wall cloud was evident, with the updraft base and vault very visible. Lots of motion under the wall cloud with scud tags rising up rapidly and attaching to the base. At one time I was able to visually see a slender elephant trunk shaped funnel about halfway to the ground, but could not confirm touchdown. The storm had a nice tvs and looked potentially tornadic. It just never could produce. Surface winds were VERY weak with this storm.

After a second cell developed in Washington county, we blew off the northern storm, which was now getting choked off by the new cell. We headed south on 218 into northern Washington county to get in front of the storm. With the shear profile the way it was I knew we had to get west to see anything, as the updrafts were all on the northwest side of the storms. We encountered hail to golfball size before we broke through the core and intense inflow winds. I thought this supercell might get it done. After clearing the core we were greeted by a beautiful liberty bell updraft with incredible striations. One of the prettiest storms of the year. Under the updraft were rapidly rising scud tags and rotation was quite evident. A tornado was reported just west of our location, but we sure didn't see one. This supercell had a huge RFD hole and became a nice "c" shaped storm with intense cascading motion to the east of the "c" as one would expect. Soon, this storm gusted out, so we dropped south near Ottumwa to check out the next in the string of supercells.

I ended up letting the southern storm go, so we could watch the convection in the updraft from up close. I haven't seen that explosive of convection all year. The updraft was a monsterous corkscrew with explosive and rock hard covection sky rocketing on the western side. Several times the convection was rolling back as it exploded upward. This storm was also tornado warned, but it was clear there was little low level rotation. However the mid levels were rotating wildly. You could watch with the naked eye as the storm spun in the mid levels like a top. Finally it weakened as more storms developed down the line and we blew it off to get to our hitel.

It seemed all the ingredients were there for tornadic storms with the exception of low level shear. Every storm that developed had problems balancing inflow and outflow with every storm becoming outflow dominant with 90 minutes of initiation.

Off to the high plains for the rest of this tour!

Roger Hill
Silver Lining Tours
"And now for the oddity of the chase... Its 6-6-06 and my odometer read
666 the whole chase. I have 166,6xx.x miles on my van, so for one
hundred miles during the heat of the chase it read 666."

Not that I'm into superstition, but a vehicle of mine crapped out on the freeway yesterday. I limped into a movie theater on 6th street. The trip odometer read 66.6 My mom was born in Wisconsin. I've been to Wisconsin Dells. I flew home from my week of chasing via Tulsa and Phoenix, which both experienced severe weather of their own on 6-6-06 one day after my passage.

I saw two funnels on my first serious chase and won't stop until I see a tornado!
Not a ton to report here. I was on the development near Iowa City, IA and tried to get into position as the monster HP was moving southeast towards me from just near Cedar Rapids. New storms fired south and southwest. I stayed with the large HP until it seemed to merge with the next storm south of it. The storm then put out a nice wallcloud before dissolving into thin air. The next storm in the line to its southwest cut off all inflow and it went from wallcloud to blue skies in about 15 minutes. I observed lots of wild scud under the partially rain-wrapped wallcloud, but couldn't confirm any of the touchdowns being reported. Lots of precip and too many trees. Side note, a CG must have struck the power pole next to my truck. Scared the hell out of me. See vid clip below.



Can someone add MO to the title of this thread?

I intercepted two supercells in western Missouri. The supercells formed on a slow moving coldfront will strong instability (2500-3500 CAPE) on both sides of the front. Surface flow was weak with 5 kt W wind at the surface and 30 kt WNW flow at 500mb.



More images are posted on here.

Scott Currens
I know that this is a backdoor chase........but for anyone wanting to know what the supercell that Scott intercepted looked like from a distance. Here ya go. Although, this is when the storm was starting to die. This was taken for 5 miles south of Lawrence looking east.