8/16/04 REPORTS: Midwest

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Sat and watched the early storms develop in southern MN and move into N central IA, and decided I didn’t want to drive that far. At about 5:00 there were cells popping up from MN to McCook, NE along the cold front, and it was too much to resist. Targeted a developing cell in extreme SE SD, which was moving into NW IA, and left the house about 5:30. A little over an hour later we intercepted the cell just W of Sergeant Bluff, IA. Stopped and watched it try to get its act together and listened to the constant rumble of thunder, but there was no CG lightning. It had a nice rounded bowl shaped base and seamed to have a good updraft, but the cell just couldn’t move into decent air. Moved up the road a ways and stopped to talk with Mike H and we watched the cell quickly dissipate as it inhaled itself. I tried to move NE to the next cell, but couldn’t get there before dark. I guess I should have left earlier and targeted the N central storms, as they dropped a couple tornadoes just N of Ames, IA. Maybe we’ll get another chance later this week.

Finally had the roll developed. Below are a few pictures of the storm just west of Sergeant Bluff, IA. In the last photo the storm had pretty much dissipated, except for this rotating updraft. The tail is located in the lower left then is curves upward to the upper right. It was pretty neat because the storm was almost gone and here was this lone updraft all by itself. In the back you can see the next cell to the north.

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