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8/26/04 REPORTS: IA

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This is the SW Iowa cell as it appeared from STJ at 7:20 p.m. this evening. In one of the most frustrating nights since I started chasing, I was unable to leave to follow this monster that was so close by. Spoke to a couple of folks from the area up there who are telling me that there has been some damage, but as yet we don't know the extent. One friend from Coin, Iowa said that she went to the basement and took cover under a table - something she hasn't done for years - but she said this was the most frightening storm that she had ever encountered in the time that they have lived there. I'm sure we'll get more information as it becomes available. This is a very rural area so hopefully the tornadoes spawned from this beast stayed in the country.
 
Finally. 3rd time is a charm apparently. Bust after bust since July 12 finally paid off in odds. I ran out the door the second I hit send in the now thread. The storm was a tiny green "blip"...then one more scan a tiny area of yellow dbz. I was scared to leave the same boundary the storms in nc IA were on but did so anyway and flew south targeting the storm nearing Nebraska City...well...soon to be a storm at that point. Snuck into Council Bluffs around 5pm beating the rush hour ouf of Omaha and made better time then I figured on.

While in the city you could see the anvil blowing off and the updraft which appeared closer then it actually was. Anyway, flew south down I-29 and got one radar image of disorganization almost on Nebraska City. Channel 6 out of Omaha broke into television as I was just starting to get into the north side of the core(left split core anyway). They explained the radar was indicating 100mph winds and no tor warning. So I figured it was gusting out early, with hopes in the back of my mind this was a nice rfd not surging cold air well ahead of the updrafts. It was very obvious it was as I cleared the left splits core and saw the core of the right split on I-29 right infront of me. There was a lowering and precip core dead ahead with the precip core very close to the lowering. I wasn't sure what part of the interstate I was on exactly at that point and therefor wasn't sure I was going s or se..which was fairly important right then. Kept going and noticed that wall of precip was now racing WEST. Bye bye goes my view of the lowering directly infront of me. 6 comes back on indicating 100mph winds again and their tor markers were now really going off, but still no tor warning. Maybe 4-5 minutes after that the tor warning came out as I was just nnw of where the lowering was. I started getting blasted by high winds from the east with the semi right infront of me almost tipping over. I could clearly see his cab and I was right behind him.....his rear was well on the shoulder. Right after this I came up on a semi blown clear off the interstate and laying on its side. There were 2 vehicles pulled over with it. All the while the winds were still at their worst. I called 911 and they indicated emergency vehicles were on the way.

I pulled over not far after this at the Nebraska City exit. I wasn't sure to go east or s then east at Hamburg as the storm's structure wasn't very clear cut and/or it's future movement. I knew it sent off a left split and figured it might want to go se and going east here seemed to likely stay in the core too much. So I went to Hamburg.

There was an occluded meso n of Hamburg that nearly screamed I'm going to tornado, but just didn't look right. And the area straight east looked like the new meso forming. Not far east of Hamburg you could see the occluding meso really wrapping up, and then a tight cone/wall cloud. I kept stopping recording to save video but was ready incase it tightened up. Well, the hills kicked my butt. At the top of one I saw it tornado very briefly before I started going down the hill. Next hill top and it wasn't down anymore. That is the first tornado report. I didn't get vid of it tornadoing, Chris Lenz however did. The view north below the base was tough at best with the hills there and all the corn.

I don't recall how much later it was, but the same area spit out the nice cone/rope tornado. It was a long elephant trunk sticking out the back of the updraft and was on the ground for a few minutes. This is report #2 near Riverton. Here is where the fun comes in. How often do you purposely not video tape a nice tornado to tape something else? Not very often. It was a nice tor and I couldn't bring myself to keep taping it with what was happening with the new meso right infront of me north of the road. The rfd all along was really blasting the sfc. This wall of scud well north was flat out booking se as this new wall cloud spun up. This wall cloud was a big bowl and spinning rapidly with the sun trying to poke in on it. It looked alot like that photo of the May 22 Hebron area tornado. That cone tornado in the middle of the bowl wall cloud. It looked like that minus the tornado. That might of been my favorite part of this chase. Would of been a damn amazing scene had it planted one at that point.

Too much rfd finally starts to undercut it, but not too badly. A new cone funnel forms and dies quickly. I don't believe this touched down at all, but very well could of. The storm then really got cranking near Coin IA. I was se of it at this point. It developed a very nice long beaver tail streaming west into the meso. It already had a new bowl with it again. This time a scene much like the rfd of June 9, 2003 O'Neill formed. Torn apart cloud fragments sinking and curling on the back side of the updraft. At this same time fast white multiple vorticies start forming under it. 2 different times in a couple minute span it had white vorticies going in various directions under it. This was right before it did all the damage apparently. Road options right after this spot I'm at were not chaser friendly. I could either play it close for now and then catch up later...or...jet e and then s and then e....to catch it ne towards Bedford. I should of played it close till my roads east ran out instead....ah well. I am not sure how much I missed in doing this, but all the damage reported must of happened the second I left(still had a view north at it for a while though). That or the bowl above the multiple vorticies was doing the damage without full condensation...very well could of been.

Cut infront of it at Bedford as it became more outflow dominant. Here I met and talked with Randy Chamberlain and Steve Peterson...along with Chris Lenz later....all of whom bagged today.

Ended the day shortly after this and drove west into the storm which had little to offer. We were south of the core though. New convection was now going up everywhere. Tried to get some shots of the amazing sky, but convection was screwing that all up. Somewhere in here is where Chris Lenz pulled up. Talked with him and Randy for probably another hour in the hole, as convection was all around. I'm glad Randy points out this cool shot where the moon pokes out between two updrafts as I remember later......little anvil blow off and the moon! Usually a good combo for lightning/moon shots. Stuck around yet another hour waiting on the moon to pop out from behind the anvil of a new tornado warned storm. Just a rather cool August chase day to be sure. Will try and get some pics up tomorrow.

Mike
 
[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/04-8-26-16.jpg

Tornado near Riverton IA....second tor.

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This was at the same time as the Riverton tor but looking just east. Very strong rotation with this.

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Looking north towards Coin I believe. This is where the multiple vorticies start.

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Same place. Strong RFD cascading and very strong rotation.

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Vorticies under the large bowl. Notice them in the bottom pic? They are really small and right on the ground. There were quite a few of them. These were near Coin.

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Convective cluster around 9pm.

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About 20 minutes after the previous pic.

My web publishing software is being a pain right now so this is all I got up tonight.

Mike
 
Good grief! - That looks identical to the Hebron/Hallam meso! -

Compare your pic of the meso above to this one I took in Hebron on May 22nd:

http://www.stormseason.com/NebTornadoes0015.JPG

Unbelievable Mike - I am SO glad that you guys got this to let the rest of us saps at least see what it looked like. I can't BELIEVE what a monster this thing turned into ... I'm visiting friends in Bedford on Sunday, so I'll have to go over to the damage paths and get some 'after' photos. Man I'm jealous - excellent work!

EDIT - just talked to my friend again in Coin. The tornado completely destroyed two of their neighbors' houses on the road they live on ... it literally followed that E-W road where their house sits, so Mike - your photos are likely right around their house, and chances are you drove right by it. So glad everyone is okay - most of the listed reports came from CHASERS on this storm - thank all of you for calling in reports!!!
 
well unfortunately I didnt even have to leave my house to see anything, but wasnt around to see it. I live in Marion, and my next door nieghbor's house got half of their rear roof blown off and thrown 500 yards across the golf course, they had major shingle and siding damage, and had their back door to their walk in basement completely blown out, frame and all. Our house sustained moderate shingle and soffit damage, and we had a fiberglass lightpole snap like a twig and fall in teh street, as well as did the next door nieghbors. we ended up with 3 trampolines in sight of our back window, when there is usually only 2. the springs from one were driven into the ground from the wind. The shingles from the nieghbors house were driven into the golf course fairways, they slid themselves under the grass. Insulation from random houses is spread in a nice circular fasion for about a 3/4 mile area. we had 6" diameter trees snap off half way up like twigs. A cupulo off our house got ripped off, and the arrow on the weather van on top was driven into the side of our nieghbor's house.

about 1/4 mile to my west, 6 large trees with a diameter of 2.5 feet or more were uprooted, 3 of which decided to land on our power lines and cut the power.

Our local EMA radar could not confirm a tornado in the area, and we had no spotters around our house as i was in a different town waiting to be able to see again to drive home.

The damage is not nearly as bad as it could have been, and no one got hurt, for which i am thankful. I will post pics later.
 
Looking north towards Coin I believe. This is where the multiple vorticies start.

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Same place. Strong RFD cascading and very strong rotation.



Vorticies under the large bowl. Notice them in the bottom pic? They are really small and right on the ground. There were quite a few of them. These were near Coin.



Convective cluster around 9pm.



About 20 minutes after the previous pic.

My web publishing software is being a pain right now so this is all I got up tonight.

Mike

Amzing pics!
Mike do you know something about the storms that developed in central-North iowa at 4.50-5.00 p.m?
 
Mike do you know something about the storms that developed in central-North iowa at 4.50-5.00 p.m?
_________________
Andrea Griffa

I know they went to crap at the same rate they became supercellular and dropped some monster hail in that short time frame. That is all I know.
 
Went up to visit friends in Bedford, Iowa today and we took a drive over to the damage paths near Coin and Riverton ... here are a few shots.

Spoke to the family in this house, which was a total loss. They were in the basement as the tornado roared up the hillside west of them ... it took out their barn first, then a garage, then it took a trailer sitting outside the house and rammed it through the house. The roof came off the house, windows gone and all of their belongings were strewn everywhere. They had a propane tank blown into the field about a quarter mile away. Nice folks - expressed sympathy for their loss ... they said they really couldn't remember much about as it was actually coming over ... she couldn't remember the sound. All he could remember was holding on to something and praying out loud. It's weird to think about the fact that this was likely happening to this house as I snapped the still of the upper storm structure above from 80 miles to the south.

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This was a barn up the road a mile or so that was destroyed. You could tell how the tornadoes had moved across the fields ... the corn was flattened in perfect patterns that was like some huge snake had crawled across it and broken the stalks ... obviously caused by tornadic winds.

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This was a grain bin near Riverton. Several bins were completely destroyed here, and the roof was taken off of a house - but the folks over here by all appearances looked like they got off with less damage than the ones further east.

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By the way - just one more quick thing to add ... as I talked to several of the folks in the area (including the ones who had lost their home) I asked them if they had seen any actual photos of the tornadoes themselves yet ... none of them had ... and they were SO excited to get to see them on Mike's website, etc. It really seemed to help them just to see what had been outside the house while they were huddled in the basement. Just thought you might like to know that they appreciated it -
 
Hi All:
First, let me say I am green with envy. Fantastic pictures.
I DEFINITELY need new camera equipment.
I posted about this storm in the wrong place.
We were out for this one not far from home. We started south of Nebraska City. We were right under where we saw the rotation start which was about 6 miles south of the city and HWY 75. At that point it there was a lot of updraft and some horizontal motion. There was also a small clear spot in back. This was traveling east/barely northeast while Nebraska City to the north was being pummelled by heavy rain and wind. We had no rain and not even a breeze while 1 1/2 miles north they were soaked.
I video'd till it crossed the river into Iowa which was about 4 1/2 to 5 miles east of the location I was parked. Wish we could have been with one of you guys!
 
so is anyone interested in my damage pics, or should i just shut up and not contribute?

Why don't you invest some effort into finding a place on the web that offers free image hosting instead of expecting someone here to do it for you? There are a few old threads from ST that talk about how to do it:

http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=556

Or, research it on your own and find somewhere else to host. Regardless, this post doesn't belong here, see the target area rules.

Glen
 
Those are some really awesome pic's -

When I grow up I hope I can take pics like that - hehe just kidding.

Love those shots

By the way - just one more quick thing to add ... as I talked to several of the folks in the area (including the ones who had lost their home) I asked them if they had seen any actual photos of the tornadoes themselves yet ... none of them had ... and they were SO excited to get to see them on Mike's website, etc. It really seemed to help them just to see what had been outside the house while they were huddled in the basement. Just thought you might like to know that they appreciated it -

I think that's way cool!!!! Almost like closure...??? maybe..
 
Jon Davies sent the following links that might also be of interest concerning this event:

From his web page, this is his account:

http://members.cox.net/jondavies3/082604sw.../082604swia.htm

Dr. Ken Dewey and Jeremy Wesely at Lincoln also have a web page with info:

http://www.hprcc.unl.edu/nebraska/august26-2004wx.html

Jon's page has a nice breakdown of the environmental factors contributing to this event. It also shows what looks to be the roof coming off of that house I took a photo of later ... in a reply sent to him, I mentioned that this may also be that house's propane tank, which was either ejected high into the air or rolled ... in any event, it ended up in a field about a quarter mile away. Looks like it is probably that house either way, as it sits on top of a hill just like the vid cap shows. And from Jon's description, it is definitely in the correct area. The folks in that house know my relatives ... in fact, my cousin (also named Mike Peregrine) lives just over the hill from the tornado in that photo. My grandmother lives five miles due south. A little too close for comfort, I have to say - - -
 
Ok, I’ve finally had time to sit down and step thru the video frame by frame. It’s very poor quality, but I guess it will work. I’d also like to say I had my 13 yr old son along on this one and he bagged his first tornado! He was shooting the video, while I was trying to get some stills.

I had a hard time pin-pointing a target on this one, but finally left Omaha about 4:30 headed for Denison, IA. About a third of the way there Cain said “dad there’s something pretty big to the southâ€. I made a quick call to the house and had my wife check the SPC and the Stormtrack NOW thread and everyone was talking about the cell in Nebraska City, so I took the next road south and headed for Shenandoah, about 50+ miles away. I picked up Am 960 out of Shenandoah (excellent SW IA storm coverage) and they were talking about the storm splitting with the north part moving into Fremont County and the southern part headed more East towards Hamburg. About 20 miles N of Shenandoah I had to punch through the north cell, at the same time they issued the tor warning for Riverton. With the southern cell moving east at about 12 mph, I figured I would intercept just south of Shenandoah. But with the storm now tor warned I was not crazy about punching N to south again, especially with my son along. About five miles S of Shenandoah we ran into heavy rain and I slowed to a crawl down HWY 59 and eventually stopped just behind a local spotter for a few minutes. This was about the same time as the tornado west of Coin. The 2nd one we missed! With the skies clearing to our west, and the meso safely to our southeast, we again headed south and turned east on the Coin road. This put us directly west and behind the wall cloud. What a view it was! We hurried up and got through Coin while watching a funnel partially descend and go back up. Just east of Coin we topped a hill and saw a beautiful white rope which disappeared in seconds! We pulled over and shot the video of the Multi vortex tornado. I believe this was the tornado reported as north of College Springs, and the one which destroyed the farm house. I have stepped through the frames and can clearly identify 3 separate vortices in this frame. We were about ¾ of a mile ESE of the wall.

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Later that night the local news talked to an “eyewitness†who said the farm was hit by at least 2 tornados, so I think this was the same one. I notice above Mike H said he thought maybe there was a larger vortex in the center (without full condensation to the ground), with these smaller vortices dancing around the outside. This is the same thought I had at the time, and may be true, as they reported the damage path to be ~ ½ mile wide. We also ran into road problems about this time and had to go south than east. Just SW of Shambaugh we stopped and watched what I thought was a scud bomb, but it ended up putting out a nice funnel with rotation!

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I have the whole thing on video, but it’s to about 20 MB and to large for me to host. I could send it to someone if they want it. We followed the storm to about Bedford and then headed home. We were treated to another fantastic light show on the way home as new storms were raging all around. Believe we passed Mike H sitting on the side of Hwy 2 between Shenandoah and Sidney taking photos of the lighting to the south. Maybe those are my head and tail lights in his new avatar! It was also good to see my original target verify, but only with a severe warned storm. Not bad for late August, can’t wait for October. Almost forgot, here is a picture of a local who was stopped in the middle of a highway intersection! I took this after he moved so I could get by! This was not a chaser!

[Broken External Image]:http://members.cox.net/ksilvey/coin_10.jpg
 
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