Palo Iowa tornado 5/21/04!

RE: Palo Iowa tornado, 5/21/04

Thanks for sharing that... I assume you're from Eastern IA, since you watch KCRG? I work in Cedar Rapids (10 mi from Palo) and left work to go on an impromptu backyard chase that afternoon. Ironically that was my first day back to work after a two-week chasing vacation.

It was an interesting setup that day - the thing I remember most was a very strong outflow boundary from morning convection in northeastern Iowa, that pushed southwest, aligning itself along a Mason City, IA; to Iowa City line by mid-afternoon. Strongly backed low-level flow was no doubt largely responsible for this storm

My chase log:

Times are approximate:
3:45 (CDT): Benton County in eastern IA is tornado warned. I make a decision to chase, heading S on I-380, and then W on US-
30. I went N 1/2 mi on Sisley Grove Rd, in western Linn Co. A
high-precipitation supercell was to the west and north, with
well-defined forward- and rear-flank areas, and a wall cloud (rapidly becoming obscured by precipitation). I saw a brief funnel pendent from this area, before it became rain-wrapped. At that point, I had to head back S to US-30, and then E to Highway 13, which runs N-S east of Cedar Rapids and Marion. From there, E on Mt. Vernon Rd, and stopping at good viewing area. Meso is very obscured by rain, but a lowering is visible in this area. Spotter repots were coming in for damage NW of Cedar
Rapids. That's about it, I continued E on Mt. Vernon until it "T'ed", and went 1 mi to the north until the RFD/rain caught up. I then went back S and then back to CR, where the thing was becomming outflow-dominant.

- bill
Palo Iowa tornado-5/21/04

Thanks Bill for responding to my post! Yep I live in the area (Cedarfalls Iowa) and saw atleast 9 tornados (including the Palo tornado) on 5/21/04! Feel free to visit my website:
to see some pics from that day.