15Apr06 — SW IA Chase

Today was an iffy day, as I would call it. I didn’t put a whole lot of faith into today’s set up, but feeling the need to get out, I decided to take a chance.

The SPC had issued a Moderate Risk area for the far SW IA / SE NE / NW MO / NE KS. Model data wasn’t real impressive, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway. I picked the town of Red Oak, IA as my starting point / target for the day, based on the swath of increasing dewpoints streamin up the MO river area. I packed and headed out after looking eyeballing the 1630z SPC outlook.

On my way down, things got alot stickier as I headed SW. Argh! Thank god for a/c!! Upon arriving in Red Oak, I managed to talk myself into heading further south to Shenandoah, IA. Storms were firing in NE with the now famous Beatrice, NE Tornado going on about this time also. Once arriving in Shenandoah, I decided it was time for a pit stop. I pulled into the local DQ and got a lil treat to eat while looking over the latest weather info and radar. My friend Stan called and we chatted and plotted my next move. Taking another big risk, and leaving my SECOND target area, I decided to head to Sidney, IA to intercept the incoming line of storms. After arriving in Sidney, I quickly topped off on fuel (ouch!) and headed south of town. I decided to sit in a semi-protected area in a state park as the line moved through, just in case I ended up in some big hail. As the line was halfway through my position, the southern end of the storm started looking interesting on radar. So I bailed and headed east and south on some county roads.

Just south of Riverton, I pull off and watch the huge and slowly rotating wall cloud to my west. It tried to produce a tornado a couple of times, but just couldn’t quite get it done. I traveled back north and continued to monitor the storm and wall cloud. She went on to produce a couple of more funnels, but that was about it. I stopped a couple of more times and snapped some shots with my 35mm. The storms had some of the most beautiful structure and backsides that I have seen.

Overall, it was a great chase and also a much needed refresher. Today really reinforced my love of mother nature. On a side note, my minor APRS problem, that wasn’t allowing me to message back has been fixed.

SPC Storm Reports

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