Iowa was the stage for what was supposed to be a great chase day. 2 weather features were to impact the state, potentially resulting in a severe weather outbreak. But….
Having been busy with work during the week, I’d been sorting watching the models for Saturday, but not as much as I’d usually do. So when Saturday rolled around, I was very happy to see us in the slight risk area from the SPC. KDMX’s information also looked promising, with the stage set for some severe storms, with isolated tornadoes.
Well after spending the morning pouring over data on the web, I finally decided to get things ready. This was my first chase of the season, so of course I wasn’t 100% ready, but it didn’t take long to get all my stuff ready to head out the door. You know as a chaser it’s going to be a good day when the SPC issues a Tornado Watch (#100) for your area at 10 am! Nice to know my weather alert still works too!
About 1:30 pm I headed out the door, after working on getting everything working on the laptop. I had downloaded newer versions of stuff and it took a little bit getting used to. 2 areas of action were on stage for today: The first in W/NW IA and the other further to the south. I decided on the southern option as clearing was beginning to make it’s way into SW IA and things were heating up. I noticed on Spotter Network, several other chasers were heading towards the Hawkeye State as well. Linear storms were in progress already across the area as I left on my westward trek. Arriving in Indianola, I decided to head west of town and sit and look things over. While there, a lovely hailer came through, luckily I missed the hail! K0DMX was on the air, providing all of us hamers great information as usual. The first Tornado warning of the day went out, for Guthrie County. The storm was a bookin (moving N @ 35mph), so I decided to wait things out a little longer.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, things started to pop to my SW. I then decided to head further W/SW. Continuing west on Hwy 92, I came to Winterset, Iowa. I then proceeded around town, taking Hwy 169 south. Looking south, I could see things building up. Boy was it beautiful! I stopped a couple of times while heading south and got out to look things over. This cell appeared to be moving N/slightly NE, so I opted to get on the southern side of it for a better view. After getting to the southern side of the storm, the sky was sunny and holy wow was it windy. Unfortunately for me, mother nature wasn’t gonna make me happy today. After building and even setting up an interesting area of lowering / rain free base, my storm began to fall apart. Following it north on Hwy 169, I followed it until we reached the Des Moines Metro, when I called it a day.