May 19, 2013 SW IA Drive

A potential severe weather outbreak was forecast to hit much of the plains today, including Iowa. Another classic triple point set up was appearing in the cards as Iowa approached a new record setting 359 days without a tornado in the state.

After shaking off the cob-webs and pouring over the latest model data, I decided a drive to SW IA was in the works. Storms were forecast to fire in NE KS / SE NE / NW MO and move into SW IA. All the ingredients were coming together, FINALLY! Did I mention the “tornado drought” we were in? So after reading all the gear, I hit the door for SW IA, initial target of Creston.

After a minutes of leaving home, the SPC issues a TOR Watch for Northern Iowa. Hmm, am I making the right choice? I decide to continue on. As I approached Osceola, Iowa, the SPC then issues another TOR Watch for Iowa, including my area. Game on! Storms had fired in the area of initiation above, and were moving NE towards SW IA. As I approached Creston, I decided to keep going west to Corning, IA.

After a quick pit stop @ Caseys in Corning. Side note – met some young chasers from Creston. Nice guys, hope they made it home safe. Anyway, after looking things over, decided to head south / west towards Clarinda to meet the incoming storms. Yeah I know, patience wasn’t one of my virtues on this chase.

The initial decent looking storms were now becoming linear. As I stopped just NE of Clarinda, one could feel the dreaded cold air outflow for the storms. There was a nice wall cloud looking feature that soon dissipated. More vehicles pulled in behind me and got to meet Jill Gilardi and her crew from WOWT Ch 6 News in Omaha. Since I had reliable data and they didn’t (Iowa Cell Data Curse struck them), we decided to caravan and see what the storms would do. Radar VIL data was showing hail off the charts, so we split a couple of cells and headed north to Hwy 34 and back east once again. After making a couple of short stops, we decided the storms were turning into more of a bow echo and accelerating N/NE. Unable to keep up with the now racing storms, we all decided to call it a night.

Nice to get out again, though was hoping for a little bit more than the usual HP line of storms. Oh well, at least it didn’t snow right?? Hope everybody made it home safe!

SPC 1630z Outlook

SPC Storms Reports for May 19, 2013.

My few pics from the day:
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