July 12, 2014 – Eastern Iowa

0 0.25" 30 961
TORNADOES HAIL WIND MILES

A quasi-stationary boundary draped across the United States from a low in Colorado through Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota to Lake Superior co-located with mostly 40kt zonal flow in the mid-levels was the focus for storm development as a weak low was expected to drift into western Iowa throughout the day. Target for the day was eastern Iowa around the Iowa City area as upper 60-low 70s dew were pooled south of the boundary across Iowa into Illinois bringing surface based CAPE into the 4,000 J/Kg regime.

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I left Michigan early in the morning around 12z to make the quick trek out to Iowa. This was the first time I’d been looking to chase since Pilger and I was eager to get back on the saddle. I rolled into Davenport shortly after 19z and reevaluated the situation. A cumulus field was developing below the higher clouds from Omaha to Cedar Rapids. I got back on I-80 to head west while the cumulus field continued to improve west and south of Des Moines.

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Storms began to pop north of I-80, but they looked pretty anemic. Nothing else was happening so I headed towards Marengo to get a visual on the storms and they were nothing to write home about. I meandered about with little cells that popped for a little bit, but eventually headed back to Williamsburg at 22z and that’s when the show got started.

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Finally, the real storms exploded along the boundary and three or four healthy cells blew up on the east of Des Moines. Now I had something to go after.  I decided to intercept the eastern storm and eventually was able to stop and observe the storm west of West Liberty.

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After watching for a bit Brad Goddard pulled up noting he could see the orange car from a mile down the road. We tracked the storm from West Liberty to Atalissa and east hoping for some late evening magic when a funnel cloud emerged briefly from the storm. We continued to follow it, but eventually called the chase as darkness fell.

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All in all, it was nice to get back out there to chase again and we got a beautiful storm over eastern Iowa. It teased us with a funnel cloud, but that was all it was willing to give out.


Chase Recap

START END DURATION INTERCEPTS CHASER ENCOUNTERS
Grass Lake, MI @ 12/1205Z Grass Lake, MI @ 13/0648Z 18:43 None Brad Goddard (31)
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