Tag Archives | cyclone

June 28th Iowa Tornadoes

June 28th held good promise for supercell storms and potentially tornadic ones to boot. Great moisture, instability and wind shear were forecast across southwest through northeast Iowa. A composite warm front/outflow boundary existed along that corridor and would be to focal point for several tornadic supercells. We were in the Des Moines area and drifted southwest towards Winterset.  Soon a cluster of updrafts rapidly formed at the triple point south of Nebraska City, Nebraska. One dominant storm emerged from them. As we blasted west, then south towards Bedford, Iowa (our target!) a tornadic storm developed southwest of Corning, or about 25 miles north of the Bedford target. Since this storm was insanely electrified, had a large wall cloud and great structure, we couldn’t leave it to drop to Bedford for the approaching tornadic storm west of town. It became tornado warned, like the Bedford storm did as well. We stayed with it and watched several tornadoes form and the storm cycle numerous times. We thought it would produce a significant tornado a few times. Most were short lived and sometimes hard to view. Still, a very successful day, 4 tornadoes later, and a pretty supercell. There were over a dozen tornadoes in Iowa this day and a couple were very pretty.  Late June and July in Iowa can sometimes be magical!


June 22nd Western Illinois Tornadic Supercell

We made a long hard dash from North Dakota to Illinois on June 22nd for what appeared to be a setup that had high tornado potential. Extreme instability, upper 70s dewpoints, strong wind shear and a warm frontal boundary would set the stage for a pretty decent tornado event. By late afternoon we arrived near Moline as storms finally got going along the boundary. Several supercells evolved along the warm front and several became tornadic. We intercepted two supercells that produced tornadoes, albeit weak tornadoes. Surprisingly there was only one tornado rated EF2 this day, which occurred well after dark. We chased along and north of I-80 from east of Moline to north of Peru, Illinois. Too many cell interactions made for a sloppy event, although the first tornadic supercell we intercepted near Hooppole had very pretty structure. I was sure this storm would drop a significant tornado. It produced a weak tornado that skipped along the ground for a couple minutes. As it continued east, it produced another tornado, a short lived multiple vortex tornado northwest of Peru. Later another supercell we saw in the dark produced the EF2 southeast of us. We couldn’t stay up with it. A long day, but a rewarding day for the tour!

June 5th Eastern Colorado Tornadoes

June 5th kept us close to home. A warm front draped over east central Colorado would become the focus for intense supercell storm development by late afternoon. It provided a differential heating boundary where storms erupted on the south side of it and interacted with the strong low level shear on the boundary. We sat between Anton and Cope and watched as a strongly tornadic supercell anchored at that point and produced multiple tornadoes. All in all we counted 4 confirmed tornadoes. The storm was a tad messy, and thus photos from the day clearly show the rain/hail as we took each shot. A couple of the tornadoes appeared to be strong, but fortunately only destroyed a barn in the wide open eastern Colorado plains. Tour 5 and Photo Tour #2 enjoyed the event as both were in great position to watch the entire tornadic cycle of the supercell.

June 4th Kansas Tornado Warned Supercells

June 4th had high potential. When Tour 5 and Photo Tour #2 awoke in the morning we felt we had to get into northern Kansas. A very volatile environment was present with 70 dew points, 5000 CAPE, strong shear and lift along an outflow boundary. There ended up being a few very beautiful supercell storms form in northwest and north central Kansas by early evening. Their structure was top notch, lightning superb and hail huge. Both tours enjoyed the long opportunity to photograph, video and just watch the storms as they spun across northern and central Kansas.