Fayette County Iowa
While driving down to Iowa on I-35, I got stuck behind this RV while going
through one of the construction zones. This was too good of a photo op to pass
I hope Stray Dog finds some lucky woman with a good CB handle to hook up with.
You know, something special like "Spayed Lady". Wear a rubber buddy!
|I missed the first supercell which tore through
eastern Iowa earlier in the day but got set up in
what I thought was a good position to intercept the
second round of cells which fired along a
southward sagging cold front.
I wanted to make sure I was well south of the boundary as the storms would be moving
south / southeast so headed to Indepence, Iowa to wait. Found one of the Bigfoot
monster trucks hanging out as part of a promo event at the local Firestone shop.
Remember the old MTV show "Celebrity Death Match"? I would love to see this thing
take on TIV2. Maybe have it look like TIV2 is going to win only to have John Madden
jump out of Bigfoot at the last minute and sit on TIV2 squashing it flat?
Once the cells did re-initiate up in Howard and Winneshiek counties, I headed up
northwest of West Union, Iowa near St. Lucas to wait for the cells to mature and move
towards me. Not a good thing for tornado potiential when you see this right away.
The cells would periodically show a nice couplet on the leading edge or
just behind it but they were all cut off from the good south surface inflow.
This was the only one which really showed any true rotation and not just the usual turbulance on the leading edge
of the shelf. Problem is it lasted only a couple of mintues before gusting out. At least the base and isolated
lowering was round for a little bit. This is the cell which would go on to produce all of the wind damage in
Showing obvious signs of being a wind and hail maker now as evidenced by the leading edge bowing out. NWS
was adding the verbage of "the potential of softball sized hail" and "tornado like wind damage" to the warning on
this. I decided to stay out the the direct path and head south towards West Union again.
Headed east of West Union on SR56 but decieded to drop straight south as there was a new cell showing a VIL of
well over 70 heading right at me from the northwest. View is looking northwest. Note how everything still looks
totally outflow dominant still.
About this time the NWS from LaCrosse slapped a torn on this cell. Looking east / northeast. It had an
awesome mid level couplet on it but there was no way it was going to torndao as the outflow was running well out
in front of the cell. About this time the cell to my northwest was getting closer so I headed to Fayette, Iowa to
decide to run south again or wait it out.
One last look at the tornado warned cell. The couplet was located back
in the green area well within the heavy rain and big hail. Not worth it.
After waiting out the hail and wind in a carwash in Fayette, Iowa on SR150 from the other cell, I headed south and
west through Maynard with hopes of getting to chat with Steve Yezek for a bit but got delayed by these things falling
out of the back of the cell.
Note how clear the stones are. Definitely not mushballs. Added a few new small
dents from these but I did see a few pushing 3" shattering in the road in front of me.
Thankfully the law of averages kept them from hitting the car or glass.
Was hoping to get some nice lightning shots of the back of the cells from near Williams, Iowa
but this layer of low and mid level crap moved in and blocked the view.
Sometimes you need to make lemonade from the crap...err lemons the stroms give you. Pretty
much everything I like in this shot. Stars, the Milky Way, fireflies, and a storm. However, having a
staredown with a fork horn whitetail in the dark at 20 feet was not fun. This stupid buck comes out
and stands about where I am in this shot and starts the snort and hoof stomp routine. After rattling
off a good string of obscenities and thowing old corn cobs at him, he finally went back into the corn
next to me. Come back and try that in November...POW!!! I have steak for a year again!
Really had to play with the cam to get the exposure I was looking for to capture the Milky Way
above the storm. Despite the tornado threat being pretty much nill, it was still a very fun chase
day with some good memories again.