Monday, April 27, 2009

04/26/09 Linear MCS in Iowa

Linear MCS rolling through central and southern Iowa

Sunday, I decided to chase in south central Iowa playing the warm front instead of biting on the HIGH risk in the plains. It turned out to be the right call with only about a dozen tornado reports. What was frustrating is that one storm did form and produce a tornado along the warm front, but well away from most of us storm chasers up in northeast Iowa in Linn County. However, I managed to chase a stout linear MCS (Mesoscale Convective System) across Iowa for a few hours to my liking. I chose yet again on this day to take the more marginal setup in Iowa to stay away from the crowded "convergence" and to save some dough for my chasecation coming up in a few weeks.

As I come across Des Moines, IA the MCS begins to overtake me before I can get east on I-80
Whale's mouth with apparent chaotic motion
Very nice whales mouth from this MCS
Shelf cloud more pronounced now as the cold pool is established
Shelf cloud at sunset as I head home for the day

Today, ended up how I thought it would have. I was just happy I got anything out of it to be honest. Short drives to chase these setups I enjoy. Once when you have the weeks available to stay in the plains and chase the big events it's wise to settle for these types of chases. The good news chasecation is almost here so lets hope the pattern remains active...