Tuesday, June 24, 2014

06/05/14 Onawa, IA Supercell

 A supercell with a nice inflow tail moving east/southeast near Onawa, IA

On June 5th, I was on my way home to Peoria, IL traveling along I-80. I kept tabs on the weather along my route and noticed a powerful updraft north of Omaha, NE in Iowa coming into view. This storm was severe-warned and looking very interesting from a distance. After deciding this was indeed a storm to chase on my way home I jumped on I-29 and headed north for this supercell near Onawa, IA. The environment was somewhat favorable for tornadoes in this area. The area off to this supercell's southeast featured 2,000J/kg of CAPE, 0-6km shear at 40kts, and a moist boundary-layer with dew points near 65°F. As I approached this storm I pulled off the interstate just before Onawa, IA. The wall cloud was very low and even as I approached driving north on the interstate it looked like it had an "attempt". Within a few minutes however you could tell it was struggling to maintain its outflow yet still rotating. It didn't tornado, but I wish I could of got to this storm sooner and grabbed more structure shots. Oh well, I grabbed a few along the interstate and then decided it was time to go home as the storms began to weaken in this area. I've added some photos from this chase day below:

 Inflow was still really good off to the east at this point!
 Low LCL's almost got the job done!
 Shelf cloud and a wall cloud (center-right)
 Closer-view as it still has a circulation! (center-right)
Whale's mouth as it starts to gust out!
 Sunset along I-80 in Iowa...

A chase on the ride back home...can't argue with that! Iowa almost gave me a gift too! Overall, a good chase trip for photography. Tornadoes eluded me, but that will happen especially on a below-average tornado year yet again for the U.S. I'll be out chasing some more over the coming weeks so stay tuned for most posts.