Storm Structure in Iowa and Dust Storms in Illinois – May 28th 2012

Oct 22, 2012


Got on severe storm in Iowa with cool structure but no severe weather, called chase and detoured for new outflow driven storms in Illinois with huge dust clouds along the gust front.





Tornadoes: 0

Hail: .50″ (dime)

Wind: est 55-60mph outflow.


Detailed Account:

Today seemed to have less potential than the day before, but it was on the way home thus it would be foolish not to at least try. We stopped at a favorite stop of mine, Iowa 80 in Wallcott, IA to wait for storms to form. Eventually one went up not to far from our location so we made our move which only took us a few miles away. The road we wanted to take was closed so we had to detour on a rather tree-infested road instead. The trees ended up giving way to a nice view across a farm field and over a valley. There we had an awesome view of the approaching storm. It was some of the better anvil/updraft structure I had seen this year and was a nice photogenic treat.

Fellow Convective Addiction chaser Brad Goddard (who lives nearby) found us on the road and we watched the storm approach, it began to strengthen, even developing a wall cloud with rapid rising motion and for a moment we started to get excited.

But alas, it was never meant to be and qusted out soon after this photo was taken. We decided to let the core overtake us which dealt only some pea to dime size hail but some rather impressive wind gusts that could have been close to severe levels. That was all the storm had to offer, with only linear garbage nearby we said our goodbyes to Brad and continued home. On our way home some impressive storms went up in Illinois with reports of tennis ball size hail and 80mph winds. I thought that would be fun so I detoured us north to get in the path.

Typing this is becoming as routine as a broken record, but the storms quickly died out as we got close. As a consolation prize we were dealt a wicked dust storm. The area was entering drought and overall rainfall had been lacking through spring, so the storms gusty outflow, which reached over severe limits at times kicked up quite a bit of dust, something I have never seen in Illinois before.

It is still hard to say if seeing dust on a storm chase is a good or bad thing, but probably bad. This was it for the day, and we continued the trek home.


This chase was almost better than the previous days, because it was more convenient and the day itself had lower expectations. The storm provided some nice photo ops and the blowing dust was neat, but still, the fact I keep missing the storms at their peak intensity makes me question my tactics. June is coming though, and that is statistically my best month. Fingers crossed…


Point 1 is where we intercepted the storm in Iowa, point 2 is where we intercepted the dust in Illinois.

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