Day 2 – Up to
2004 05 09
IA to SD
I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at , though I could barely speak now – my throat was a mess. Everyone else was still sleeping. So I took the laptop and camcorder out to the veranda to catch some sun, eat a granola bar, and capture some video. The WI-FI was also working so I did up an initial forecast for the day.
It was a long time before a few
souls began to rise, then a data party ensued.
We stopped for data at the corner of I-35 and I-90 for some data and met a pair of Italian chasers on a chase holiday. The seductive powers of severe thunderstorms never cease to amaze me!
We found out via the Weather
Channel at the truck stop that there was a big supercell to our north heading
At , we noted towering cumulus (known as tCu) developing and
breaking the cap to our northwest, which was southwest of the distant supercell
cluster. Our forecast was looking good! At , we stopped and shot some video on our way north from I-90
Mark consults with Chris and Dave
Once we got west of
Photograph by Dave Lewison depicting the intrepid Southern Ontario Chasers team.
Photograph of the storm with outflow boundary Cu approaching, looking roughly north.
Photograph of Mark’s truck with storm anvil and inflow Cu behind, facing roughly southeast.
The outflow boundary moved
steadily south and we could see periodic “dustbursts” along it
edge. These were dramatic – plumes of dust being lifted into the air and
curled back around. At one point, Mark pointed out a small, dusty vortex to our
north at the interface between inflow and outflow, but it didn’t appear
to be connected to cloud base and there was no evidence of a wall cloud
overhead. This occurred so quickly that no one had time to get it on film.
Photograph of back edge of storm with outflow “dustburst” to left of barn, facing roughly northwest.
Another view of the dust kicked up by microbursts
Shortly after, we realized that the inflow winds had died right down, and the outflow boundary was likely to pass any minute. Even knowing this, we all were surprised when the wind shifted suddenly and the temperature plummeted over a period of seconds. Now that was a gust front!
We decided to head a bit farther south to get better pictures of the dustbursts that were still occurring, but we didn’t end up seeing any again. We found another spot with a good view and took some video and pictures of the line of convection that had formed to our west. Not much was happening at this point, and no tornado warnings had been issued, so we decided to head north and “play in the hail” a bit. We never did find any.
Photograph of dancing light beneath the storm flank, facing roughly west.
Mark going to great lengths to get the perfect shot
We called up Steve and Bob and
decided to head to
We knew we had a long drive west
so we left the bar soon after and jumped into our vehicles. Mark wanted me to
drive and I would have - except the truck wouldn’t start. Mark jumped in
and tried and tried, but no luck. Uh oh. Mark thought it might be the fuel
pump, but Steve came up with a ‘water in the gas’ theory. Sure
enough, Mark had forgotten the gas cap at a gas station in
So, there we were on
Soon, the truck was purring again
and we went on our way to
All text and images by Dave Sills Copyright 2004
except photograph by Dave Lewison Copyright 2004.
Unauthorized use prohibited. All rights reserved.