A very dangerous set up proved to be a dangerous severe weather outbreak, just not here in eastern Iowa. We traveled to far northeastern Iowa where we briefly set up a waiting point in Charles City (Floyd County). About 10 minutes after we sat down the first “blip” of light rain appeared on radar just southeast of our location. Within minutes, the blip had grown to a thunderhead reaching 25,000 feet into the air.
We quickly moved to the east and north, watching good development. But in the end it just didn’t get going. Why? Our best guess is that the cap simply did not break as we thought it would. In fact, in the picture to the right, you’ll see the top of one such thunderstorm, well to our northeast. This cell DID break the cap as it pushed in Minnesota. As a result it dropped very large hail up to 3” in diameter! As these storms moved into western portions of Wisconsin, they began producing tornadoes as well.
The bottom line? These storms did produce the severe weather they advertised, just not here. Although this storm and others managed to overcome the cap preventing severe thunderstorm development, that breakthrough did not stretch further south into Iowa as we anticipated. More storms developed in the Waterloo and Oelwein area, trying to break through, but none were able to do so.
One final insult from today’s storm system? I returned home to Parnell after more than 6 hours on the road non stop. When I pulled off Interstate 80 in Williamsburg, I spotted a good sized thunderstorm develop not to our north, but SOUTH, further down the cold front now pushing out of the state. To the left is a picture of this distant thunderhead that I captured to wrap up the day. All our pictures can be found on our facebook fan page.