The day started out very warm and humid, just as the forecast had predicted. As is the case with most systems this time of year, we started to see storms develop as soon as the warm front moved through, which was around 10:30 AM for Muscatine County. I grabbed my equipment and my youngest, and headed to the far western sections of Muscatine County, on the Johnson County line. Our first good cell of the day formed directly over Lone Tree, Iowa at 10:50AM. We waited just to the east of this cell and waited for it to move off to the north. We had this view from just north of Lone Tree a few minutes later:
This storm did briefly attempt to form a wall cloud, but had trouble becoming surface based as the winds were still to quick at the mid-levels for it to root.
We then headed SSE towards the Conesville area, and witnessed a very slowly rotating, but persistent wall cloud about 5 miles NNW of Conesville:
After that cell died off, we headed toward the Iowa City area to observe a new cell that had formed near the city of Hills, IA. This cell ended up exploding vertically as it crossed over the warm front, and briefly had a scuddy appendage on it’s SW side. The first photo shows the scuddy appendage, the second shows the explosive updraft.
As this cell moved to the north, we headed back home for some rest, and to get ready for the afternoon storms.
We headed back out around 5PM, and made a bee-line for the Wyoming, Iowa area. We arrived in the area around 5:50PM, and immediately witnessed the first of three brief funnels in the Wapsi River valley, near the town of Oxford Junction. We then headed north and caught the 2nd and 3rd funnels just North of Wyoming. In the photo, the funnel is behind the center tree.
After this, we headed towards Anamosa. I quickly realized that heading through town was a bad idea, and took HWY 38 south. As we neared the Stanwood area, I seized the opportunity to grab a few panoramic shots of the shelf cloud as it approached the Stanwood Airport ( a 1 hanger, grass runway airport).
We finished the night observing cells pulse through Muscatine proper, and I took advantage of the abundance of fireflies to grab a shot of them with some distant lightning.