Well after long discussions in the weather lab, and an increased risk of tornaodes, it all turned out to be for nothing. The day started with renewed hope as the low began its trek into northcentral Iowa. A coworker pointed out to me a case involving cold core low pressure systems and realized we were dealing with the same system.
In essence, despite the lack of heating and instability in northeastern Iowa, the parameters were there for tornadic development. Within minutes the Storm Prediction Center confirmed that theory by increasing the tornadic risk for eastern Iowa.
So I prepared and left during the noon hour towards Waterloo, on my way to Grundy County. By the time I got there there were some ominous clouds but nothing organized. There was moderate rain on the radar, but with low-topped supercells possible i had little faith that the radar would be a good guide.
Things got a little nerve racking when i punched through a particularly heavy rain shaft, but on the other side… nothing. After a break in Grundy Center i began racing north, trying to catch a cell that may have been producing funnels. It was difficult to get close and when i did, I could only see what appeared to be a shelf cloud, but extremely disorganized and in no way rotating.
On my way back to Cedar Rapids I hoped for some development further south, where there was some instability, but to no avail. The storms did not fire up until they had begun crossing the river in the Dubuque area. Even in Wisconsin, there was few if any tornado reports.
So now I am left hoping for redemption. Things were not looking good this week, but I have growing optimism for a prolonged event on Tuesday, May 6th.