Too Much Alarm

With the bulk of severe weather expected to our west, there was little if any chance of a chase.  In fact, with a growing bow line in western Iowa, the Storm Prediction Center said they would not issue a watch becaue they felt the storm would fall apart once it passed Interstate 35.  They were wrong.

In fact, I was at home watching the Primary results come in for Indiana and North Carolina, but also keeping an eye on the storms.  I mentioned to Joe in IEMChat that i thought there was an interesting looking outflow boundary in the Ames area.  Boy was I right.

30 minutes later a tornado warning was issued and very well organized bow structure was taking shape.  Nevertheless, it would be 2 more hours before the storm reached Cedar Rapids.  With no tornadoes being found, I felt I could try and get some shots from home, hopefully a lightning-lit shelf cloud.

My equipment is not what it used to be, so I was not able to get the best shots in the low light, but was especially surprised as it came over to hear the sirens go off in Cedar Rapids.  A tornado warning was issued for the northeastern part of the county, but NOT for Cedar Rapids.

The next day at work I found that Linn County Emergency Management in fact has their own system for triggering the sirens.  I could get into how much I do not agree with it, but I’ll save that for another day.

In the end, there was limited damage, all straightline winds, and from my standpoint, one very small wall cloud, but from my standpoint, I was just impressed I could see it in the dark.

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