Tuesday May 18, 2004

     With low clouds and drizzle over the entire area the day did not look promising. Scott headed back to St. Louis and we headed north to McCook, NE to see if the situation would improve. At the library the clouds showed no signs of dissipating so we decided to head east to Lincoln to set up for the Moderate Risk over Eastern NE and IA for Wednesday. Drove 404 miles.

Wednesday May 19, 2004

     SPC moderate risk for IA and Eastern NE looks good with the 5000-7000 J/kg CAPE on the models and the CAP eroding in the afternoon. The morning update removes the moderate risk but we decide to head north to continue playing the warm front. The 20Z update is less optimistic but some clearing in western IA gives us some hope so we head eastward. Some towering CU develop but then dissipate on both radar and visually. At 7 pm nothing is happening in our area and it becomes obvious that nothing will so we decided to call it a day in Adair where we got some tornadoes...no not the kind from the sky but an ice cream treat at a local shoppe. We then head east towards Des Moines while Russ, Adam, Chris, and Becky head for Council Bluffs to try again on Thursday. Drove 316 miles.

Thursday May 20, 2004

     Since skies were again cloudy decided to head back to St. Louis since tornado potential did not appear that great. Drove 420 miles.

Friday May 21, 2004

     Headed back to Green Bay and did some opportunistic chasing in southern Wisconsin. Caught a shelf cloud from the gust front near Madison but nothing special. Was a little upset that we missed the outbreak in Nebraska by only a few days. Drove 600 miles.
     Here are some pics of the thunderstorm near Madison:

An approaching shelf cloud in the distance.
Getting closer.
The shelf cloud a few minutes later.
The gust front is almost on top of me.

All in all it was a great chase with some amazing photos and awesome chase partners. The only thing that would have made it better was a tornado but there is always next year. Some stats:
Miles Driven: 3956

Lessons Learned:
1. Chaser convergence is not enough to overcome the Blake Naftel Induced Iowa Bust "BNIIB".
2. Verizon Coverage is great in the plains...about 95%...while Sprint is only about 50%. This is no knock on Sprint... just the truth since half of us had Verizon and the other half Sprint.
3. Wilson Antennaes give you about 2 bars of extra coverage...a great investment.
4. Wide Angle lenses are also a great investment...don't leave home without them.
5. An internet connection in the field is worth 2 nowcasters in the bush.

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