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4/6/10 Chase Recap

Chase Stats
SPC Outlook: SLGT
States Driven: MO, IA, IL
Departure City: St. Joseph, MO
Target City: Osceola, IA
Ending City: Geneseo, IL
Outcome: Hail, Severe Wind, Lowering
Chase Pics: Gallery

This was the second and last chase of Spring Break for me. Unfortunately, I did not see any tornadoes, but it was a little more eventful than the day before. We started out the day in St. Joseph, MO at a Days Inn. Scott Bennett, Ben Holcomb, Adam Lucio, and I headed out around 11, and stopped for lunch at a Rib Crib. After lunch, we headed north towards IA. After looking over some data, and models, I decided the area around Osceola, IA looked decent. We stopped in Osceola, and met up with some other chasers including Skip Talbot, and Randy Cooper. Some of the chasers left after a short while to go intercept storms firing on the warm front. These storms quickly died out after crossing the front.

We were targeting more towards the triple point that day, and waited a little while for the low to move eastward. As it got closer, we left, and headed north, and then east to get into position for storms that were firing to our southwest on the border of IA, and MO. We intercepted the first cell just north of Pella, Mo after using an emergency turn-around to avoid a large hail core. We raced north to catch back up to the storm, although wet dirt roads with massive ruts in them tend to throw you all over the road. Storm motions were now fairly fast, and we decided to wait on the next cell/ cluster to approach from the southwest. While we waited, Scott Bennett, Joe Rutkiewicz, and I took some structure shots including the updraft.

By the time the rest of the storms got to our position, it had all went linear. We continued north towards I-80, until something caught our eye. We pulled off, and observed what appeared to be a lowering. It continued for around 10 minutes, but we never observed any rotation. Continuing north, we decided to stop in the town of Grinnell, IA to grab a bite to eat. As we came into town, we noticed the power was out, so we knew we weren't going to find any restaurants open. We then noticed debris strewn across the road, and fields. I went in to document some damage that a house sustained. They had lost many barns, which were fully collapsed along with a 2x4 that was thrown through their garage wall. The house was sitting at the top of a small valley, and the winds were accelerated through the valley, and caused extreme straight lined winds.

After documenting the damage, we headed a little farther north through town, and found some more damage along with a fair amount of hail on the ground that had been there at least an hour. The hail was still 3/4" and at least 1" deep in some spots. We continued east on I-80, and stopped for dinner before stopping in Geneseo, IL for the night.