June 27, 2020


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Carroll, IA
Dubuque, IA 9:12 AM 6/27/2020
Sioux Falls, SD 7:07 PM 6/27/2020
Carroll, IA
0 mph
Possible Landspout, Updraft Base


Landspout play in central Iowa. Targeted north of I-80 for early to midafternoon TCu with landspouts. Intercepted TCu with ground circulation near Carroll, IA but failed to capture shot of circulation and confirm landspout tornado.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Equipment: Samsung Galaxy S9.




From my morning "chasecast" storm chasing forecast discussion:

"Day 1 Today: Most interested in potential landspout play east to west across Iowa, north of 80. Steep low level lapse rates over northern Iowa, coupled with a pool of 0-3km CAPE on what looks like some kind of boundary there with some surface vorticity. Get on initiation in the next couple hours. Park it immediately underneath a robust tcu and hope for something.

Targets to the west over CO and western NE look shut down for significant surface based play. Initiation expected but low level thermodynamics are not favorable with very high LCL and LFC heights and positive lid strength. Sig. tornado not expected as a result.

Haven't looked further south in MO, but was expecting more of an MCS down there. "

Possible Landspout
3 miles NNW of Carroll, IA
3:06 PM
This was supposed to be mainly a ferry day for the whole team to the Northern and High Plains. The team split up and moved west at their own pace. I saw potential for a landspout play, so Brindley and I diverted off of I-80 to chase towering cumulus in west central Iowa. A robust updraft approached and looked to be organizing. We were amazed to a see a circulation at the surface with some light corn husk "debris" being lofted into the air and a tube of dust forming. It lastest merely seconds and there was only remnant dust in the air by the time we could get our cameras on it. It might have been a landspout and technically a tornado, but I'll withold counting it as we couldn't get a clean shot to really confirm it, and it might as well have been a gustnado on the small cell's gust front. It was an exciting moment for what was supposed to be a zero chances day.

2 miles ENE of Early, IA
4:53 PM
We chased cells as they continued to pop up around us, but it was the initial developing activity that seemed to have the most potential as steep low level lapse rates were replaced by rainy cold pools.
An Impossible Burger and beer on the patio on a gorgeous evening in Sioux Falls was a sunbeam shining through the gloom of 2020.


We might have squeaked a weak tornado out of this chase, from a day that was only supposed to be a ferry day with no tornado probabilities. I'm counting it as a bust since we failed to get a good shot of the circulation we spotted, however.

Lessons Learned

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