August 9, 2009 Modale Iowa Morning Hail/Auburn NE to Rockport MO Wind Storm

Today was a pretty fun day for not expecting much. Thanks to Randy Chamberlain for calling at 6:30 and waking me up about a storm moving in. My car had been overheating recently so I only had my parent's Blazer to chase in. I'll just say it would suck to have to chase in something you should be careful with hail in. That is all this storm would offer, as there would be no structure at all, just morning grunge with it. I decide I'll get ahead of the worst part of the core(as radar indicated 3.75 inch diameter hail) and find something to take shelter under. Couldn't find much other than the interstate bridge going over the highway I was on north of Modale. So I parked about a half mile from it on a road and waited. If I needed I could rush under the overpass after a short drive. Pretty slow/empty road early Sunday morning anyway. Clouds were racing south ahead of this core. I get some rain but no hail. I figured I'd at least get some warning stones if there was any big hail. Nope, I just get a big stone to the top of the car as the first sign. Booooowwwnnggg on the roof. "Oh crap". Flew to the overpass and it wasn't too bad. I then went hail searching and was amazed how small the path was. Probably 2-3 miles wide is all. Wasn't a ton of hail either. Not wanting to walk into people's yards I finally decided to try the Modale park. It was all golf ball and slightly bigger, just not many at all.

Walking around the biggest stone I would find catches my eye. It was laying right next to this wet $20! I was like that is a bill, then was like hey that is a $20! Rich now. Oh wait, between this day and the one a couple before that busted, I had to put about $80 in that vehicle. I couldn't imagine chasing in a gas guzzler for long. Anyway, a pretty nice stone that has melted some. It was around 2 and 3/8th inches in diameter so probably a good 2.5 inch originally. This is something I need to do more often, search for hail. I never do it as I'm usually ahead of the storm and/or punching a core with no time to stop. I can count on one hand the times I've stopped and messed with hail like this. 3 times is all I can think of.

This was around 7:30 a.m. for what it is worth.

It is now evening and I'm west of Auburn Nebraska. From the moment I got to this storm I could tell it was flat out racing east/gusting out hard. It hadn't been a storm all that long yet either. You could just tell right away it was going to be one of those no time to stop/drive fast days. I do about 70 mph to the east and barely am able to even catch the front of the gust front, that had just gone over. I'd estimate it was doing 60 mph down this highway, on average, from here through Rockport Missouri. On radar it wanted to have more of a supercell characteristic and this would be the rfd portion of it plowing around to the east and bowing out. It bowed extremely hard in this small area down this highway. It's frustrating when you can't get ahead of the storm very easily. Good thing Auburn only has one light going e-w and it's not a wide town that way. Still I was ahead of the gust front going into town, but yet again behind it as I exited town.

Going fast. The trees along this gust front were whipping around violently. It was a west wind though, so as I went 70 mph east, it barely felt like I was moving. You don't feel like you are moving, yet the trees are a sight to behold. Winds trying to touch the tree tops to the ground.

I had just enough time to get into Rockport and pull over before the gust front blew on in. Tree parts go flying over the car.

This guy starts to back out like he's leaving.

Storm says I don't think so. It was pretty cool at times. Like a ground blizzard where the lowest few feet are low visibility but you can see up above it.

Powerlines arcing in the background.

A fun day for sure. Severe hail in the morning and severe winds in the evening.

Lightning was pathetic by the time it was dark, but I tried anyway. Damn the sprinkles. I was willing to try longer but the sprinkles sent me homeward bound.