July 12, 2014 Grant City Missouri Supercell

Intercepted this supercell storm on the IA/MO border, southeast of Clarinda IA.  Now just into Missouri, northwest Missouri, home of an excessive number of deer, turtles, etc etc etc.  Each chase there I swear the wildlife around the roads is an event on its own.  Missouri turns to Missouri fast too.  Shortly after crossing the border the wildlife showed up.  The roads went downhill.....and uphill, while twisting and not containing any Verizon data. Verizon data that powers my mapping and GPS usefulness.  Man I need to head that one off soon, by digging out my standalone GPS and having it ready.  I had zero data or mapping updates the entire next couple hours on the storm, till I got back into IA.

While heading south, just before this image, a mile into MO probably, a deer and I scared one another.  Come over the hill and see him on the left side of the road.  He darts right in front of me.  Nailed the brakes enough to screech the tires and start turning left in a slide.  My brain was already thinking how the chase just ended, as he's about to go into my radiator.  Man do I wish I had a gopro mounted on the front right side of my car.  It would have been epic.  You can't miss a deer by any less.  I thought, hell his hair probably touched my car.  Any later or less skid and he would have been toast.  I'd have felt horrible and also been done with the chase most likely, as it was just getting started. 

I immediately see another deer.  Next hill I swerve to miss a big snapping turtle. All in a mile distance.  I hit the brakes thinking, damn it I have to go get that turtle off the road.  It's not a very used road though.  Some lightning was happening here now though and there was no shoulder.  He was right on the hill too.  Got off as much as I could, then ran back to him.  I've picked plenty up from the road before.  Never worried as I grabbed them in the middle of the shell.  None ever tried to get me.  That has all changed with this bastard.  It was enlightening.  Holy crap.  Two things.  I would have never thought their head could get halfway across the top of their shell.  I thought grabbing by the middle sides they'd never have the reach to get you.  That is wrong lol.  But the speed!  Like lightning.  I started to lift him up and blam, instant snap clear up and across the top of himself. I was dumb enough to give it another try.  Got to see the shear speed and reach again, almost getting me.  Was like, ok screw that.  I moved the car up on top and tried to find a stick.  Could only find something small.  Thought, I'll get him to grab that and pull him off.  He instantly snapped it in pieces.  I tried one more time to grab him and quickly got scared of him, as he lightning snapped at me lol.  He wasn't light either.  Big guy.  Between his being so unhappy to be helped, the hill top and the lightning, I said SCREW YOU TURTLE and left him.  His speed and the way he went through that branch, seems he'd just snap my little fingers right off.  As far as he reached when doing them instantly, nowhere seemed safe to grab him.  His weight and the way he would move when instant snapping didn't help. 

Saw another deer after him.  I think that was all one mile.  Before the next mile, 10 turkey vultures were chilling right off the road. 

I thought this thing might do it, the way the rfd pushed forward and then proceeded to try wrapping up on the east side.  Somewhere in here I think, I'm flying my chopper on this, it is barely moving.  Shortest chopper flight ever.  Got it on and up 20 feet and was like, crap that rfd is flying in here.  Back down she came, even bouncing off the ground lol. 

May not being saying much for myself this year, but best storm structure yet I think.  She was really rather wrapped up and round. 

Glad I left the boundary on I80 anyway.  Almost stayed up there with the initial convection I was on.  Never an easy choice to bail something you are closer to or not.  Tops were struggling on mine up there, while the Clarinda, this storm to be, was high.  But as I decide to leave for this one, mine finally got real tops.  I kept going anyway, as this one was at least off the pushing south boundary.  Sagging boundaries never seem to work well.  And sure enough, mine was soon north of the boundary on radar as I was closing on this one.  This thing was never warned.  Hardly anything was warned this day, even being in a tornado watch and looking like it did the whole time.  I hadn't a clue the whole time, as I had no data once in Missouri.  Seems once lapse rates aren't so great, you can have all the cape in the world and you just end up with a tall wet storm.  Least this one was rotating and nice to look at most of the time. 

Going east, annoyed at my mapping not updating, given I had no data.  Least I had moved it far enough south to at least get some very low res views of a few of the paved options south.  Northwest Missouri is already hard enough to deal with.  Fun chasing solo there and also not even having mapping.  All I really had to do for a while was keep going east though.  Let it drop southeast and just end up in the better structure zone anyway. 

Probably a brief real funnel right of that tree.  These tractors fled a field just to the west as I went by(3 of them).  Ran to the edge of the road to get this one.  As I went east I caught back up to them.  Funny watching a tractor passing a tractor on northwest Missouri highways, as this storm moved in.  These bigger ones are fairly fast, the tractors. 

Grant City now.  Structure would go up and down pretty quick. 

Had to stop by the church for the shot.  Too bad the storm was now entering its downward spiral.  Went southeast till Denver Missouri and called it a day.  Not an epic day by any stretch, but man it would be nice if at least a few more of these were in the mix the last few years.