Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: June 20, 2015
Miles Logged: 1155
States Chased: IA, IL
Tornadoes Witnessed: 1
Highest Wind Encountered: 60MPH
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:


This was potentially a good day with mostly zonal flow. The low level shear was not so good, but the extreme instability values perhaps could work those issues out. Bart and I made a late decision to leave OKC around 1am Saturday morning. We arrived in Wichita, where we caught a couple hours of sleep. Before we knew it, we were back on I-35 north.

Great Timing

We managed to time the storms right and got to around Albia, IA as storms were firing to the northwest. Storm motion was to the southeast, so this was perfect and gave us time to get gas and get in front of these storms. One of our concerns for the day was storm mode, and it became pretty obvious early in the life cycle that storms were being undercut and pushed by the cold front into a linear fashion. Nonetheless, there was some discrete updrafts still in the area, and we were able to get on a decent storm near Eddyville.

After watching the first storm/updraft somewhat fizzle out, we became interested in the second updraft to the west/northwest. There was a long inflow tail and visually it looked quite good. We were still stuck with a mostly linear mode, so it never seemed to full wrap up, but a nice cone funnel came down and apparently touched off an EF-1 tornado near Eddyville.

After that, we continued southeast on US 63 to Ottumwa and east to Batavia where we got off the highway and hung out waiting for the storms to overrun us. The gusts were pretty good with a sustained gust of almost 60 MPH I’d estimate. Rocks were blowing quite hard and it hurt to stand in the wind and film.

We continued east on 34, later coming across some damage along the road that was later confirmed to be a tornado.

We followed east into IL, picking a hotel in Peoria near the Casino to spend the night.