After looking at models for a few days and talking with Adam Lucio (aerostorms.com) and Danny Neal (nrnilstormchaser.blogspot) we decided to leave the night before and stay a Jesse Risleys house. With the latest runs we decided we would be heading further west into Iowa and change our plans and stayed at a hotel in Monmouth IL to be closer to our target in the morning. We left in the morning and made our way into Iowa....yes I did say Iowa... We stopped at a great spot in Avoca IA with a great view to wait for initiation to begin. While we relaxed waiting in beautiful weather, not the chilly Chicago temps, Jim Rood, Sam Augustyn and Matt Piechota joined us.
This road had a sign for Adam and Danny to keep on the road....
We made our way along I-29 towards WIA while storms started to fire up, I could not believe how quickly things came together! We stopped in near Whiting with a great view as the storm was approaching.
Little Funnels started to form around us
Clear slot starting to come together
We have a Tornado!
Gustnado after it passed over us
We moved on to keep up with the storm, however were limited to roads and had to head south and shoot back north, during this time we had missed the Mapleton IA Tornado. However as we came up on top of a hill and were greeted by other chaser we had a view of another tornado for a short time. Unfortunately I was not able to capture this one, but Danny Neal got a great shot
As we were going to make our way to get some food, we realized there were still multiple reports coming in of large Wedge Tornadoes. We were able to view these in the Lightning Flashes which was a weird feeling to view large Tornadoes at night.
NWS Survey would later report this tornado to be between 2-3 miles wide
We came across a home that had taken a hit from one of these tornadoes. Danny was quick out of the car and I jumped out behind him to ensure everyone was ok. No one was hurt but very shaken up, after I realized everyone was ok, I snapped a quick photo of the damage a Tornado can do.
As the storms moved on we stopped and enjoyed amazing lightning and incredible structure. This would have been an incredible view if it was day time!
After taking photos we decided to call it a night and grab some food. The nearest town was Ford Dodge IA, not much open except for a bar. We grabbed some food and were joined by other chasers and we talked about the insane day before finding a hotel to crash at for the night.