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  • Andrew Pritchard

June 20th, 2021 | Pella, Iowa Tornado

I spent the entire day worshipping an Illinois MCV and talking smack about the cold front play in Iowa, but as the day wore on I was forced into abandoning my morning target. The MCV, rather than drift into Illinois as a remnant area of low pressure ready to erupt late in the day, had blown up with morning showers and thunderstorms which had cast cloud cover over the downstream target area in Illinois.

A mid-day weather balloon sounding from the Lincoln, IL National Weather Service office confirmed concerns that instability would be quite meager and that supercell development was not likely.

My brother Wil and I cruised into Iowa and right up to a developing supercell near Grinnell, Iowa. The first supercell cycled a pair of times before it took on a cold and undercut look. We abandoned the storm for a new supercell approaching Pella, Iowa.

We drove around the south and west side of Pella before stopping to observe a cone tornado on the northwest side of Pella. Tree debris rained down on us for several minutes as the tornado weakened and roped out.

The was my first tornado in the state of Iowa after 18 years of chasing there/trying!


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SKYDRAMA | Meteorologist & Atmospheric Photographer Andrew Pritchard

I'm a meteorologist born and raised in the American Midwest passionate about forecasting and observing severe storms.

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