Tornado on May 15, 1998 (Lone Tree, IA)

This page is under construction, which is to say, more will be added...
Last changed 5/02

Brian Jewett, Tim Shy and Adam Houston left the U.I. Atmospheric Sciences department shortly before noon. Smoke from Mexican fires combined with low level haze made for poor visibility on a day when thunderstorms were forecast to move northeast at over 45 mph. We dropped south from I-80 east of Iowa City and drove west on route 22 to see this tornado west of Lone Tree, IA. The National Weather Service rated the tornado at F3 intensity - later, after it had moved northeast of us.

A plot of the approximate mesocyclone path and our car's route is plotted here.

Movie clips
click on any image to see the MPEG movie
Overview (Small: 160x120, 4fps)

mpeg (1 MB) / QT (24 MB)
Move west (240x180, 8fps)

mpeg (1 MB) / QT (16 MB)
Brief spinup (240x180, 8fps)

mpeg (<1 MB) / QT (10 MB)
Tornado southwest (240x180, 8fps)

mpeg (2 MB) / QT (25 MB)
Crossing road (240x180, 8fps)

mpeg (2 MB) / QT (24 MB)
Tornado northwest (240x180, 8fps)

mpeg (2 MB) / QT (34 MB)
Crossing road (big: 320x240, 15fps)
mpeg (3 MB) / QT (33 MB)
Tornado northwest (big: 320x240, 15fps)
mpeg (3 MB) / QT (35 MB)
Software to play movies is described here.
The quicktime (QT) movies will be redone in the future with compression so they aren't quite so huge...

This day's storm reports (as compiled by the Storm Prediction Center) are plotted here. The tornado with this storm injured over 30 people earlier in the day when it struck Washington, IA. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

The images and video are copyright © 1998 by Brian F. Jewett, Timothy Shy (KM4KS) and Adam L. Houston. Please don't copy/redistribute any images or video without permission.

Several friends and colleagues who weren't with us on this day provided nowcasting support, which was greatly appreciated. Our thanks to Dr. Bruce Lee, Ed Kieser of WILL AM 580, and Scott Olthoff.

You may wish to see the Davenport, Iowa National Weather Service page on this storm.


Brian F. Jewett | jewett@atmos.uiuc.edu | homepage | video Images and movies captured on a Macintosh