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                   Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 10:13PM CST

Day 4: Driving home through a marginal risk

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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Sunday was a hybrid travel/storm observation day through central Missouri on the way home. The same upper dynamics that produced the tornado events in the Plains was ejecting out into the Midwest, with a powerful 100 knot jet at 500mb traversing Missouri and Iowa. A decent risk for tornadoes existed up in Iowa and Minnesota, but was too far to reach in time. The big negative for Missouri was weak instability as a result of a solid cloud cover. Had instability been available, the tornado outbreak of yesterday may have continued into St. Louis, as our wind profiles were very supportive. I did not expect to see anything of note, but I stopped in the Sullivan, MO area for a couple of hours to watch the situation evolve. As expected, the day was a non-event, so I stopped at the base of the KMOV tower in South County/St. Louis for upward lightning shots. The only catch was this faint leader reaching up toward an in-cloud discharge:

And with that, 2012 Plains trip #1 comes to a close. This was by far my best Plains trip of all time, ranking even higher than 2004. Many intense and memorable intercepts made this one for the books. The downside is that I have so much material to go through that compiling the imagery and video for the final expedition reports is going to take a long time!

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