Maquoketa Hail Storm September 18, 2002


A cluster of thunderstorms weakened while moving into northeast Iowa toward the noon hour near and northwest of Cedar Rapids, IA.  An isolated single cell continued to track east however, and with the mid afternoon heating intensified over Jones County.  The storm eventually became a high precipitation supercell as it moved into Jackson County producing a swath of damaging hail up to baseball size and winds of 70 to 80 mph. 

The city of Maquoketa, IA was hardest hit as most residents reported some property damage. Nearly 1,000 new and used vehicles from several automotive dealerships suffered hail damage.  One owner of a car dealership was quoted as saying that the cars on his lot looked like they had chicken pox.  The pea to golf ball sized hail was so frequent, lasting nearly 20 minutes, that melting remnants left a nearly 2 inch thick sheet of ice in the bed of one pickup truck.  Damage to the city of Maquoketa alone was estimated at nearly 20 million dollars.

 Hail from Maquoketa, Iowa  Hail Damage from Maquoketo, Iowa
 Photos courtesy of the Maquoketa Sentinel Press  


Technical Notes:

1950z Base Reflectivity

Base reflectivity from 1950z with 0.5 / 1.5 / 2.4 / 3.4 degree elevation slices.  BWER present south through southeast of Maquoketa.  1 inch to 2.75 inch hail and winds up to 80 mph were reported in Maquoketa, IA between 1940z and 1951z.

1950z Storm Relative Velocity (8 bit Data)
Storm relative velocity from 1950z with low level rotation still convergent and a RFD wrapping around the updraft. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.