It turned out to be a very active day on Sunday, as a complex of showers and thunderstorms tracked through eastern Iowa. This complex of storms is known as a "Mesoscale Convective System," which developed in parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota Saturday night, and maintained itself through Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.
A Mesoscale Convective System, or "MCS," is defined as a complex of showers and thunderstorms, in this case, a squall line, that is at least 62 miles long that travels and maintains its strength over several hours. In this case, the storms developed in parts of North Dakota and Minnesota Saturday night, and then formed into this long-duration MCS as it tracked south an east throughout the day on Sunday.
The initial forecast was for this complex of storms to weaken a bit before tracking into eastern Iowa, but that was not the case. The storm traveled more than 500 miles before dissipating in parts of Missouri and Illinois Sunday evening.
Eastern Iowa had heavy rainfall, gusty wind, and vivid lightning. Many viewers captured the storms as they moved into the area. There are a few pictures to the left. Click here for more.