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Days 4 & 5 - Moderate Risk Followed By Bust

Posted by Owen, 19 June 2012 · 761 views

Today had the potential to be very tasty and we weren't disappointed - the chase in Minnesota was fast paced and gave us our first tornado of the tour.

We left Pierre, SD first thing and travelled East towards the general area of Watergate, Minnesota. After a quick stop at Subway for lunch, we waited at a garage on an intersection along I-29. Several stormchasers were starting to hang around the car-park as the first cumulus towers developed.

Paul picked the first cell that we would target and at this point my memory becomes quite blurred by the fast pace of the chase. Before long we were surrounded by 5 tornadic supercells - with wall clouds on all sides of the car looking like they could easily drop a tornado at any moment.


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As we moved East to escape the precip we desperately seeked out sideroads to pull up and take in the absolutely stunning structure of these cells. At one point we passed DOW (Doppler on Wheels - http://en.wikipedia....ppler_on_Wheels) .

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One of first cells we targeted - and we were quite concerned for the house in the distance at one point. It was here that we attracted a yahoo.

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Driving on from this spot, we drove over a slight ridge and there it was - a clearly defined cone tornado. One of only two reported tornadoes today and the only one reported in Minnesota. I tried to capture it but we had very little opportunity to see it through the trees and so, with the camera on the wrong setting we just have a very blurry image. Lesson learnt!

Short on time so here are some other images that I took through the day of the spectacular 'mothership' structure and a few lightning shots taken when we stopped enroute to Minneapolis for our overnight stop.

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Incase you haven't already seen it - panoramic of the spectacular supercell structure:

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Nicked from Ian's blog as per usual :-) http://irishtwisterc...e-heaven-d.html

THE MUST WATCH VIDEO: http://video.netweat...QhnZvZ-C4s17e6m

Last photo: myself below lightning strike (credit again to Ian)

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Monday 18th proved to be a bust day for us in Wisconsin. We targeted a couple of cells but they quickly fizzled out. We returned to Minnesota and stayed in Albert Lea. Wisconsin is a truely beautiful part of the world - but too many trees for a storm chase!

Minnesota is the focus for today (Tues 19th) and a 5% tornado probability. Will we keep up our 100% strike-rate in Minnesota??

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