March 25 2007
Not the best day, but I've had worse
Melanie Metz, David Drufke and myself teamed up for our first chase of
the year. Target was Albert Lea, MN. Knew we were in trouble as the
temps rose into the mid- 70's leaving the dewpoints far behind. The huge
spread coupled with totally unidirectional winds was not favorable for
tornadoes by any means but as they say, a bad day fishing still beats a
good day at work. This applies to the first chase of the year also.
Cumulus field struggles to get going as we wait in Albert Lea with Eric
and Carie Whitehill, Tony Perkins and Doug Keisling.
A line of cells begins to develop
as we move a little to the north
towards Owatonna. A nice rain
foot begins to take shape.
We opt to play the odds and take the
southern cell hoping the near storm
environment will help us overcome
the temp/dewpoint spread. Scud tags
begin to be ingested as the storm gets
a severe warning put on it. Shortly
after this, the cell to the north
becomes tornado warned despite
feeding off cold inflow from this cell.
Near Kenyon in Goodhue
County the base tried to develop
a wall cloud but the
unidrectional winds and
southwest inflow would keep
stretching it off to the
northeast. The storm motion
was 40 mph at this point.
Video grab from north of
Wannamingo, MN the cell once
again tried to get a wall cloud going.
Another video grab a few minutes
later. This was about as good as it
got. Shortly after the storm
became totally stretched with a
lack of directional shear.
Cell takes on a shelfy appearance
as it merges with a strong cell to
the north and weaker cells to the
Dave, Melanie and I agree to drop
the cell near Red Wing, MN and let
it go into Wisconsin on the other
side of the river.
Not the best chase ever but not a
bad way to get the season going up
here. The sunset was a good one
and yes, that is ICE covering a lake
near my home still! Gotta love
early spring chases in Minnesota.