June 27 2008
Central Minnesota
Some days you just chase for the fun of it.  This was one of those days as a
weak cold front crossed central Minnesota.  The plan was to head west to the
boundary but a few more discreet cells popped up ahead of the line so we
decided to follow these.  Cullen's view as we head west on I94 near St. Cloud,
Lowering on a cell north between Albany, MN and Avon, MN.  These would
flare up and die out as the updraft above it would pulse.  Fun to look at with all
kinds of rising motion but no chance of these being tornadic as the surface
winds were west-northwest undercutting the updraft area.
Cullen keeps an eye on the best SLC of the day east
of Holdingford, MN..  This thing moved every
direction except around.
Same SLC takes on an odd bell shape to it.  The video of this
feature is really cool as the motion was all over the place.
After it crossed over highway 3, it morphed into a mini shelf cloud with
good rising motion along the leading edge.  Wind was out of the south but
was extremely cold from the rain cooled air to the south being pushed ahead
of the front yet.  It did help the LCL's though.
We punched through the line near Rice, MN as I wanted to see the shelf cloud
I knew would be heading east.  The radial velocity scans shows some modest
outflow.  As we popped out of the rain near Gilman, MN, this was our view
looking south as a tornado warning was put on the storm.  I immediately called
the NWS to advise them it was outflow dominant and was pushing a fair shelf
cloud off to the east.  Top winds were only 35 mph as this passed over.
This was our position as we continued south on highway 25.  The Benton county
sheriff's deputies were lined up every mile or south through Foley.  Another
tornado warning was soon issued for the storm after there was a report of a
funnel cloud.  We never saw anything remotely torandic about the storm and our
data showed no rotation but supposedly there was an area of rotation on level 2
Our view from the location above.  I know the public/spotters/LE was likely
reporting this as a wall cloud (note the "tail" on the right side) but is purely cold
outflow.  The winds were northwest at this time and ice cold.  Note on the left
side how it is bowing out due to the cold outflow.
The next set of events were kind of odd.  As we were in the process of dumping
the storm (even though it is still tornado warned at the time), we came across an
older couple who had stopped their truck and gotten into the ditch due to the
tornado warning.  We stopped and let them know there was no tornado threat and
it was OK to either proceed west or wait out the storm in their truck as the core
behind the shelf was almost of top of us.
Later in the evening, Melinda and I went out for dinner as we waited for the next
set of storms to make their way through in hopes of getting a lightning shoot in.  
This cell was beautiful as the sun set behind us.  The photo does not do justice.  
Taken near Montrose, MN looking east.
After dinner we headed to intercept a storm heading for  Hutchinson, MN.  As we
passed near Winsted, MN the cell did get a severe warning put on it.
The cell pulsed and put on a fair lightning display for a few minutes but quickly
weakened so the warning was dropped as we called it a night.
2008 Chases
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