Chippewa, Kandiyohi, McLeod and Carver
|A well forced cold front with only limited moisture
and instability spawned a nice linear complex
which passed through central Minnesota.
Got kind of a late start as originally I wanted to be out in South Dakota somewhere around the highway 12 and interstate
29 junction. Headed west on 12 as far as I could and met the storms in western Chippewa county near Milan, MN.
At first the shelf wasn't too impressive but the lightning really started picking up in intensity telling me this bowing
structure was getting stronger. This gave me some hope maybe the appearance would also get better despite the
dewpoints were stuck in the upper 50's. The cold front had some good forcing but the overall instability was weak.
I don't think I have ever had a lightning strike come out at me. Anvil crawlers and anvil zits don't count. This is from
the video and I had no idea this happened uptil I was going through the tape. Probably a good thing as I didn't bring an
extra change of clothes with on this chase.
Really had a hard time not getting eaten by the storm. Just about every delay you can think of (less a flat tire or an
animal collision) happened. South of Willmar, MN now and east of highway 71. Despite the top wind gust of 42 mph,
the storm ingested enough dust and dirt and with the little bit of filtered light from the south , the colors were impressive.
Still shooting on the run as I spent most of the chase under the shelf or just behind it in the whale's mouth.
Looking north up the line. This is my favorite shot of the day and was an experiment at shooting at ISO 100. It was a
pain to keep dragging the tripod out and using the cable release, but I was very pleased with the outcome.
Headed south again to highway 7 and stayed right under the shelf again until highway 25 and back home. It was obvious
the line was weakening and I had no interest of heading into the Minneapolis metro. Looking north with the lights of the
Watertown, MN baseball field in the background. Tadd Parris has some nice shots of this complex on his website also.