Douglas, Stearns, Benton,
and Mille Lacs Counties Minnesota
After a horrific bust day on the 17th in western Minnesota where I managed to totally screw myself by
making silly mistakes, I wasn't going to let it happen two days in a row. I really worked over the data for the
big SPC 15% tornado hatch and couldn't see where the subsidence and capping would be overcome down in
the high CAPE area despite a decaying outflow boundary near Mankato. By late morning the air mass in
west central Minnesota was rapidly becoming very unstable and a warm front had become nearly stationary
from Grant county over through Mille Lacs county right on the edge of the cap. The first supercell was
nearly stationay for a long time barely creeping east as it went tornado warned. It never really looked that
impressive underneath as it cycled over and over but once it started to move east along the boundary, things
got more interesting.
Large hail reports started coming from the local spotters near Holdingford, MN and there was also a funnel report
which I highly doubt was accurate. As I headed east to get ahead of the cell with the hail core now wrapping
around the back of the meso, I managed to get into the hook again southeast of Rice, MN. This area had RAPID
cyclonic rotation and had me slowly advancing forward while keeping an eye on the ground until the rain and hail
wrapped it again.
When I ducked back south to head east and see into the notch again, I came across these people. I don't think
they were spotters and I don't think any real chaser in thier right mind would sit on top of a nice big metal
Suburban while CG's are hitting just to get a better view. Darwin, table for one please.
Between Gilman, MN and Foreston, MN, this is about as close as I saw this long lived cell come to producing a
tornado. Nice RFD cut but it never wrapped itself all of the way around. Good example of why the RFD is a
vital piece of the tornadogenesis process.
A new raggety wallcloud formed to the southeast of the old area west of Milaca, MN. Note smaller inflow
stinger above the tail cloud. No rotation to this.
After going north into the core up highway 169 on a hail quest north of Milaca, MN, I decided to dump the
storm as it headed into the forests of eastern Minnesota. A bow echo was forming up near Fergus Falls and
would be an easy intercept to see if anything would go up on the southern end of the bow. I've always had good
luck with this strategy and today would be no different.
After getting up to Sauk Center, MN on the western edge of Stearns county, I met the bow echo head on. After a
quick food grab in town, I headed just east and looked back to see this. This is a 7 shot panorama taken at 18mm.
I had some time to ding around with the shlef cloud as I waited to see if there would be a new tail end Charlie.
Looking north towards Todd county in central Minnesota.
Typical central Minnesota grain farm.
One last look at the shelf as a new echo started to show up. If you look over the top of the white machine
shed, you can see the precip core. This is what I was hoping for so headed south and east to Melrose, MN.
As I headed south of Melrose, MN near Meire Grove, it quickly became evident this southern cell was going
to break off the line as an inflow notch showed up and a collar cloud began to form all of the way around the
The cell went severe warned at this time as I started to make route plans as I knew this cell would quickly turn to the
southeast. I'll be adding a timelapse video of this cell breaking off and spinning like a top...at least on the timelapse.
Pretty cool to watch as the mini HP supercell start its turn to the
southeast towards St. Martin and Farming, MN in Stearns County.
Kept working my way south but let the edge of the meso catch up so I watch the scud tags along the edge get
pulled north then back to the northwest around the corner. It did show a very nice velocity couplet at this time but
never looked tornadic.
This video is of the storm which went up just south of Sauk Center,
MN at dark and tracked off to the south east towards St Cloud, MN.