|A day of big time low level shear and not a whole lot
instability as compared to central Iowa. My love of chasing
areas with sharp turning of the surface wind pays off as I
gamble on staying north near Blue Earth, Minnesota.
After the traffic delay from hell on I35 near Faribault, MN, I drifted west toward Blue Earth, MN where the
surface winds were backing sharply from the southwest to east. After taking a disant peek at a storm coming up
from Algona, IA, I decided to stay put on rapidly developing cells near Blue Earth, MN in Faribault county.
Note Faribault, MN is not in Faribault county. Even early into initiation, I had a good feeling as the cloud bases
were very low and everything wanted to twist in the lowerst levels of the atomsphere.
Drifted north through Rake, MN back north of I90 and settled in southwest of Easton, MN as the cell went
tornado warned. It had a lot of dangly whispies but nothing really solid. The cell exhibitng strong cloud base
rotation at this time. View is looking west / northwest.
The cell actually had two active rotating wall clouds for a bit. This is the one further to the west. It had a lot of
spin and good rising motion but was obviously cut off and was about to get blown out as a new wallcoud was
forming to the east of this one (almost right on top of me). Local spotters reported this as a funnel.
This was a fun storm which exhibited a lot the same structure and characteristics of it's big cousins down south.
Quite the mini beaver tail coming in from the east.
Just southwest of Easton, MN looking west / northwest.. This area was reported by spotter as a tornado. I'm not
so sure and be interested if there was any damage associated with it. It had a lot of motion....I'll leave it at that.
About 1 mile east of Easton, MN looking just west of north. This storm was rapidly evolving into a HP mess
with a wet RFD cutting in to the wall cloud.
About this time my regular chase partner, David Drufke, and his wife Kristen came rolling up. Dave took a few
moments to bitch about the mess on I 35 also which took him two hours to get through. Once we all got done
bashing MNDOT, we got to business of making sure we were making the best decisons to stay on the best
storm in the best location.
Our original storm was starting to look like a big outflowish piece of junk. As we sat looking at this storm which
we were trying to figure was really done or just cycling, the new storm just south of it went tornado warned
also. I made the decision to head into Wells, MN, go south, then back east so we could see the action area on
both at the same time. This turned out to best the best idea of the day.
As we were creeping along a township road between highways 22 and 109 south of Wells and north of Alden,
the south cell suddenly spit out a nice funnel. Nothing great but was still better than anything else so far. Note
this was not associated with a wall cloud per se. It reminded me a lot of the first tornado Dave and I got back
on August 24 2006 near New Ullm, MN. That torn formed just like this funnel...extreme low level shear.
Dave and Kristen watch to see if the funnel is going to touch down. This was a crazy storm as there were areas
of rotation everywhere on the back side.
As Dave and I were dinging around with the video cams, Kristen all of a sudden noticed a different funnel which
touched down to our southeast. This thing was BRIEF....I'm talking just a few seconds brief. Andrew Revering
has some pics of this from the other side near Alden, MN on I 90.
This is the view looking west / northwest as the first cell I was on which is still tornado warned but doesn't look all
that healthy even though spotters are still reporting funnels and later another touchdown near Manchester, MN.