Ottertail and Wilkin Counties
|A surface low tracked just north of the ND/SD border towards Minnesota with great surface inflow gusting to near 40
mph. Too bad the dewpoints were stuck in the low 50's with even drier air feeding into the cells from the southeast.
The weak moisture coupled with limited instability and the lack of any mid and upper air support did a fine job of
keeping the storms below the severe level. So goes 2009...the chase year from hell.
4 shot stitched pano taken near Evansville, MN on the way home of a dying cell in Grant county. Just prior to this,
I ran into another chaser just off the Ashby, MN exit on I 94 who was telling me his story of being in Enid, OK
back on April 25th and how dead it has been since. I feel your pain buddy.
First cell near Rothsay, MN in Wilkin county. It was crap. Better than nothing, but still crap.
Looking northwest at the linear forward flank updraft base.
If you try to look real hard, it almost has that horseshoe shape of an HP storm. Wait, this is
2009. Not going to happen.
Open roads and no other chasers. No good storms either. Kind of a tradeoff.
There was a Wilkin county deputy about 1/8th of a mile behind me who was watching the leading
edge of the self cloud when an AWESOME shark's tooth complete with rising motion into it
really stole the show. I turned around to see him grabbing for his HT. My only though was
"DON'T YOU DARE!"...but then again this was in the mysterious black hole CWA where
anything is possible even when it defies logic and the NSE.
A trainless train heading northwest under the updraft on the Wilkin/Ottertail county line
southeast of Rothsay, MN.
2nd cell making it's way northeast with another crappy shelf cloud. As I was watching
this, a local pulled up behind me and it turned out to be a farmer who used to let my hunt
on his land as a kid. Good to see a familiar face again.
Just some cool contrast as the shelf falls apart from ingesting drier air near Carlise, MN in Ottertail county.
The best shelf of the day was on the third cell. Taken just outside of Fergus Falls, MN in
Ottertail county looking south/southwest over the airport.
I know this pic is junk. There is a cool little gustnado just to the left of the trees. I was
really irked with myself for hanging around too long near Fergus Falls and was trying to get
south in front of the line where I could see the sharks teeth getting pushed out indicating
some strong outflow. Even a 45 mph outflow gust hitting the 30-40 mph inflow would be
enough to get the dry fields moving. But, I screwed up and let the leading edge overtake
me with just enough rain / mud mixture falling from the sky to make the windshield a
mess. More Rain-Ex please.
One last piece of scud action in Douglas county near Evansville, MN. The line outran the
very narrow instability / moisture axis and totally puked soon after.
2009, the hell continues.