Benton, Mille Lacs, Isanti Counties Minnesota
Will be adding some mesoanalysis data to this page in the future as
a quasi-dryline in Minnesota is rather rare and quite interesting to
see the major role in played on this day so be sure to check back.
After bouncing around on some storms in southern Wright and northern Carver counties, I finally committed to the supercell
developing near St. Cloud and made a clean intercept just to the south of Foley, MN in Benton county. View is looking west off
CR6 north of highway 95. Well developed meso with a RFD clear slot. The biggest issue with this storm is the area of rotation
never tighened up and remained very broad. There were some spotter reports of funnels on this storm but I never saw anything
remotely resembling anything well established. There were times the cell had strong vertical motion condensing under the wallcloud
/ action area but nothing even remotely tornadic no matter how hard the storm tried and how many times it cycled.
Not bad structure for a Minnesota supercell! Sun is just below the horizon now. Looking southwest and hoping the vault doesn't
start to drop tennis ball to baseball sized hail on me at this point.
Cell slides by just to my west. All shots on this page are at 11mm ISO 200 with variable f stops from 2.8 up to 7 I believe.
Same location as the shot above as the cell is really close now with quarter to half dollar sized hail falling on me.
Cell really didn't do much across Mille Lacs county. MPX put a tornado warning on it but it still never looked
like it was close to producing. The rest of the shots are from Isanti county west of Dalbo, MN.
DUDE!!! Where did my legs go?
|Having a little fun with the superwide lens and 20 second exposures.
I read a spotter chase log claiming the storm was outflow dominant. Uh, no. Still had sustained inflow from the east -
southeast all night I was on it. A common mistake made by inexperienced spotters and chasers is to position themselves
directly south of the meso/updraft area. That would be in the RFD / gust front area so of course the wind will be blowing out
away from the cell. Get on that east / northeast side and there is the inflow area. Experience, experience, experience. They
can't teach you experience in a Skywarn class or by hanging out on the chaser internet forums.
Another example of the non-tornadic danglies some spotters wanted to believe were funnels. Still amazes me how quick
some people are to call something that points towards the ground a funnel.
One last look at the donut hole in the middle of the meso. This is a f2.8 11mm shot. It was DARK by now and with
other cells blossoming to the southeast and north, I knew it would be only minutes before this cell merged with it's
surroundings and headed into the big timber of eastern Minnesota near I35. Game over and time to head for home 45
short minutes away. Biggest disappointment of the day was watching the cell which produced the St. Michael, MN
tornado form just about overhead as I passed by home in Buffalo, deciding the base looked too skinny and high-based,
then to have it produce about 20 minutes later. Oh well, it was still a fun chase day and by far the slowest moving
supercells I have chased in Minnesota in May in well over a decade if not longer!