After sweating bullets on Saturday by not pulling the trigger and heading up to North Dakota, the trailing cold front began to push
into a pretty unstable atmosphere in Minnesota setting the stage for some severe thunderstorms. Targeting a cold front is always a
challenge. There was a weak low riding up the cold front from SD so about noon I settled on a target of Glenwood, MN in Pope
county. A pretty good combination of instabilty and with the approaching low aiding in eroding the weak cap, I felt confident in
initation just to the southwest. I knew cells would be flying up the cold front at 40-50 mph and the boundary itself would be
advancing east at about 40 mph so being just a little downstream of intiation would be very important.
After having lunch at Subway in Glenwood and mulling over the mesoanalysis, I drifted west to just north of Starbuck as the real
towers started to pop. I hate fronts which are polluted with mid level clouds. One of the things I have always thoroughly enjoyed
about chasing all these years is to see a cu field take off when the cap is breached. Not today. Today was a good day to use echo
tops and BR at the 1.5 tilt to see if initation was really underway or not.
Killed a bunch of time near a large CRP field trying to get some pics of a pair of broadwing hawks who were hunting. No luck. I
kept eyeing one particular cell which was between Benson and Glenwood. It went severe warned so I headed back down to 28
and set up just to the southwest of Villard, MN near Lake Amelia and watched the cell go by. With unidirectional winds, none of
the cells really had a chance to go supercellular as the bases would stretch out and the cold front would undercut it.
Not a wall cloud. Nothing more than a lowered area under a linear updraft as a shelf cloud was forming. One thing I found
interesting was the cores of the cells within the line never really merged very well so periodically it would create the illusion of
discrete training storms.
|This thing went rocketing by at about about 60 mph. See ya!
6 or 7 miles west of Sauk Center off 28. Supercell look-a-like within the line. As I was filming this, I looked to my south and saw
an enormous wall of dirt go flying east, south of the highway. Time to go.
The black, blurry spot in the upper left part of the image was a black bird caught in the outflow zooming east at warp speed.
10 shot stitched pano taken south of Albany, MN
One fun pic as the shelf cloud approaches.
Shelf cloud on a severe warned cell.
Messy looking cell just to the west of Albany.
Good old fashioned cold front shelf cloud southwest of Clearwater, MN off CR45 in Stearns county.
|Pope, Stearns, and Wright Counties - Minnesota
One nice thing about chasing linear cold front events is if you do it right, you can end the chase right in your own
driveway...as was the case this day. Looking west down our street.
Looking north / northwest over the backyard.
Click on the image above for a series of time lapses from the GoPro dash cam!