Kandiyohi, Meeker and Wright Counties Minnesota
A warm front was drapped across central Minnesota in a northwest to southeast orientation. Morning
junk cleared out allowing for full heating. The downside was the predominant northwest upper flow
and the surface low was really weak. Nothing of significance fired on the pre-frontal trough leaving
westerly surface flow. The dominant supercell fired in the "warm sector" near the surface low in
western Minnesota but with backing southeastly winds totally lacking, the tornado risk was very
minimal. However, as some chasers found out, Minnesota supercells will still drop baseball sized hail.
Approaching the supercell near Sunburg, MN. View is looking west so keep in mind the storm is moving
from right to left while it is coming at me. A lot of the localsI talked to said "oh, the storms always
move from southwest to northeast". Yeah, right. Video frame off the Midland XTC300 dashcam.
Click on the image above to visit the YouTube channel for a 7 minute video from this day. Lots of
timelaspse in this one as the rear facing GoPro Hero2 was put to use quite a bit once again.
Somedays I don't mind chasing in northwest flow. Some days I do. This day was a pain in the butt as I
tried to stay on the southeast side where I could see into the notch, but the storm didn't want to play
nice. The precip would wrap from the northwest then almost straight south and cut off the view between
cycles. As some chasers found out, the hail doesn't wrap from the west / southwest on these dang things.
Chase partner and co-navigator...my daughter Cailyn. My usual chase parter, David Drufke and his wife, Kristen were
nearby but they got a head start on us and were just a little to the west / southwest. We would meet up with them later in
Wright county. The cell had a tornado warning on it but was sure struggling to contain it's outflow.
About 3 miles west / northwest of Spicer, MN. This is NOT a shelf cloud. Looking northwest. This is a wall cloud with
the tail cloud extending off to the northeast towards the precip core. Remember this is moving southeast. Note the
inflow/outflow interface off to the left side of the screen. The total lack of strong surface inflow from the southeast or
even south kept this supercell from producing a tornado.
Same spot as above. Some rotation but not the type which screams imminent tornado. Right side is heading southwest,
left side is heading east. The lowering above the trees would normally be the sweet spot for a torn but not today.
GoPro frame off the rear facing cam. I tried to give the two construction guys a heads up to find shelter. They didn't
think that was necessary. Note the area wrapping up just to the west of them. "Take shelter in a sturdy building". Guess
Coming in to Spicer, MN on county 10. There must have been *some* elevated inflow. Note all the gulls on the left
side? They wanted to go east but were all getting pushed west.
After skirting Spicer and blasting south and east again, the cell pushed out causing me to make tracks to avoid the hail. As
we went along Green Lake, you could see the huge hail hitting out in the lake just a hundred yards or so offshore. With
the cell moving at about 40 mph, had to keep on the run. This is looking due west northwest of Grove City, MN.
Coming into Litchfield, MN on highway 12. MPX called about this time as they said the rotation had really picked up
again. I didn't see anything which looked tornadic. This mass was trying to spin. Shows up on the video pretty good at
Coming into Dassel, MN on highway 12. The most interesting area is now hidden in the rain and hail to the right. That is
bad chase area due to hills and a poor road grid.