Roberts County South Dakota
Big Stone, Swift, Chippewa, and Renville Counties Minnesota
A strong cold front came crashing in from Canada with some decent shear and a surplus of heat and
humidity setting the stage for severe thunderstorms across far eastern SD and western MN. Temps
were near 90 degrees with dewpoints at or just above 70. The low level shear wasn't great but the
bulk shear was. Northwest flow in the summer up here yeilds some cool looking storms and that was
exactly what I was hoping for. I wasn't disappointed. My original target for the day for iniation was
Wheaton, MN in Traverse county knowing I would need to slide up or down the cold front to pick
the tail end Charlie storm. Capping with a pretty strong EML coming in from the southwest would
inhibit storms further south so I felt confident in the target. After arriving in Wheaton about
2:45pm. I sat on the north side of town and watched turkey towers for about 30 minutes when a cell
took off in western Roberts county in SD just to my SW. That was the storm to go after as it was
right on the edge of the cap. An easy run down MN 27 to Browns Valley and a quick hop over I29
south of Sisseston put me in good position for the rest of the day as more cells fired up the cold front
and all were moving east/ southeast with the cold front.
Supercell southwest of Sisseton, SD moving southeast. Photo taken just west of I29 looking due
west. I was a little northwest of Peever at the time.
About the best it looked before it merged with the cells to the north and lined out. Severe warned for
tennis ball sized hail but the tornado threat was zero was it was undercut by the cold front. Pretty
sure this was actually running just behind the cold front since it went up.
Non rotating wall cloud as it starts to zip southeast and I need to plan my route back into Minnesota
without ending up in the hail core. I like chasing this area but the issue of dealing with Big Stone
Lake and Lake Traverse is a pain. See my chase account from June 17th, 2012 as I had the same
issue in the same spot.
After choosing to cross back into MN at Ortonville, the supercell to the north started to die off. There
was a new storm just to my southeast which had a really high VIL return and was the new tail end
Charlie storm so I went after it. Mother Nature had a different idea. As I headed east on US12,
another storm rocketed up right on op of me just inside the MN border and started dropping golf-ball
sized hail. The hard stuff. More hail dents. I knew my chaser/photography pal, Brad Goddard, was just
up the road in front of me with the hail core bearing down so I quickly relayed to a report to ABR then a
message to Brad to move a little south. Once I got out of the hail, I was able to pull over and get a shot
of the updraft base near Correll, MN.
After playing cat and mouse with the hail core of the storm to the southeast while heading down MN7
between Appleton and Montevideo, I turned the corner on the cell and got in front of this messy
lowering. I think the brown/gray coloring was due to all the dirt it was ingesting due to the dry
conditions as of late.
Just east of Montevideo now. Note the lowering looks like it is getting swept from right to left? That is
because of the north/northwestly surface winds blowing it out. View is looking west/northwest.
I wish I had a better photo of this feature. See the appendage just to the right of the silo hanging down?
This is what is known as a "shark's tooth". It is not a funnel. It is not a tornado. It may even twist a
little. These are found on the leading edge of linear storms along a shelf cloud. What made this one
unique is the shelf is just starting to form and really did look like a funnel.
Shelf cloud becoming better organized as the cell moves off to the southeast towards Granite Falls, MN.
This image was taken just south of MN7 on Chippewa CR5 looking due west.
Still on Chippewa CR5 about due west of Maynard, MN now. Now the shelf is really cranking and
accelerating to the southeast. Note the brown/gray tint around the tower with the red lights? More dirt
being thrown around.
Nice coloring and great contrast. This is what I was hoping for today.
This video is so making it into my next chase video. The motion was awesome!
Made it through Ganite Falls, MN without issue and headed east. The line was
really starting to extend to the southwest now and I had no intentions of going any
further south. Looking north, northwest between Granite Falls and MN 23 on 145th
One of the guys who is a huge influence on my chasing style, Scott Woelm, used to teach Skywarn classes. One of
my favorite lines he used was "if a storm looks mean, it is". Not sure who is making the worst decision here. The
guy on the bike who is desparately trying to get to Granite Falls for shelter, or the people in the suburban driving
into the hail core. Taken just north of US212 on MN 23.
Just playing around with processing. The actual color of the storm was very green. Note the rear facing GoPro on
top the the car. That is the "be chased" cam which has gotten a lot of use on the last two outings.
A quick stop to shoot 3 images of fellow Minnesota based chaser Jacob Thumberger. No real reason why. Just a
moment to make him think "what was that all about?". Taken on 212 west of Sacred Heart, MN.
Video frame which I thought was interesting. A large, scary looking lowering on the back side of the
shelf cloud on highway 212 heading east towards Renville, MN.
Video frame off the roof cam of the same feature as above. Lots of wind with it as I stopped to let the
lowering approach me. Too bad I stopped just down wind of some business which makes fertilizer from
chicken / poultry poop. Yeah, the car has a not so great odor to it right now.
As the better part of the line headed off towards New Ulm, MN and points southeast, I headed back north on highway
15 to meet up with Melinda and friends in Delano for the evening. Video frame of lightning over Hutchinson, MN as I
waited at a stop light. That truck on the right is full of sweet corn! If it gets struck will it become popcorn?
This next series of images are frames off my dash cam just as I was coming into Delano, MN. The
lightning had been really poor on the trip home but this was kinda cool. It was like a ball of cloud to
cloud went rolling from left to right and ended with a cloud to ground strike which pulsed 4 times!
Click on the image above for a time lapse video of the chase day involving the linear phase of the storms.
Considering this could be the final chase day for 2013 up here, I would be satisfied letting the season go
on this note considering how poor it was. Pretty bad when 2012 looked good compared to this!