Chippewa and Lac qui Parle Counties Minnesota
I like challenges. Nothing against SPC chasers and the guys down south where a two hour drive
one direction puts them within striking distance of dyline storms, but sometimes you have to be
smart enough to recognize parameters other than a highlights risk area. A subtle warm front
was lifting north across western MN with really good directional shear and really good 0-3km
CAPE. The downside was a lack of bulk shear and the depth of the CAPE. The idea was
hoping cells could form in the warm sector and hold together long enough to cross over the
warm front where they would spin at the low level. The 500mb and 700mb winds would carry
the cells north to almost north west as they curled back towards a cut off low over far
northeastern South Dakota.
My intiation target was Montevideo, MN in southwestern Chippewa county. I arrived a little before a couple of cells went
up to the southwest of town. Killed the time by chatting with Eric on the phone and exchanging text messages with Tanner
as he was to the south of me near Pipestone. The storms weren't much to look at. A little thunder from cloud to cloud but
little to no CG activity.
Followed a few cells off to the north. They either puked after raining on their own updrafts due to the weak bulk shear or died
after tapping out the weak CAPE. Finally just west of the Kandiyohi / Chippewa county line south of Kerkhoven, MN an
interesting based suddenly organized just south of the warm front and in the area where the shapest low level turning of the
surface winds was present. Strong east with a little southeast elment to the winds at my location. I'm 100% postive I was right
on the warm front. View is looking southeast as the cell moves north / northwest right at me.
The cell started to have a lot of low level motion, albiet disorganized. with danglies as it started to interact with the extreme
directional shear along the warm front.
|Definite rotation on the right side of the image as that danglie was presisting and starting to turn.
|There we go. The real deal. The paraments for anything significant were really low so I held my ground and let it come at me.
|Exact location was 1/4 mile south of the intersection of MN 40 and 130th Ave NE or about 5.5 nm straight south of Kerkhoven, MN
|After about a minute it started to dissipate as it crossed over the warm front.
Hardly a "rope out". More like a "twist out". Totally done as it enters the cool, saturarted air north of the boundary. I was happy
with it as the theory almost panned out. I called John Wetter to see if he was down at MPX. He was on his way in and said he
would relay the info. No point in reporting since it was over as fast as it began and if there were any "tornadoes" this day , they
would be nothing more than a brief, weak spin up.
I did drift back west to near Madison, MN to watch one more cell struggle. The storm never did take off but did provide a pretty
scene on which to end the day. The point of this chase was to inspisre some of the newer chasers to look beyond the SPC page and
really learn the parameters which are needed to provide that needle in a haystack catch. I would sooner see a tornado no one was
expecting than deal with clogged roads and see the exact same thing as 1,000 other weather weenies.