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| The Suck Zone

May 31st, 2008 Chase – MN/Twin Cities Surrounding

Posted on May 31st, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Chase Reports.

A diagonal band of slight risk was painted diagonally through Minnesota, 2% tornado but, mostly hail and wind. The business end of the storm was expected to form in the North-land and move into the metro SE @ 30ish? In the interim I went down to Owatonna, and Waseka to see if I could find some hail or some suitable structure to photograph while waiting for the big storms. I ran through some accumulated hail some time after it fell as well as a couple of mildly flooded roads. I also ran into some horses that were a bit shell shocked, high winds had blown the leaves onto the horses, hopefully the trees provided a bit of shelter from the hail.


I had pre-prepared steaks for the grill to dinner as I positioned for the main show I called to see if I could alter those plans, I guess were having steak for lunch on Sunday..

Here is the supercell from 60 miles away that ripped it’s way thru the metro and caused a couple of tornado warnings to be issued for the NW Metro(and hail damage). I saw a few chasers expertly stick with this cell from the far Northwood’s wince it came, like brown on brown rice.


I found a good spot to hold up in, unfortunately their was a civil defense siren about 100 feet behind the parking structure directly at my level on the top of the parking structure. I have video, but, I was unable to hear for about a half hour.


I took cover at the ground fully enclosed floor when the hail came, good sized stuff, and watched the traffic, it caused a horrible accident on 169, I did not see it but, did see a fair amount of police, fire, and ambulances to drive by with their sirens causing additional pain to my hearing.


I took 20+ minutes of video but, my laptop with the firewire port is still in for repairs from it’s fatefull drop on 5/22.

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May 25, 2008 Chase – Twin Cities Metro, Minnesota

Posted on May 25th, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Chase Reports.

Work in progress.  Having left KS, chasing all day in NE then driving home the prior day, I intercepted this monster up by Albertville, huge monster, putting down some huge hail.  It produced it’s first tornado around Coon Rapids while I was trying to keep up with the system on 610 a little bit to far South (or possibly fortunately a bit too far South you could also say), finally giving up just SW of Hugo.  I was on Country Rd J at that point and my Eastward route was blocked by a lake on the other side of I-35E and given the second cell right behind it and slightly to the South I decided to head South on I-35E to get out of it’s way before I-35E seized up (as they do with any decent storm).  Had I gone North on I-35E I most likely would have spotted the Hugo tornado.  The tornado ended up causing one fatality, and 9 injuries, I personally witnessed no reportable conditions.  Around the same time from out of nowhere a large F5 touched down in Parkersburg, IA producing something like 11 fatalities, and 90 injuries.  I need to look back on that date, and check any case studies that have popped up since then, I had just returned from 3 days in KS/NE but, I never saw that one coming that morning either that or I was just so focused on the Twin Cities for the couple days leading up to the event.  In any event I would have still stayed to ‘spot’ for the homeland if I had futurevision.

**Will add stills, video, additional details sometime this winter**

January 13th, 2008 the NWS released a 50 page service assessment on the Parkersburg, IA F5 located here.

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May 22nd – May 25th Kansas/Nebraska/Minnesota

Posted on May 25th, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Chase Reports.

I went chasing in Hays, KS on May 22nd and 23rd, Nebraska on the 24th, and did spotting locally on the 25th. I am going to try and get the 25th’s report up first but, have quite a bit of catch-up to do. I am having a bit of a challenge with my laptop, I dropped it on the early afternoon of the 22nd from about 2-3 feet which crushed the AC adaptor, I quickly ran to Radio Shack for a replacement (the adaptor jack was totalled) which works but, now I need to send it in for Jack Repair. I have copied all the stills and about 4 of 6 hours of video to a portable hard drive but, I do most of my editing on my laptop.


Put a video up from the 22nd but, you will need a fast computer to view it.  If your computer has difficulties try this low res compressed version.

TODO: 5/22 KS, 5/23 KS, 5/24 NE, 5/25 MN , 5/30 MN


May 24, 2008 Chase – Nebraska

Posted on May 24th, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Chase Reports.

Work in progress…  I chased a couple supercells thru the heart of Nebraska, several people from Minnesota came down, along with most everyone from Kansas from the previous day came up (versus going to OK).  The tornado’s the produced were further North on the border and in ND/SD as well as/OK.  I leapfrogged the DOW/TIV’s several times.  The next day was looking pretty good for the Twin Cities, so I drove home from Nebraska.  Will eventually post a full account, photos, and video.

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May 24, 2008 Fort Hays, Hays, Kansas

Posted on May 24th, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Photography.

I hit Historic Fort Hays before heading towards Nebraska for the day, I will try and get some photos up during the ‘winter months’.  Fort Hays was the last fort that Kevin Kostner hit’s in the film ‘Dances with Wolves’.  Not a huge amount of buildings left standing.  The blockhouse was pretty interesting, an octogonal (actually I am just making this up, I need to figure out the total number of sides and use the appropriate term) shaped defensive structure in case of attack by the natives with openings for guns everywhere, almost circular 2 story building.  In all the years in operation the natives never did attack, no interest was ever shown of a desire to attack, I guess that was all happening elsewhere.

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