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Chase Reports | The Suck Zone - Part 2

August 3, 2008 Chase MN

Posted on August 3rd, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Chase Reports.

The storm prediction center had us under a 5% Tornado Risk (and still does at the time of this writing). I headed to SW MN eventually winding up in Mountain Lake, MN just East of Windom, just North of the warm front. The area had impressive dew points in the high 70′s between Windom and St. James along with an unbreakable cap. I spent the time with Tim Purington, and Andy Gabrielson while MD 2013 came and went without any warnings being issued. I had been staring at something about a telephone museum, so just before leaving I went over and checked it out. It’s Heritage Village at Mountain Lake. A fitting bust photo for the day. It looked like a cool little place but, they were closed at the time so I just shot a few quick photos out the drivers side window with the SD1000 not wanting to pull out the SLR. I had a nice sunset shot lined up in back of an old grain elevator/co-op but, the sun set into some clouds just before I got into position.


On the way out of the parking lot to ‘Heritage Village’ I ran into John Wetter, then later Andrew Revering on they way out of ‘Heritage Village’. I went East to St. James stopping for gas and a bottle of water. Tim and Andy G were at the Citgo(?) and they noticed initiation in Renville County(big towers, granted they had difficulties getting going at first). They shot North, I headed up 169 eventually heading North through Nicollet to Norwood then home. During this time MD 2019 was issued resulting in Tornado Watch #804 effective until 6am (the night is not over but, I am going to bed). Once I got to Norwood it was pretty dark I pulled through the DQ for two chili dog’s watching some of the lightning off in the distance, I went home. I left home around 4pm returning at 10:30, total distance was 433km.


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July 31st, 2008 Chase MN/IA

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

Round 1 – AM MN Bow Echo/Derecho

The day started a little after 4am when the Storm Prediction Center issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the ongoing bow echo/derecho. I hit the snooze button, the fired up Nexrad, went back to sleep. The first severe warning that registered was for a one county West a little after 6am. I fired up Nexrad and watched, got up, packed for work, watched some more, a tornado warning for a book end vortex on the northern extent of the bow structure was issued around 7:30 (will look up exact times later), followed by the Southern extent maybe an hour later. I listened to the active Skywarn net’s on the way to work. A roll cloud presented itself that spanned the horizon, quite nice, I hit a 7 story parking structure, when I went in on the bottom it was perfectly rounded shaped, by the time I reached the top overlooking Normandale Lake it had stopped rolling and was ragged and shelfy disappearing into the horizon. Anyhow the bow echo graduated to a derecho and petered out just inside of Indiana.

Round 2 – PM Iowa

I left work at 4:30 it’s a bit difficult to escape the confines of the city any later stopping at home for 10 minutes, I headed for Iowa via Albert Lea to Austin (‘SPAM Town USA’ not the e-mail kind, home of the Spam Museum long story but, over the weekend a few of us had a Spam craving, someone had mentioned it just in the last month or this past weekend), to the Waverly, IA area and points West. Some nice towering cumulus in the distance at times but, they had difficulties getting going. MD #1982 was issued just as I was approaching the now stationary boundary, no watch was ever issued. Met up with Rich Gudmunsen, Randy Nelson, and Dean Barron via Radio then stalked and met Tim Purington for the first time in person and Andy Gabrilson who I might have met before. Anyways some regular cycling of the same few systems occurred I was able to get a look at the 3 that were trying but, just a bit too capped. Between cells I took a bunch of photos of Alison, IA my daughters name (but, they spelled it wrong with 2 L’s, no matter, Photoshop, I can fix it). I took photos of the Alison welcome sign, Alison water tower, Alison post office, Alison hardware store, etc. I have not had the opportunity to go through photos video yet except for the sunset!


Last chase of July 2008. On a slightly downer note I passed by the Owatonna airport where a private jet had crashed shortly after the morning’s storm had gone thru. 8 people lost their lives. While I did’nt stop quite a few news crews and vehicles were parked at the airport on the way down, on the way back I could have sworn thier was stadium lighting around a section of corn field on the other side of I-35 (maybe it was a stadium?).

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July 29th, 2008 Chase Western WI

Posted on July 29th, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Chase Reports.

Wisconsin is off limits most of the year due to the trees. On my way home from work the towering Cu was irresistible along with the slow moving system. At the time they were isolated cells moving around 15 kts well over an hour away some towers peaking into the 47.5Kft range, the were moving East, and I kind of just wanted to get a couple hours closer. I also figured a great day to introduce the kids to chasing. We left at 6:30 taking our time eating dinner. We headed East on I-94 making it as far as Wood County, several crisp isolated updrafts still existed as we first left Minnesota but, they soon collapsed, as a line developed SW towards La Crosse with some infrequent cycling in intensity and updrafts along the line, along with further collapses. We made it as far as Osseo where I stepped out and took a few shots of what was remaining around sunset with much of the remnants illuminated in a reddish/pink sunset. We then grabbed some gas and figured I would bribe the kids with some sit down food, I have the choice between a dinner (steak whatever, we had already had dinner) or DQ and they went for the DQ option, then briefly watched the lightning in the distance after sunset. We returned around 11pm having driven around 237 miles round trip.

Interestingly my daughters first comment as we made it into Wisconsin was ‘their sure are allot of trees, It makes it difficult to see the clouds’.


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July 19th, 2008 Chase – Twin Cities

Posted on July 19th, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Chase Reports.

I hate chasing in the cities, I just try not to do it other than spotting. I was looking at SW MN mostly just procrastinating getting out of the house, I left my laptop for 20 minutes and when I came back I was told thier is a tornado warning in effect for Sherburne County. I raced Northward to Forest Lake arriving 20 minutes late (I had plenty of time but, all the roads were closed I-35W, Ceder, I-35E), I literally had to drive thru downtown St. Paul for 20 minutes. Anyway, I then attacked a new cell that formed in the South Metro, Tony advised me ‘The Chase is Over’ he was correct of course but, I figured I would press on. I ran into and chatted with Rich Gudmunson, and Randy Nelson (Randy, I believe who lives in Big Lake, and caught a nice wall cloud this day in addition to the tornado he bagged earlier in Maple Grove? earlier this year).

959 PM CDT SAT JUL 19 2008
..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
0205 PM     TORNADO          3 E BECKER              45.37N 93.82W
07/19/2008                   SHERBURNE          MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0225 PM     TORNADO          BIG LAKE                45.34N 93.75W
07/19/2008                   SHERBURNE          MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0240 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     2 S ST FRANCIS          45.41N 93.31W
07/19/2008                   ANOKA              MN   AMATEUR RADIO



Remnants of the last cell


Bust Photo


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July 11th, 2008 Chase SW Metro Twin Cities

Posted on July 11th, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Chase Reports.

I did not want to head up into the forest but, I guess some had success. I took a half day off so I had lunch with the kids followed by Journey to the Center of the Earth (IN 3D), great movie, take the kids now! I arrived home around 4:45.

Things just did’nt impress me(it should have, conditions were ripe and the system was building Southward), I really should have positioned myself out West at that point but, I never left the house until 7:35PM as things came a little closer to the metro, hoping to catch the Shelf out West followed by a back lit Anvil during sunset, I skipped the second part. When I left the house immediately I saw mamatus, a dying storm but, cool to photograph;


I headed to flying cloud and shot the Shelf Cloud up front, returning home I parked on a multilevel parking structure to watch the rest of the storm the rear of the storm was lit up a nice orange during sunset but, just too far away to get any unique photos in time.



The preliminary Wilmer storm survey rated the damage of EF-3 with an estimated path of 8 miles and a width of 200 meters through Wilmer causing 2 injuries and property damage.

Work in progress, months behind, I figured I would get something out here to begin with. Photo need some touch up’s and closer review.

EDIT: Previously incorrectly filed under June 28th.

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