Wow what a fun day of storm chasing on a great setup in a perfect chasing area in eastern South Dakota. The only down side for the day was my late start from home since I was waiting on a part for the Jeep to fix the vacuum leak.
Today was one of those great chase days where everything line's up and falls into place. Upon seeing the first storm fire and a lot of people get what I will call "Suckered" into chasing them up past Fergus Falls in the hills and trees when the second storm I was targeting near Wheaton, MN fired up. I talked to Amanda and Nick who were already in place up there for the cell that was firing and I just hanged back to cover the south side in case the southern cells on the South Dakota boarder fired up.
Today was a warm up day to test out the gear before Sundays big chase day. Here is the footage I shot just east of Saint Cloud, MN of the storms near Milaca, MN.
Today was one of those fun local chases where knowledge and skill was what was needed to navigate the rush hour traffic and road construction to anticipate where to be for the best or worst of the storm, depending on your perspective. I pretty much played the north metro from Elk River / Anoka to Maple Grove and Plymouth. I think there will be a lot of hail sales for cars in the next few weeks as a lot of people got stuck in the core on 494 in the north bound construction from 394 to the 94 split on the north side. For the most part the hail was 3/4" to Golf Ball sized with a few larger
Today was fun. Woke up late but was well rested after finally getting 12 hours of sleep to chase an amazing storm in Richland County, ND.
I think I have maybe got 4 hours of sleep in the last day and a half. I'm saying today but in reality it is yesterday that I'm talking about in this post, excuse the really tired blogging :-) It all started on Sunday as the Hype Train was getting going for the forecast, which is still today for me but in reality is yesterday, for the area in Southern, IL. The hype was for the 10% hatched forecasted tornado area that SPC put out for the area which on paper looks good but doing my own forecast and from experience, looked too good to be true.
It has been an interesting week to say the least and it was good to wrap up and end it on a fun little chase about 100 miles to the west near Wheaton, MN. While a lot of my crews went to chase the 5% tornado risk in Iowa, I looked at the forecast at 6am and said NOPE. Nick called this afternoon to tell me that even he blew off Iowa and stayed in the Twin Cities. Where there storms in Iowa?
Tonight was one of those weather setups that was just relaxing drive in the country and filled with vivid cloud to cloud lightning in the sky making for a peaceful end to a somewhat stressful day.
Yesterday I went on one of the many chases that "rumor" has it that I never do anymore since it was over 20 miles from home. The target area for me was well defined days in advance and in an area that I love to chase in, western Minnesota where visibility is not a problem with trees.
This weekend has been a roller coaster for forecasting and chasing. With the crazy weather setups and forecasts for the Midwest looked great the day before, on the day of the chase, everything was not as great and chase targets have been way off target for a lot of people.