8/5/06 REPORTS: ND/MN

Ended up being a nice chase day.

Richland/Cass county storm had some nice tubular action on it, but it never completly touched down.

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Full photos are available here

Ran into a number of cool people, Rich G, Tony P, Mike H, Ken C, just to name a few.


Thanks to Bill Doms for nowcasting for me, and keeping me entertained and somewhat out of trouble. Note to self= Golf Ball size hail WILL damage your car. &*@^#&*^@!!!!
 
VERY LONG DRIVE ! ... Initially my target was Fairmount ND to Breckinridge, I took a quick glimpse at models and saw this was a good area to be in. 1st storm I caught was 20miles north of Fargo, it looked like I was in business but the storm quickly died off and went poof into a little shower. I then headed to Fairmount ND Originally I was hoping for a SD trip but as I got further north almost into ND, I heard over WX radio storms would fire from a Langdon, Devils Lake to Jamestown ND line. So I readjusted from Fairmount , to sit off of route 200 close to Mayville. Well everyone including me hates the waiting game and the way things were going it didn’t get any more anticipation.. I sat for about 3 hrs or so and around 4:10pm I noticed one thunderstorm off to my Southwest. It just mainly looked like a healthy rain producing cell, until it got its act together and went severe producing penny sized hail. Not long after id say 10-15min it got going and evolved some strong rotation and therefore a tornado warning was issued for Richland/Cass Counties ND. I darted south on route 18 to Casselton, and continued south, I don’t remember too many of the roads down there, I actually was having a blast going on the minimum maintience roads south lol who doesn’t love cutting through fields and taking the risk of a flat possibly. I did run into some penny to marble sized hail going east on Route 9 and along there was some hail fog from the smaller piles of hail that gathered up on the roadside along with shredded leaves and small branches. I also heard reports of baseball sized hail ? Can anyone confirm if that size of hail fell? Anyways I got in between Leonard and Kindred, and was ahead of the cell by 10 min or so. I waited till the cell got closer and I dropped south and east and arrived In Colfax.. I could see the wall cloud and it looked pretty interesting, I was hoping it could produce I did note some funnels prb 2 or 3 but it was obvious it wasn’t going to produce, I wish I was recording the Storm as I was heading east there would have been some good C2G shots . I ended the chase in Breckinridge , and watched as the storm died. All in all a long drive there and back, I left at 5am in Omaha NE, and after the chase and driving back home it was 3:30am close to 4am when I got back.. A fun but exhausting chase altogether.

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Initially chased convection that fired near Hatton, ND. I left Grand Forks and headed toward Buxton. The cell was moving quickly northeast and looked interesting at times. Co-worker Adam ended up driving past me as I was taking a photo of a rural church with tower in the background. We drove to Crookston, MN on 75 and then parted ways as he had to get back to work. I joked that as soon as he got to the office (8pm) that I would see the tornado. I opted to drive east on US 2 and then south on MN 32 in order to get ahead of convection firing to my southwest in Traill County, ND. Izig-zaged south and west and eventually parked between Ada and Halstad, MN. There was one weaker storm to my east northeast and another beast to my south. I was focusing on the beast when the weaker looking storm drops a fairly large funnel (around 8pm: Sorry Adam). I cannot confirm a ground circualtion as I was a good 10+ miles from it. Photo below (bottom center of the image). The beast storm eventually ate this smaller cell for dinner and was a real treat to photograph. One of the most photogenic towers I've seen (Will try and get pics on my sight soon). Seeing this certainly relieved the initial frustration of not being on the Cass County, ND or Roseau County, MN storms. I thought about chasing this cell a bit longer back northeast but I was getting low on fuel so I head west to Hillsboro, ND and add a few gallons before cruising north on I-29 back to Grand Forks. There really was something for everyone in the Red River Valley whether you chased in the north, central or south. Estimated miles chasing: 200. This chase at least puts 2006 on the map for me. Looking forward to seeing other pics from storms north or south of me. Congrats to all chasers in the Red Valley Saturday evening.

EDIT: Photos are now up on my site:
Aug 5 Chase
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Went chasing yesterday near Grand Forks. I chose to stay put in GFK until initiation seemed iminent. Went out with several other UND grad students and followed a cluster of updrafts just E of GFK. We followed these to Theif River Falls before giving up on them. Unfortunately, they pretty much stayed a cluster and no single updraft seemed to take over. In the distance we could see the quite impressive Roseau county storm... Not familiar to the area, I was unsure which parts are chase-worthy. I quickly decided that following the storms past Theif River Falls would be difficult; between lakes and large areas labeled forests in Delorme, this task would not be trivial.

Aaron
 
I put 10 or so pictures up from the Richland/Cass county cell here. I should have a couple dozen pictures, maybe a couple short video's along with nexrad data/underlays and a complete chase account in a week or so.

I got on the storm fairly early on (10 miles WNW of Walcott, gravel) and stayed with it until it was no longer warned after sunset, leapfrogged Eric a couple of times, probably have him on tape when I forgot to shutoff the dashcam. I never saw any definate sign of a touchdown(debries or ground contact) dispite some of the shots I took, I was quite close much of the time, other times we had various structures behind trees.

A couple of teasers but, check out the website and be sure to check back in a week or so!

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2006 Season (incl busts)
[email protected]
 
My group ended up just southeast of Aberdeen. Ended up with a fun little LPish storm that really didn't last too long. A mesolow riding up the front calmed out all the storm inflow and killed the convergence in the area right as the storm was going up.

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Thanks to my wife to be (Donya Weibeler) for snapping these two shots.

_Beau
 
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