Sep 17, 2004
Hey Everyone. Today was certainly pretty interesting was on tornado warned supercells three times. It seems the bulk of chasers targeted further south and I orignally targeted Norfolk, NE last night but the stratus deck and persistent convection made me question that. My thinking was that enough instability wouldn't be present that far north as all the models except the GFS indicated (YEA GFS!) Though the RUC had the strong increase in helicity from the WF well noted. Of course the clearing was a lot more substanial in this area.

I was near the I-90/I-29 Coordior as I watched the cell near Wessington Springs stregthen and as it reached just south of Huron it begin to ride along the WF with a most ENE direction. After deciding that the potiental further north was the way to go I headed north up 81 and intercepted a previous tornado warned cell near Arlington, SD. Strong outflow and some decent lowerings, I headed east and turned south on 146th Ave. As I headed south a weak cell had formed and had a very slight inflow notch. I continued south till US highway 14. At the time I was going through Volga, SD the cell that I had just passed was now showing a hook and strong mid-level rotation. At this time the tornado warning was issued about the same time low-level rotation became evident. For the next 15 minutes I was within about 1 mile of this area of rotation which was visually observed as a lowered cloud base (600-700m). After 15 minutes of going north and east that cell merged and became outflow dominant. This was really the story of the day, the one exception would be the cell that passed into Minnesota just a bit earlier and seemed to contintue on with decent rotation for well over an hour.

As I went east I noticed a new cell had developed and visually there was a very low base and several attempts at a condensation funnel. The base was very very low any lower and it would have been on the ground. There was some rotation but the speed and constant changing structure of the cell and cells around it made it visually impossible to observe after only a couple minutes. This cell was also tornado warned just minutes after this.
A pretty fun chase all in all. Visibility was an issue as cells were firing all over the place but it was fun and exciting.
Report: 9-12-05 Wright County MN (City of Buffalo)

House flooding is pretty common in my neighborhood. 1" to 3" of
water in most of the basements. Street behind me has 2' (yes, feet)
of standing water. At the peak the fire dept drove through and
water was up to the bumpers. House about 3 blocks away got struck
by lightning. High winds. Power poles are leaning on CR 35 on the
esat side of town. Power was out for about an hour. Hail to
quarters. The sign at the Presbyterian Church was destroyed also on the east side of town. Many large trees down.

Cell had good rotation at all four tilts as it made it up from the southern part of the county and tripped the TVS a few times. Enough to drop nickle to quarter sized hail. Was getting a little nervous as the hail kept getting larger then suddenly quit. The rad vel from MPX wasn't easing my worries any at the time either. Anyone who has ever punched a core going south knows what that can mean. No tor warning thankfully as too close to home.

Sometimes the good Lord looks down on us storm chasers as not a
drop of water in my place thankfully. Just dropped my shop vac off
at the neighbors though. They have a long night ahead of them.

Here are some lightning shots from before the flood:


Time for bed and the soothing hum of the sump pump. Will look for damage in the morning.
Couple actual or attempts at funnel clouds, hail, intense rain, gusty winds pulling leaves off trees. I learned a lot about navigation and positioning. The pictures I took weren't that great as the event was so wide-scale. The pockets of rotation were numerous.

I got out of Brookings late and was headed out north of town, intending to turn toward Huron, but I saw a wall cloud over by Bruce and took the next road I could towards the interstate. When I got to the interstate, I had an excellent view of the storm. I believe it was only severe warned at this point.
The core was a bright blue color, almost like waters of the carribean. About a mile and a half west of the interstate was the main area of rotation. Hindsight now, I should have kept east of the storm. But instead I headed north on the interstate and quickly found myself on the eastern fringes of the bear's cage. Realizing my minor predicament and with no way to turn around on the interstate, I had to push forward. Turns out I was only about two or three miles from the next exit, but had a lot of rain and hail in between. Suffered four small hail dents on the roof of my car, but made it out east of the storm around Toronto. I elected to keep going east to ensure I had a good position for safe-viewing.
Down the road at Astoria, I witnessed some incredible wide-scale rotation. It was about one to two miles to my west. Staying in front of this storm, I rode it eastward until I saw some new cells to my NE and so I put myself in position to watch both. Saw one or two attempts at funnels...nothing could get together.
In Minnesota by now, things were sparking up in SD again, so back west I went. Heading through Hendricks, I turned south and was held up by either some curious public or local fire department/emergency officials. At any rate, I didn't like our slow moving position(35 mph in a 45), so finally they pulled off to the side to let me pass as we weren't quite out of town yet. Next I went east to get to 75, looking back occasionally toward Hendricks but could not see much other than a storm.
The rest of the trip was spent trying to get back to SD. I kept having to go south to make sure I was in a good place to cut back west towards Brookings. Tried to head west at Lake Benton, but met Lake Benton police that said a tornado was headed this way. Listening on my NWS radio, it had said all the serious stuff was on the northern side of Brookings county. But I figured that he might have heard something over his law enforcement radio - so back east and south I went.
Finally just north of Pipestone, I caught a road back west and headed back home, watching the most incredible sight. I'd say there were at least four or five cells producing lightning very close to dark and it was so cool to see the lightning go 20 miles to my west, then 15 miles to my northwest, then 5 miles to my north. The best sight was seeing the light from Brookings reflecting off of the low cloud base. Eerie, yet very beautiful.
9/12/05 - Valley County, NE - Tornado warned supercell

pics from another fun Sept chase



More pics of this beautiful supercell are located


Dean Cosgrove