A very potent cold front was crashing in from North Dakota and had a little bit of instability
and moisture to work with. Wind profiles would favor linear storms producing strong
winds and low freezing levels would help produce small hail. I knew the storms would fire
initially in south eastern North Dakota in the early afternoon but a work commitment would
not allow me to be on the road until after 12 pm so this would be an intercept chase. It
was also be kind of a sad day as this would be the final chase for the ZR2. I have rarely
used it for chasing the past 10 years but the memories live on. A farewell tour of sorts...
Plan was to intercept the storms near Morris, MN but the cells on the southwest side of the line had other plans. Has to start diving south
west of Starbuck heading towards Appleton. Got just south of highway 12 when the line was upon me.
|This line was FLYIING southeast. Just a minute or so to shoot then had to fly south 5 miles then jog over 2 miles to stay with it!
|Severe warned now as the ZR2 keeps watch to the west/northwest.
I stopped just to the northeast of the Appleton, MN airport. As the wind shift / gust front hit there was quite of bit of airborne dirt. Wish I
would have stopped about a mile east of this spot as there was this really cool barn along the Pomme de Terre River which would have
made a beautiful shot with the shelf cloud approaching. Oh well, next time.
Shooting on the fly! Coming into Milan, MN on highway 7 looking east / southeast. At this point I was out of the race at the storms were
moving over 45 mph. No way to get in front.
|180° pano looking south off highway 40 east of Milan at the gust front. Figured I would try one more time going south.
Couldn't quite do it. I had no intentions of dropping south of highway 212 so I stopped about a mile north and let it go. Couple of gusts
in 40-50 mph range and a 29° temp dropped signaled the end of the day.
|Looking south as I head towards Clara City, MN.
One nice plus about the fast moving storms was I only had to drive in rain from about Clara CIty up 23 to Wilmar and over to the town of
Kandiyohi. Once I got just west of Litchfiled on the way home, I had to stop to take some shots of the mammatus on the back of the storms.
|The last photo of the ZR2 on a chase.
|Beautiful clearing skies over the early fall central Minnesota landscape.