A northwest to southeast orientated warm front draped itself over far western Minnesota
near the SD/MN/ND junction. The original target was about 15 miles or so west of
Wendell, MN. We let the first tornado warned storm go up near Wahpeton, ND as it was
well removed from the warm front and the 5,000+ j/kg of CAPE to the south. The second
cell went tornado warned and the "base" was within viewing distance so we moved north
through Doran towards Foxhome. That is where things started to go wrong.
David Drufke checking out the second tornado warned storm. Looking northeast from southwest of Foxhome, MN.
Note the grass. The wind out of the northeast.
A little tighter view. The stringy stuff on the right was inflow but was really unorganized. This thing had all the signs of
going linear rapidly. Should have dumped it right at this point and dropped south back to the first area where the TCu
we watched go up was taking off.
Embedded couplets are suckers. Regardless what the velocity data shows, pretty evident this is nothing but a linear
outflow dominant wind and hail machine despite the tornado warning. Fatal mistake #2 right here. Still should have
dropped south to the newer cells in the better air. A lot of cool motion in the eddies but not tornadic rotation.
FINALLY got off the crap south of Fergus Falls. There were public reports of a tornado near the intersection of I94 and
highway 59 but nothing verified. I'm thinking it was a gustnado. This is taken south of Fergus Falls at 5:32 pm. 100%
shelf. There was a lot of rising and condensing going on but the 65 degree north/northeast winds were the reminder
there was nothing remotely tornadic about this obviously linear cell. We headed west on the county line to highway 75
where the outflow was kicking up a lot of dirt. I was kicking myself for not sticking to my original plan.
Weaved our way back and forth with more embedded couplets showing up on outflow dominant cells from Barrett, MN
over to Glenwood then a little west again. At this point I was just trying to kill time to let the messy stuff make it's turn
to the southeast so I didn't have to drive in it.
I dropped the Drufke's off at their vehicle in Monticello. There were A LOT of CG's hitting and the thunder would
echo off the buildings. Honesty those 2 minutes were probably the best part of the day for me. I wish I had gotten the
lightning trigger set right to catch one but the parking lot lights were raising heck with the sensitivity.
I needed a few minutes to unwind as I was still pretty upset with myself and how I handled the chase. My daughter and I
pulled into a public access near our home and watched the main MCS move off to the southeast while a small elevated
cell came in from behind creating some cool contrast as the cloud to cloud lightning flickered above the debris clouds
overhead. If nothing else, the day was a good reminder to myself why I do what do and how I do it. Next time I will bring
a much better effort.