March 6
Central Minnesota
A day of history.  The earliest tornado warned storm and the
earliest tornado in Minnesota history.  A strong 982mb low was
moving across southern North Dakota and pulled up
unseasonably moist and unstable air ahead of it setting the stage
for a rare severe weather set up this far north.
Had my daughter with me on this one.  You know it is truly a back yard chase when you are competing with the local spotter groups for the tops of the
ridges.  Cailyn has become a real asset on chases as her experience is starting to pay off as she is a great second set of eyes. Images were taken 1.5
miles southeast of Cokato, MN at 4:35pm to 4:37pm.  On 70th street about 1/2 mile west of CR5.
4:51 wall cloud rapidly forming but little to no visible rotation.
4:54 pm.  Tornado warned.  Looking right down the barrel looking at this thing flying
north/northeast at us.  RFD was now starting to carve out a horseshoe into the meso.
5:00 pm about 1/2 mile south of Howard Lake MN/  Cailyn and  I backed off 3 miles
to the east to allow plenty of room as the rocket speed of the storms made me a little
wary.  She did a great job of being the eyes behind us as we repositioned.  View is
looking northwest from the junction of Jellison Ave SW and 70th St SW.
5:01pm.  Same position.  Kinda bummed I didn't shoot a pano of the
awesome horseshoe coming overhead.
5:04 pm  Same position looking about due north.   The RFD had really
chewed away at the action area but it was wet making it really hard to see.
We jumped on back roads to follow the top of the ridge west of Buffalo but the storm
was moving so fast it was impossible to catch up. 5:20pm looking north towards
Monticello MN.  It looked really ominous on radar but the visibility was crap.  In 19
minutes it would drop the earliest tornado east of Orrock MN.  A 300 yard wide EF1
which was on the ground for 8.9 miles.  No injuries or deaths were reported.
5:36 pm west of our home.  Quite the way to kick off the 2017 chase season right in our backyard.  In Minnesota.  In March.