The chase started for me in the early afternoon as I was trying to pick out
a target. Initially it was difficult to decide where to go. Marshall,
Alexandria, Willmar all came to mind, but ultimately New Ulm was the pick as
I watched a decaying outflow boundary turn into a cumulus field over the
area. And around it a nice thermal gradient of nearly 20 degrees to the
north and south of the boundary.|
So I bolted out the door as fast as I could once I decided where to go. Driving south on 169 had me thinking I was going to be too late. Towers were going up all around me. Thinking the boundary may lift north I opted to head west on 19 to be a bit north of my target. After talking with Scott Weberpal on the phone (thanks for nowcasting Scott) it sounded as if there was a cell developing right around Redwood Falls where the new outflow from cells from ongoing convection intersected old outflow and/or the warm front.
So heading east I start to see a nice updraft base and lowering off to the northwest side of the road just north of Winthrop. I made a quick call to Scott to make sure this was the show and the storm I should head to isn't farther west behind this one. Turns out this was just as good as any and I went north on 15.
Just south of Brownton I got in between what appeared to be an old wall cloud and a new wall cloud. I wanted to position myself to make sure if something dropped I'd get the video. The rain shaft was well to my north despite a few big drops, so if the real show formed next to the rain shaft like it does in the text books I could see it... yet I wanted to keep an eye to the south where an ominous and healthy looking wall cloud persisted.
I was on the side of the road in this location for roughly 20 minutes watching various areas of movement around me. At one point I had rapid movement and in some cases rotation in 3 positions around me. For a while I got kind of nervous as I could watch the clouds above me swirling just about as fast as I've ever seen clouds swirl up close. Part of me wanted to buck out of there, but I was determined to get some good video. Winds at this point were all warm inflow so it probably wasn't the smartest idea to stick around.
While I watched the different areas around me and above me I kept my camera on the best looking wall cloud so my video wasn't all over the place. I figured I could move it quickly if something dropped some other direction.
I took a call from Scott Weberpal and while on the phone I noticed some rising scud between me and the wall cloud in the distance. There appeared to be some rotation to it and perhaps even a funnel above. The scud was pure white from my vantage point and seemed to rise right out of the corn. It was a very cool sight to see.
Time-lapse video of the wall cloud and rising scud is 1.5MB.