This was a rather uneventful chase, but since it was so close to home and was the first chase of the year, I was pretty happy with it, and thought I should start my 2003 chase log.|
After my 3:00 class was over by 4:00 I headed south on highway 23 to Clara City (just east of Montevideo). There I was getting some data as I was watching a nice tower go up just to my east. After getting gas and data I decided I better go east for that tower which was developing right on the warm front. This was about the same time that the severe thunderstorm watch went out at 5:35 p.m. Satellite data indicated it was the western edge of a line of cumulus cropping up along the boundary.
At 5:44 p.m. I was driving east on 212 videotaping and mentioning the time. Here I started to see a feeder band of cumulus wrapping around the north side of the cell around the west side feeding into the updraft. The tower itself had a little bit of banding spinning off of it. That exact minute the National Weather Service issued a severe warning for Nicollet County which was for another cell in the line of cells farther to my east.
At 5:57 p.m. I was on 71 south just north of Renville and took the pictures below. When I first got out of the vehicle the wind was so strong it took my hat off and blew it across my truck into the ditch. So there was some lag time from when I got out of the vehicle to the time I found my cap and started to take pictures. ;-) The strong winds were obviously outflow. In a matter of no more than 15 minutes this tower went from developing stage to becoming outflow dominant, and was beginning to gust out. The picture taken below was minutes after its "mature" stage while the outflow became the dominant feature. In the photo you can see it is already begining to fall apart as the outflow undercuts the updraft. Just minutes prior to this picture the updraft base was very stable and circular looking.
My position is on the west side of this northbound moving storm. As the storm merges with the line of cells just to it's east this tail end charlie on the line begins to gust out and the hail shaft began to rotate around the west side of the cell overtaking the updraft region and killing it. Below is a still of the hail shaft.
After I left this location and went farther east following in just behind the line this shaft wrapped around and dropped some very small hail... no bigger than pea sized at best. Just before I left the location though, I had to take one still of the nice backsheared anvil which was right above me.
This cell never was severe.