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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

August 8th Minneapolis tornadic supercell


Go back and look at my August 7th post. Is it just me or has every model been pretty much off by about 3 hours this year as they want to erode the cap too fast and speed up the surface features? The RUC always has had the cap erosion issue but it seems to be sreading. Missed the forecast by 17 miles. I can deal with that. Being off by 3 hours...not so much. The kids wanted to chase yesterday and after getting suckered into that sup which came out of SD and promptly died, I was really hoping my original initiation target of Blomkest to Dassel would pan out. It kind of did so we watched from near Norwood as tower after tower would go up and puke as the lift wasn't strong enough to punch through the cap. We kept drifting east and north in front of the triple point as the cells still struggled finally ending up in Montrose. Everything coming up form the southwest on the CF was still looking like crap. Well, I have a "never chase east of highway 25 and south of highway 55" rule as that area is filled with hills, trees, lakes, more trees, horse ranches, nothing even close to a straight road, and even more trees. We headed home, made a quick dinner then sat in the driveway to watch the struggle show continue. Finally one tower about straight south finally looked like it was going to go. Unfortunately it also looked like it was going to go right into the metro. Took a few shots from the northwest looking southeast.

Cullen went back into the house and suddenly yelled "TORNADO WARNED!!!". My first thought was "oh crap...this is not good". Yep, one hell of a supercell. Had to use the TDWR data for real for the first time as the cell was in such close proximity to the MPX site. Cullen of course already had an intercept route figure out but I made it perfectly clear there was no way I was going after a torn inside the metro. I can deal with the tornado. Not the 1.5 million morons diving at the same time trying to get a look at it thanks to "the good neighbor". As luck would have it, there were a lot of really good, HIGHLY EXPERIENCED chasers who were also drifting back in on highway 12 from out west and were in as good of a position to observe as possible considering where it was. Accurate reporting to the NWS wouldn't be an issue (yes, I still have little or no faith in Metro Skywarn or metro law enforcement to accurately report anything other than a sprinkler malfunction on a golf course). If this statement offends some readers, fine. It's hard to argue with past factual records. How about the yahoo ham who tried to report striations to Metro last night? It was good to hear net control shoot this putz down. There is a tornadic supercell crossing a major metropolitan area and this idiot just needs to get on the air to report something....anything.

I agreed to head east for a lightning show and go as far as Dayton along the Mississippi River. What a show it was. This is 13 minutes of video condensed down to 32 seconds.

Here is the webpage with the full set of pics from last night of the lightning. Be forewarned I also take as shot at the newbies who are more or less bragging about getting in the Orono torn. Don't like it? Tough...


Andrew said...

How about the guy who joined f5 so he could tell us they were in it...

I had plenty of time to get in front of that cell. It would have been easy to shoot down 169 or 10, but the thought never even crossed my mind. DO NOT WANT. Besides, the lightning show from up here was still spectacular.

mnwxchaser said...

Here is the deal with Chris. He evidently was out with Winger. If Chris would have been alone, I would have really jumped on him for what he did. However, Winger should have known better to be in that close in that terrain. Not a good decision and I am sure both learned a valuable lesson from this.

The bigger issue is the knothead from Mankato who was up here. His account on Stormtrack has becoming the joke with many other MN chasers. What he did was just plain stupid. No excuse for that. There is a huge difference between deliberately driving in the path a tornado and being dumb enough to do what they did. As always, Darwin table for one please.

Andrew said...

OK, I stand corrected. I thought that guy was with Jeremy. My bad.

Just not a good deal in the metro like that. You think you have road options all over the place but it's worse than out in the boonies because of traffic/gawkers. Those who were able to stay on it I salute you. Maybe I'm a wimp but I'd never do it.

mnwxchaser said...

Regardless, it is still a good thing some chasers were on it for accurate reporting. With Metro Skywarn reporting "striations" and, get ready for this one..."a multi- vortex wall cloud". Yup, the last one was from a Metro Skywarn Board member! I am POSITIVE I heard the call sign correctly. What a freakin' joke.

There is a very good chaser from Fridley, MN who has claimed to be "retired" now who did a farewell highlights highlights video a couple of years back. He was also the best damn Skywarn instructor Metro ever had. In the video there is a segment where the Metro Skywarn logo shows up and promptly gets covered by a red circle with a slash through it. I think he got incredibly frustrated with not seeing any improvement by the spotters even with more training and the increased arrogance and lack of common sense for safety on the part of chasers.

Wimp? Not at all. You did the right thing.

Tony Laubach said...

I got an email once asking about me chasing in Metro areas and after reading your post, I have another answer for him..

I can actually see what's going on here in Denver! LOL

Good catch none-the-less! :)

Midwestchaser said...

Eventhough this post isn't really pointed at me I'll still come out and admit I got WAY to f&%#ing close to the couplet out in Wisconsin. It's actually embarrasing getting caught off guard like that, but to do it during the day like those guys did even in that terrain is inexcusable.

Eric said...

Here's the thing....

So far, we've had two people who have come out publicly and said they were in this tor.

1. I question the validity of that - were they really in the tor, and not the RFD?
2. Since one of the people involved was a MetroSkywarn person, I question the trainers of MS. I wonder if they are failing as trainers at MS? We had two people who took up UNSAFE positions and put themselves and others in danger in an urban environment. As trainers, are they wasting our time? Is anything getting through? Are they talking to walls when they are up there?
3. How can you use that poor of judgment in your chasing/spotting. Hello, tornado warned storm, swirling vortex of DEATH, you might, just MAYBE , want to avoid it. Give the storm a wide berth. Yes, this means you don't pull a darwin and sit in between some trees with no sightlines. I bet you could have seen this storm nice and dandy from Flying Cloud Airport. Or 494 and Bass Lake Road.
4. Take your laptop and shove it up your ass. Stop looking at your computer with your borrowed, unstable WiFi connection and use your eyes. If you are spotting, a Competent Net Control Op should be able to tell you where the storms are.

As for Tadd, IMO, he made the correct call - he identified what he was looking at, waited a few minuted to verify what he was seeing, and then called it in. That's proper procedure IMO. As for the poor reporting on MS part, I think that's meant for a new topic.

That said, IMO, there is NO excuse for pulling the stunt of 'Oh, we're driving into a tornado!' in an urban environment.

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