Saturday, June 24, 2017

South Dakota 6-13-17 Chase

Not too many chase blogs so far for 2017!  This is both a good and a bad thing.  Good, because most of us really don't want severe weather.  Bad because we really do need the moisture as a good portion of ND and SD are in a slight drought and I know the farmers need some rain.

This day was a day where it looked like we were going to have some pretty decent parameters for severe weather, primarily in the southern valley and into SD and MN - wherever the warm front set up.  North of the warm front we'd see elevated showers and thunderstorms which might just drop some larger hail and have some gusty winds.  But, it looked like a decent day for a tornado, which brought in chasers from all over, from the tour groups to people on their storm chasing vacations.

Originally though, the warm front looked like it was going to lift much further north into central North Dakota - however, that all changed when we had that line of storms blow through the morning of the 13th.  If you remember that morning, we had the line of thunderstorms blow through, and then we had very strong winds behind it.  This basically created a wake low which helped to prevent the progression of the warm front to the north.  While it still surged north, it did not go as far north as many of the weather models were predicting that day.  It made our job at Valley News Live all that much harder with trying to put together our weather plan for that day.

But, even though we had a 10% risk for tornadoes in the valley, it still made for a tricky day!


It started off with me running to the station and then during our weather meeting with Hutch, Robert, and Lisa, it was determined I would have someone go with me to help with navigation and phoners back to the station in the event things got a little crazy.

Since Alex Eagan has the day off, I called him and said "How fast can you make it to the station?".  Within a few minutes he was on his way, and so were we.

We made our way down towards Britton, SD and then watched this supercell in central SD go up and then go tornado warned.  We watched it and boy, did it put on a good show!


We ended up playing catch up and keep ahead of this storm as much as we could.  Very fun chase with lots of good shelf cloud action!



We were able to run into a few other chasers this day, including my good friend Bill Doms.  (Granted, he did end up spending the night before as well!)


Ladies and Gentlemen, Alex Eagan.  Sports and weather extraordinaire. 



As the storm kept getting closer, it eventually got north of the warm front and started to surge to the east.  This made it difficult for us to keep up and at some point, we knew we would have to fight with two things - 1.  Road network to get back to I-29 or I-94.  2. Where do we want this to overtake us.





We were finally able to get into ND at the Havana, ND crossing and we started to make our way to the east, the line was overtaking us at every turn.  At one point near Lidgerwood, we had a number of gustnadoes right along the leading edge giving us a couple of moments of pause.  Then, we made our way to Hankinson and ended up letting the line overtake us there and we made our way back to Fargo.

This system started a little bit more of an active pattern for us which is bringing some much needed rain, but also colder temperatures!  As I write this it's barley 60 degrees outside with winds out of the north giving us, dare I say it...WIND CHILLS!  Where's our summer gone?

One of the neat items we started to do with this chase is we started to stream my live chase cam on Facebook and I think through the VNL Weather App!  Let us know what you think - you'll be able to hear and see inside the VNL Storm Team vehicle along the way!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A relaxing day in Buffalo River State Park

After a pretty stressful month, not just watching what happened earlier this week, but just a very busy month with the end of hockey and everything else, I took the day off and went hiking at the Buffalo River State Park and brought along my camera.

I was hoping for more wildlife today, maybe see some deer, but they all appeared to be hiding.  Instead, I had a couple of Robins who followed me around a good portion of my hike today!

Nice little bend in the Buffalo River.  No ice on the river.  

Here's two of the robins which were following me around. 

I could hear them long before I could see them!  


I love listening to the running water.  I stood here for probably 10 minutes just watching and listening to the water run. 

Two Robins, caught mid-fight.  

I think this little guy followed me around for about 45 minutes.  He was always right behind me.  Every once in a while I'd hear a chirp out of him, but he just kept a close eye on me.

Still watching me. 
 As I was getting ready to leave, I could hear some more geese honking away on a section of river.  I made my way down the trail to where I thought they would be, and they just hung out for a little while, and then took off.

My camera wasn't quite on the right setting for today, with the sun being almost directly overhead, so it made for a difficult shot.



Overall, a very enjoyable spring day!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Norman County MN / Clay County, July 7th, 2016

So today was a day we didn't really expect much to happen, as can be seen by the 20z (3pm) Outlook from the SPC.
20160707 2000 UTC Day 1 Outlook Graphic
20160707 2000 UTC Day 1 Outlook Graphic

Now, for the actual storm reports, things were a little different.

160707_rpts Filtered Reports Graphic
160707_rpts Filtered Reports Graphic
Days like this happen.  It happened also to happen while I was taking some much needed time off out in lakes country.  Well, no rest for the wicked, as it was pile into the truck, and off we went!

Since I didn't have most of my storm chasing gear with me not all of my photos were able to turn out the way I wanted.  Normally when I'm chasing I have multiple cameras with me and a ton of other gear.  This chase was fairly simple, laptop, couple of cameras, and a bottle of water.  The downside is, I don't have the GPS geotagging for all the photos, so it'll be a rough guess as to where I was at.  However, it also was one of my more enjoyable chases of the year!

Let's get straight to the pictures!
Nice blocky wall cloud here.  No rotation. 




Shelfy!

More shelfy!

This is an awesome look at the feeder band.



Bob's road.



Rain foot!













Nice panoramic!



Now, we are in the middle of winter, with cold, cold temps around.  Just the other day, this is what I saw as I went to bed. 


At least the days are getting longer, and before you know it, we'll all be out enjoying our fine summers here in the valley! 

Until then, stay warm!