Now, this was a day which I got up, looked at the HRRR, and said "yeah, we're going to see some pop up storms today. Maybe a few hailers." Robert Hahn on the other hand, said at about 1pm "The non-supercell tornado parameter looks interesting in ND today." Note to self, listen more to Robert, because boy, was he right! Right around 4pm, we saw our first tornado warning show up for Cass County. And, I was out the door like a flash. I think between door to chasing was all of 4.5 minutes. Not that I was counting, but it helps when you keep your summer 'go bag' ready at all times.
I was off for Casselton as quick as I could, while Ashley Bishop and Matt Moore were already off covering the storm.
Once I got a little south on 18, I was treated with a really nice rotating wall cloud. Too bad I was on the wrong side of it, and got a ton of rain and hail so nothing turned out. Boo for being late to the party.
I kept party rocking on though, and got a little south and got out of the core and was treated to this on the leading edge. You can see the precip core off to the right.
During this entire time, the storm was tornado warned. The wall cloud I had previously seen had gotten eaten up on the backside and totally fell apart, but this did not mean the storm was totally done.
|Better shot of the leading edge.|
|HELLO WALL CLOUD.|
|Mmmm...wall cloud up close and personal.|
|Some unknown Kansas guy in front of a wall cloud. To that I say, BOOMER SOONER!|
It was while Aaron and I were talking that things REALLY got cranking. The inflow into the storm started to pick up to the point of where the trees were bending over, and we could see the inflow into the wall cloud start to pick up. Would we see something today?
|More wall cloud....and then?|
|Yep, we would.|
|Another shot of the wall cloud. You can see the inflow off to the right, and the RFD cutting in behind it.|
|Hrm...I vote downburst.|
|Maybe not my brightest move of the day.|
At one point here, the updraft was so strong, it was sucking up the precip off the field and pulling it into the updraft. This means we had some strong inflow just cooking into this storm. Not many times have I seen a storm suck stuff up like this and not produce. I tried to go east, but the hail started to get a little large for my liking, and I ended up backing off. I think this was a pretty good idea, as I didn't feel like explaining why I needed a new windshield to someone.
Once the storm got south of 46, it started to lose strength quickly. I was at least treated with a nice rainbow to end my day!
Overall, a pretty good chase for short notice. One thing I did notice is there were a number of other spotters/chasers out on the road, many more than I have noticed in years past. I'm not sure why on this storm, if it was just because it was Cass County, or just because it was close to Fargo, or people are now getting more excited about weather. Either way, it was good to see everyone respectful of everyone else, no one driving poorly, no traffic jams, etc. To all of our viewers on VNL, thank you for tuning in and watching all of us work to bring you your severe weather coverage. Thank you for trusting us to help keep you and your family safe. As we get into the heart of severe weather season for the valley, I hope you continue to tune in. I know I couldn't be more lucky and blessed to work with such a dedicated and hard working group of folks, from Hutch, Robert, Lisa, and Mick, to our awesome news staff and management, to our production and camera operators. We're really a team over at VNL and I feel proud every day I get the opportunity to work with these fine folks.