Friday, August 30, 2013

Minnesota Tornado Count for 2013: A few added!

The National Weather Service in Chanhassen put out this public information statement about the Tornado season in Minnesota this year; as well as information about a few they added to the count after research through video, pictures and chaser accounts. Read below.

This confirms that the August 6th storm produced a brief rain wrapped tornado that we captured right before we got hit with the huge baseball sized hail.


Tornadoes in 2013 in the 51 Counties Covered by NWS Chanhassen

The tornado season has been very quiet this year, with only six so far in the 51 counties covered by Chanhassen.  If we get no more tornadoes or very few additional tornadoes, it will be the quietest in our area since 2007, and the second quietest since 1988.  In 1988, there were only two tornadoes in the 51 counties covered by Chanhassen, and in 2007, there were only three tornadoes in the 51 counties.

All tornadoes in the Chanhassen area this year have been rated EF-0.

The overall total so far this year appears to be 11 in Minnesota and 15 in Wisconsin.  Here is a link to the Wisconsin tornado list from August 12:  One more Wisconsin tornado after August 12 brings that total to 15.

The data below are still subject to change if photos, video or other evidence becomes known.  The six tornadoes listed below have been verified through a combination of photos, videos and some damage surveys. In the case of August 6, a lot of video and photos were examined where the Kandiyohi County storm had become rain-wrapped and the brief tornado was shrouded from the view of most people in the area. Damage surveys were also conducted for the June 21 tornado and the August 6 Kandiyohi County tornado.

1. June 21, 3:46 a.m. Chisago County Minnesota, southeast side of Wyoming. Rated EF-0. Path length 0.5 mile. Wind speed 65 to 75 mph.

2. July 22, 4:45 p.m. Eau Claire County Wisconsin, four miles west-southwest of Augusta. Rated EF-0. Path length 0.3 mile. Wind speed 65 to 70 mph.

3. August 6, 4:00 p.m. Stevens County Minnesota, three miles northeast of Chokio. Rated EF-0. Path length 0.1 mile. Wind speed around 65 mph.

4. August 6, 4:30 p.m. Stevens County Minnesota, two miles north-northwest of Hancock. Rated EF-0. Path length 0.1 mile. Wind speed around 65 mph.

5. August 6, 5:17 p.m. Kandiyohi County Minnesota, four miles east of Sunburg. Rated EF-0. Path length 0.2 mile. Wind speed around 65 mph.

6. August 21, 5:25 p.m. Chippewa County Wisconsin, four miles northwest of Cadott. Rated EF-0. Path length 1.2 mile. Wind speed 65 to 75 mph.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

8-6-13 West Central Minnesota Chase

The day started out as most days this 2013, faced with great doubt and caution on the forecast actually coming to fruition. 

BUT as the morning hours turned into afternoon it was clear that it was time to go and FAST!!, as a red box was quickly hoisted up by mid afternoon for much of the central portion of Minnesota; just as the the man dominate Supercell was just developing over southwestern Traverse county MN. 

Nick and I got a bit of a late start and decided to intercept the storm in western Pope county south of Starbuck and stay with it to the southeast into Kandiyohi county and beyond. As the storm crossed Stevens county it did exhibit some tornadic characteristics near and west of Morris as it was playing with the warm front , but the southeasterly backed surface winds were kinda bunk and not helping matters. However it was tornado warned storm as it crossed the county towards us.

Jessica Lemmerman was out spotting just west of Morris on HWY 28, and captured a few photos of the storm when it had good inflow and had a rotating, well organized wall cloud with a small intermittent funnel cloud associated with it at times. Finally as the beast went outflow dominate and moved onto and over the glacial ridge of Northern Kandiyohi county as Nick & I were riding on the southern razors edge with a great view up into the notch, she decided to move more south than east and we got to play in the very large Hail from 2".

Our largest stone found and measured that was 3 inches in diameter as we were positioned  5 miles west of New London on county road 40. The storm also had a photogenic shelf cloud on the leading edge along with some 60MPH wind gusts as it passed over head and ate us. 

Still a great chase day for 2013 up here in Minnestormless 2013!

Below are some photos from our chase day.

"A Fist Full of HAIL"! or maybe "for a few Hailstones more"!
Nick is holding a handful of hailstones that we found around the car after the storm passed.

 This was a big, solid hailstone measuring around 2.75".

 Shelf cloud evident looking to our north at this position.

 Looking south a the shelf cloud as we were positioned south of Starbuck, MN

 Another picture of the Shelf Cloud. This storm was producing 60 MPH winds and blowing Dirt around here in rural KandiyohiCounty, MN.

This storm was tornado warned at the time I took this picture. Here you are looking up into the notch of the storm as we sat on Hwy 71, just 5 miles west of New London, MN.  This shown a wall cloud lowering getting obscured in the rain and hail. This picture was taken just shortly before we got ate with the hail.

Picture of a piece of hail we found to the right of the car. This stone measured at 3". It was the largest hailstone that Nick and I could find in the wooded area of an abandoned farm yard. The hail stone had a jagged spike to it, and considered baseball size! It was also nice to chat with Todd Krause at National Weather Service - Chanhassen in the Twin Cities as we reported the size of hail we had,  over the intense roar of the hail as we were getting blasted.

 Here is a picture of the shelf cloud taken from in the car as we were near the town of Regel, MN.

 Beautiful picture of the shelf cloud. Roadway to Heaven!

 Low hanging shelf cloud shown here in the rural county moving over Minnesota's Glacial Ridge region landscape.

Measured winds of 52MPH at this point and we also had a 2nd batch of 1" hail also soon after the storm overtook us.

Our friend Jesse Lemmerman was helping us spot out in the Morris, MN area and was sending us text pictures on her phone as the things that her, Jason Howe and Roger Hill (my dad) was seeing at the time. They were spotting near the Morris Airport.

Here is some of her photos she sent.

 Photo taken by our close friend Jessica  Lemmerman taken from 4 miles west of Morris at the Morris MN regional airport of the storm with wall cloud and visible inflow tail over Stevens county. The storm was tornado warned at this time 4:28pm.

 A photo taken from the far southwestern back edge of the supercell of a lowering with reported visible rotation near the Morris city limits in Stevens County MN.

2.25" Hen Egg sized hailstones was the common rule in the city of Morris as the storm moved through severely damaging cars and even structures in and around the area. This photo was taken in the city of Morris. This would have been even a more serious situation had it happened just 2 days later when the Stevens county outdoor fair begins! This photo is from my mom of the hailstone that hit near her work.

Wall cloud lowering looking east to the city of Morris on Hwy 28 on storms back edge

HAIL FIGHT!! done right Minnesota style with true tennis balls,Golf Balls as well as a Baseball thrown in for good measure as Nick runs to escape my throw!! You have to have a little fun after a hail storm :-)

We then let the storms head to our south and followed them back towards the cities along Hwy 55. We got a wind and hail report in at Kimball, MN - helping in aide the warning process for Wright County, MN.

Thank you to all those who watched our live stream. Be sure to look for website updates soon at