Friday, October 25, 2013

October 11, 2013: Traverse County Tornado & Funnel Clouds

10-11-13 Western Minnesota Funnel Clouds

 The day turned out to be a highly successful end of season chase back on the home turf in far western Minnesota on what was a Low topped supercell set up with marginal CAPE but high amounts of shear and Helicity on the northeast side of a deep surface Low over central South Dakota.

We knew going in it was going to be a needle in a haystack day but it was worth the shot! 

We left the Cities around Noon to head out to Western MN. We targeted an area in Southeast North Dakota near Fairmount and were in good position to intercept the only semi-discrete low topped supercells of the day in Western MN that tracked rapidly northeast from Big Stone into Traverse and Grant counties producing several Funnel clouds and a possible brief touchdown just northeast of Wheaton along its track. 

We sat just North and West outside of Wheaton, MN and watched the first cell come through the area that looked like it had potential. 


 Funnel producing low topped supercell with a well defined rain free base which did go on to shortly produce funnel clouds shown here south of White Rock. Sugar Beet harvest was well underway today as well and the roads were in severe MUD condition! Glad to be chasing today with 4X4!



Ghost white Funnel cloud on the tail end of a Low Topped Supercell near the town of Wheaton in Traverse county Minnesota.

We did see what resembled a small dirt swirl near the ground as the funnel was over half way down but it just was not conclusive enough to call it in as a tornado owing to the half mile away distance and rain obscurity at the time.


Elephant Trunk Funnel cloud half way down to the ground 5 miles northeast of Wheaton Minnesota shortly after 5PM which may have had a brief touchdown in this area but could not solidly confirm from a half mile west.

We called this in as a funnel cloud. Here is our position in relation to the radar image scan that day.

After we let the storm pass onto the Northeast we took these pictures of how the low topped supercell looked.

A view looking off to the Northeast on the gravel road we were on.

A look at the low topped supercell being illuminated by the sunlight.

Here is a look at the supercell along a cornfield.

Low topped supercell.

Sitting at the crossroads of two counties.

The sunset on our 2013 Chase Season in the Northern Plains. It was a great storm chase season!

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