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May 2, 2012 - 2nd Chase w/ Kelly


Steele County, MN


Medford, MN





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There was a slight risk for severe storms across southern MN. There was a warm front draped across southern MN but the parameters didnít look all that great so I decided I would work a full day and then if storms fired after work I could just jet south on 35. Right before dinner time I noticed a storm fire on radar near Mankato. I decided I would eat dinner and then if it still looked good after dinner I would go after it. Well sure enough, when I checked radar after dinner it was tornado warned and had a beautiful classic supercell radar signature.

Immediately I grabbed my laptop and jumped in the car with Kelly. I decided we would head down 169 and then cut through Jordan/New Prague which would get us into pretty good position to intercept. Unfortunately there were some traffic issues getting out of Burnsville so after we got through New Prague we had to head east to 35 if we were going to have any chance of getting in front of it. Prior to intercepting the cell in Medford, it appeared to be weakening on radar but when we got to Medford it really started to intensify. I managed to find a nice viewing area across a farm field and was able to witness a beautiful mesocyclone.

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You could see the inflow band make a 360 degree circle and at the front right of this band the rotation was really tightening up. I was quite convinced that it was going to drop a tornado as it continued to intensify. After watching for about 10 minutes it started getting uncomfortably close to us so we headed east.

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Right as we started heading east it got tornado warned but it never really did anything else after that point. We stuck with it for another 40 miles or so before calling it a night. As we drove back through a heavy rain core, all of the sudden the sun appeared so that was pretty neat seeing the sunset through the heavy rain.

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