Friday, June 08, 2007

Day 13 June 7, 2007

Today was our last day to chase tornadoes. A high risk had been issued for Wisconsin and a moderate risk for parts of Minnesota. Ron seemed a bit iffy on this setup... the winds were howling at a good speed, which would be problematic later on.

We headed east on interstate 90 through Minnesota. There were strong surface winds blowing dust in fields. I noticed a boundary to the east, with storms in the distance. Another boundary was to our northwest with a developing line of TCU. Tornado watch #358 had been issued for the storms that were ahead of us. There was just one problem. We had to haul east quickly to be able to get caught up with these fast movers. They were traveling at a good 50 mph northeast. Ron said he never liked high risks because of the strong winds and fast moving storms, but we were going to try intercepting the new storms to our southeast over Wisconsin. It was going to be tricky.

We then received reports of a tornado on the ground from the north storm south of interstate 90 at 4:10. Two hours later, the NWS said the risk area was under a Particularly Dangerous Situation. There was a tornado warning issued for south of Madison, Wisconsin. When going through the La Crosse area, I was really hoping the terrain would not be hilly like this area was... it'd be very dangerous to chase tornadoes with all the large hills and trees! Surprisingly, traffic was not terrible for it being a work day around the dinner hour. We received another tornado report. This time it was a quarter of a mile wide, located near Summers and that there was significant damage done to buildings. Tornado watch #360 was then issued, effective until midnight. We took interstate 39 south. Another report came in at 6:20. This time it was 4 inch hail, although I am not sure where it was.

We saw darkening skies to our south and couldn't make out any structure. Storms east of the Mississippi river are quite different compared to the ones west of the Mississippi. We the encountered a bit of rain at 6:40. A few minutes later, I saw what looked like a lowering. It looked like a developing wall cloud, and it must have had weak rotation in it judging by the looks of the clouds. We got off the interstate and found a back road. We parked near a cornfield to watch what it was doing. Dave got out of Ron's car and said to me that it was falling apart. Dang it, not two days in a row! By now, the wall cloud wasn't really much of a wall cloud anymore... it looked like crap.

Ron managed to get wifi and checked the RUC models for updates. It looked like the show was pretty much over. High risk my butt! We headed to Janesville for a Mexican dinner and stayed at a Hampton Inn for the night. Tomorrow we are departing in the morning to head home.

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