05.15.2001 - East MN/West WI Severe 
From the morning forecasts, Tuesday did not look like a great chase day, since the cap was projected to suppress any potential convection. But by the 1630z update, things were coming together for a few supercells to form along the warm from in northern MN. The best shear and instability, however, was further south, over MSP. The thinking was, if the cap would break further south, we might see a few tornadic storms in east central MN.

I was ready to chase by 4pm, but decided to wait, since there was still no watches within range. I also helped vector John Wetter who was chasing the storms further north near Brainerd, MN. Finally, a watch box was issued from Duluth to Minneapolis. I left at 5pm, targeting a few storms which were approaching MSP from the west. One storm in particular had an ominous lowering, though it wasn't rotating.

I met up with Andy Revering and Erik Anderson at the Mall of America (looking west) and we decided to pursue the storms north of the metro heading into Wisconsin. We followed these northeast until we stopped at New Richmond. The storm went severe at 8pm for Polk County (looking north; looking northeast). Reports included .75" to 1" hail. We drifted further north to get a better view of a wall cloud which turned out to be low-hanging scud. Then we abandoned the cell and headed home after the NWS allowed the warning to expire at 8:45pm.

For an unexpected chase day, it was a nice diversion.

 

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