Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14th, 2010: Storm chase trip

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 was an active day in terms of severe thunderstorms across portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin. An unusually strong jet stream over the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest combined with ample amounts of wind shear in combination with incredible amounts of moisture gave way to multiple rounds of severe thunderstorms Today as a low pressure system, warm front, and cold front moved across the Upper Midwest.
Round number one formed late last night in Southern North Dakota and raced east at speeds of 45-60 mph during the Overnight and Morning hours of Wednesday. This line of storms bowed out as it reached Central Minnesota around 7:00 AM CDT Today, this first round of severe thunderstorms passed thru Duluth/Superior between 9:30-10 AM CDT Today with quite a bit of wind damage reported west of Duluth, across Northern Carlton County Minnesota. This bow echo continued to plow through the Northwoods of Northwestern Wisconsin during the mid to late Morning hours Today with extensive wind damage reported in some areas.
Shawn and I decided to drop down into Northwest Wisconsin This Afternoon to see what we could find. We left Duluth after 1 PM with a target area of Minong and Spooner Wisconsin (Washburn County) Our first stop was at Minong Wisconsin where a strong thunderstorm was moving thru causing very heavy rain and dangerous lightning strikes, winds were also rather gusty...I'd say around 30-40 mph!
From Spooner we decided to head back west on Highway 70 as a tornadic supercell had developed a little west-northwest of St. Cloud Minnesota. Our plan was to intercept that cell coming out of Central Minnesota so we arrived in the Rock Creek/Pine City Minnesota area, but unfortunately this particular storm petered out before ever getting to Pine County.
The final round of storms developed as we headed north on Interstate 35 during the late Afternoon hours. We stopped around the Banning Junction/Askov Minnesota area (Northern part of Pine County) This cell looked pretty good, and it did turn severe and even tornado warned for a brief time before it fell apart.
Enjoy the photos!
Total mileage on Today's chase: 228.18 miles.
Counties covered: Douglas WI, Washburn WI, Burnett WI, Pine MN and Carlton MN.