Sunday, July 17, 2005

a long day

a short sleep was ended by restlessness and i got up to get my bearings.

after the shower i took off down the hall to check on the day's happenings and was dismayed--no, discouraged--to see that my concerns for the day had already come true. there was more lift than i had been hoping for and there was already a big cloud shield over most of southern saskatchewan. this would mean that less insolation would lead to less instability. not a good thing if you're wanting to see severe thunderstorms.

we did our analyses on the road and stopped in watford city, nd for a pit stop and to reassess. i got hold of the college of dupage and they were thinking along the same lines as we were. southeastern saskatchewan. but they also had concerns about pollution from the cloud in place. they were cautiously optimistic, though, as we also became after a data stop in weyburn. (best. library. ever.) a broad area of clearing was showing up just southwest of us and there was an area of enhanced cumulus development within it, indicating an area of persistent lift. we figured that was the area to go to.

as we got there we saw a pretty good storm, albeit short (my estimate was 30000 foot tops) trying to get going. it wimped out but we saw some lowerings off to our north. we took off on a gravel road to get a better look and were treated to a good shelf/possible brief wall cloud. the motion wihin this thing was incredible.

when we got the outflow we decided to move along to stay ahead of it. but after about 20 minutes' worth of going at 110 km/h, it was becoming obvious that this wasn't feasible.

so we took off in the direction of the best-looking outflow (complete, it appeared, with dust flying throught the air--looked sorta like a haboob. (or is that an haboob?!)) we got some really strong winds soon after. my anemometer measured 69 km/h, but it sure felt like more. i think i need to calibrate it to find out its accuracy. that seemed more like 100 km/h than 70. but i digress.

this storm was now clearly outflow-dominant. it had an outflow tail extending from 20 miles northeast of us to about 50 miles southwest. i can only imagine what it looked like on satellite imagery. we tried to catch up to it but it was just screaming along. after giving up on it we decided to go southeast, in pre-positioning for tomorrow, on the way we managed to catch up to the outflow (in that direction, anyhow), and some interesting things were happening. the outflow was providing good convergence and some solid towers were going up along the line. in fact, one tower went up so high that it punched through the anvil from the parent storm. the tower ended up collapsing and the neat thing was the fact that it, as well as the anvil it had punched through, got compressionally warmed and dissipated almost entirely. so picture it--a broad anvil from a good storm, and a small hole in one corner of it. very unique.

we went to estevan and decided to go to minot for the night, so as to minimize the trip for the next day. well, bad choice.

why a bad choice?

first off, we all got stopped at the border and they took about 45 minutes to process us. we had nothing to hide--i guess either they have a quota to fill, or we looked suspicious. at any rate, it took a lot of time.

then we got into road construction for a good 15-mile stretch on the american side. and then it started raining. the van bottomed out once really hard, and there was some pretty sludgy mud around. i think the vans will need a wash soon. ;)

we finally got here and now i'm typing this out, and i think i'm ready for sleep.

tomorrow looks only okay. south-central minnesota. we'll make the call in the morning--do we want to play that, or maybe just meander back to winnipeg?

either way, i'd call this a successful trip.

2 Comments:

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous The Manitoba Storm Spotter said...

I know this is old news, but I just wanted to mention that those storms we were chasing eariler that day moved into mantioba and winnipeg got the infamous "Storm of the centry" with the 130 km/hr winds and strobe light lightning. Ironic that being out storm chasing, the big one hits home and your not there. I also remember there being storms when we stayed that night in minot. That same system was the one that hit winnipeg (and by further observations, orginated in the northwest north dakota area) Kinda like almost front (or storm) riding and we were sorta in the middle to the tail end of what winnipeg got that night (July 17th). I have some archive data that I collected from that storm in winnipeg (when we got to the hotel in minot) I'm going to see if I can like it some how. Anyways, just thought that was interesting.

 
At 8:02 PM, Anonymous The Manitoba Storm Spotter said...

I know this is old news, but I just wanted to mention that those storms we were chasing earlier that day moved into Manitoba and Winnipeg got the infamous "Storm of the century" with the 130 km/hr winds and strobe light lightning. Ironic that being out storm chasing, the big one hits home and your not there. I also remember there being storms when we stayed that night in Minot. That same system was the one that hit Winnipeg (and by further observations, originated in the northwest north dakota area) Kinda like almost front (or storm) riding and we were sorta in the middle to the tail end of what Winnipeg got that night (July 17th). I have some archive data that I collected from that storm in Winnipeg (when we got to the hotel in Minot) I'm going to see if I can like it some how. Anyways, just thought that was interesting. Storm origins always interest me.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home