Monthly Archives: May 2011

5/22/2011 Central Wisconsin

Brent Koops, myself, Forrest Lambert, and Francine Lambert chased out in central WI following storms from Albert Lea, MN and intercepted cells coming out of eastern IA in Lacrosse, WI.

These storms developed ahead a cold front and produced large, hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.

These cells stayed tornado warned for a few hours and we were all over it. Only one problem. Wisconsin is loaded with trees and it made it very difficult to see anything related to the storm. It was difficult to see any storm features much less tornadoes.

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(pretty much the view the entire time)

 

DSCN1812We chased this storm from Lacrosse, WI up through Sparta, where a tornado struck the south side of town. The small tornado first touchdown just southwest of the city, crossed highway 27 near an auto dealership where it tossed a car. The tornado continued east northeast and crossed south water street on the south side of the city. The path continued along and just south of Walrath street before it lifted on the southeast side of town.

Damage was mainly to trees, windows and power lines. There was some minor damage to roof tops and sheds as well. One of the worst hit homes also had a car moved along with windows busted out.

From Sparta we continued on to Tomah where a tornado struck about 4 miles northwest of Tomah near County Road M. The tornado crossed crossed Interstate 94 north of Tomah. DSCN1825It proceeded east northeast through mainly wooded areas and we could see the damage path right through the trees.I was a bit tortured here because of the pine smell from the freshly destroyed trees.

Brent made mention of it right away. The last time we smelled this was 4/11/2011 near Early, IA dancing dangerously close to a tornado at night.DSCN1818

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From Tomah we continued on to the town of Nekoosa where a campground took a direct hit destroying 166 campsites. Fortunately, no one was killed or suffered any life threatening injuries. 

At this point we called the chase and checked in with local law enforcement to offer assistance but was advised all local and county resources were being shifted to the area and we could call the dispatcher and if they needed our help they would call us. I declined feeling at that point our assistance was not needed and we began our return trip to Sioux Falls.

This trip stung a bit because we were on tornadoes but could not get a good view due to the trees but I consider it a good chase and the intercept was successful and we did get on tornadoes. But in fairness to the rules there was no steak dinner. However we did enjoy what I eat for half ass tornado chases.052211201525
(for when you only half score)

The chase ended on a high note. We got out and chased. Intercept strategy was dead on. In the end we logged 920 miles round trip and spent about 14hrs in the car. Many chasers would consider this a bust but I view it as an opportunity to learn from mistakes. In this case a changed strategy for dealing with trees. 

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Extreme Weather Chase Team Joins KELOLAND TV To Provide Exclusive Storm Coverage

An exciting development in my world of chasing. Our team has been hard at work chasing already this season KS, IA, SD, OK, and CO. As we expect the pattern to shift north into our area it seemed a perfect time to share this news:

Extreme Weather Media, LLC is proud to announce an exclusive media partnership with KELOLAND TV. As a part of the new agreement, the EXWX Chase Team will be streaming video and providing live reports to KELOLand viewers from the field during severe weather events. By providing real-time coverage on KELO, the EXWX Team is providing valuable information to the public when it matters most.

During severe weather events, EXWX Chase Team will deploy multiple chase vehicles equipped with high definition cameras, live streaming equipment, and radar/data receiving computers. With a direct communication line with the weather team at KELO, EXWX can provide early warnings to alert the public of severe weather and tornado threats and prevent injuries.

Read the full text here http://extremeweathermedia.com/news

Check out KELOLAND TV http://keloland.com

We have worked with the Keloland weather team for the past 2 years and are really excited about this partnership as we go into our third year together.

Look for more cool things to come!

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Gustnadoes / Tornadoes 5/11/2011

While everyone was busting in KS I was treated to a wicked storm environment in SE. South Dakota. I and the the rest of the ExWx team are part of the KELO News chase team now so the local members (Joe Miller, Brent Koops, Greg Rardin, Mike Vetter) stuck close to home in the slight risk area while Mark Ellis, Jenn Miller, Cory Watkins, and Joe Quinn covered the KS Mod Risk area.

Brent and I agonized over the morning models and wish-casting an isolated cell somewhere west Denison, IA early evening. Sent a couple of messages out for opinions but no one seemed all that interested. KS was the topic in most minds this day. I was really starting to regret no making the run to KS, but work commitments kept me close to home. So there we sat, Koops and I looking at every run of the RUC hoping for a glimmer of hope for something to chase and once we saw all that liner crap our hopes quickly faded, but what the hell, we both stayed glued to the radar looking for that cell to pop, just to verify our forecast because we didn’t go to Denison after we saw the line of storms marching north.

Around 6:20 there it was just showing up on radar ahead of the line of storms, but it was a bit farther north near Haywarden, IA.

Out the door I went, Joe Miller and Greg were on it, and Koops sat out as he was further east and thought he would’t catch it. The storm was quickly tornado warned and the first tornado report went out around 6:30 (NWS eventually ruled it a gustnado).

The cell was actually moving NW heading right for me. I got off at the Canton exit in SD and watched as the line approached. Straight line winds were about 45-50 MPH and I sat as the shelf started to pass overhead. Just to my northeast I could see a bunch of dirt being picked up so I followed.

There was a series of gustnadoes / tornadoes along the outflow boundary out in front of that line of storms that came in through just NW. of Canton. As the OFB interacted with new cells that were popping up it created just enough spin to cause the frequent spinup tornadoes on the front edge of the storms.

Gustnadoes / Tornadoes

Gustnadoes / Tornadoes

There was plenty of black dirt for the spinup tornadoes to pick up, making them visible.

Turned out to be a great day. Makes up for the bust to Sunday before.