July 26th 2011 Hoven, South Dakota Tornado

Chase Stats
SPC Outlook: MDT
States Driven: MI, IL, WI, MN, ND, SD
Miles: 1306
Departure City: Monticello, MN
Target City: Leola, SD
Ending City: Willmar, MN
Outcome: Tornado, Heavy Rain
Chase Pics: Unavailable

I had been watching this setup closely for about a week based off the Euro (ECMWF) model, as it showed a decent trough ejecting into the northern plains with a decent surface low for late July. I had been longing for a chase ever since 6/20, but the synoptic pattern has really hampered things down. With a large high pressure system dominating the central U.S. and temps surging into the 100's, the only play for decent storms was farther north into the Dakota's where the jet stream was at. Any disturbance or shortwave through that area (along with a few other ingredients) would surely kick off storms - this was what I was waiting for.

4/22/11 St. Louis, MO Supercell

Chase Stats
SPC Outlook: MDT
States Driven: MI, IL, MO
Miles: 1002
Departure City: Battle Creek, MI
Target City: St. Louis, MO
Ending City: Effingham, IL
Outcome: Extremely Heavy Rain, Frequent Lightning
Chase Pics: Unavailable

This chase was a quick one, and my first chase of the 2011 season. It was Friday, and I had Cloud Physics in the morning at 9AM. I went to the class, and as soon as it got out at 10AM, I headed straight down to Battle Creek, MI. From there, I switched some of my gear into the new chase vehicle (more details later once it gets finished), and my Dad and I took off to my target city of St. Louis. I wasn't sure if we would be able to make it on time before the storms rolled through, but we managed to make it just on time.

Bombogenesis & 2010 Statistics

The lowest inland (non-tropical) barometric pressure in the United States was recorded today in Big Fork, MN at 2213Z. The recorded pressure was 28.20" or 954.96mb! This potent system laid down a serial derecho that stretched from MI all the way to AL. Along the way, the SPC issued numerous Tornado watches including one PDS Tornado watch due to the incredible amount of shear in the atmosphere. 0-1km helicity values pegged around 900 m^2/s^2 and while not much CAPE was present, the wind shear was enough to produce many small spin-ups embedded in the line. Further south into AL, discrete cells formed out ahead of the line increasing the tornado threat across Dixie Alley as they played with the ample amounts of helicity. The SPC also had an area outlined as a High risk, which is the first high risk since May 19, 2010. Lower Michigan was also included in the High risk for a little while, which makes it the first High risk for Lower Michigan in 9 years, and the first High risk in MI in 3 years. This event was also rare in the fact that it was only the third time in history that the SPC has issued a High risk in the month of October. While I'm on the statistics train, I might as well throw in a few more interesting statistics so far from the 2010 season.

UPDATE: A FEW OF THE RECORDS HAVE BEEN RECALCULATED TO ADJUST FOR TRUE MEAN SEA LEVEL PRESSURE, AND STANDS AT 955.2MB. SEE MORE HERE: Official NWS statement on the pressure record

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