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August 12th, 2010 SD/MN Supercell/Tornado

Chase Stats
SPC Outlook: SLGT
States Driven: WI, MN, SD
Miles: 710
Departure City: Tomah, WI
Target City: Wheaton, MN
Ending City: Sioux Falls, SD
Outcome: Tornado (1)
Chase Pics: Gallery

This would be my final "long range" chase of the season before I headed off to CMU. Things were looking really good for Thursday in north-eastern South Dakota, and into west-central MN. Friday had looked alright, but at the time I was focused on Thursday to be the day. We headed out on Wednesday evening, and made it to our usual spot: the 90/94 split in Wisconsin. We drove all morning and early afternoon to our general target area which was the NSD/MN triangle area.

The atmosphere looked primed, as CAPE values climbed with excellent shear and helicity in place. A few things were left to be desired including a rather strong 700mb cap, and weak low level lapse rates.

Eventually storms did fire, and one cell in particular looked good. We followed it a while from around Milbank, SD to Appleton, MN. The storms seemed to have a hard time staying discrete, and were more of a linear set of supercells that eventually congealed into linear garbage. Despite this, we managed to get a nice view of the base near Appleton, and observed a brief tornado over Louisburg, although it quickly got shrouded in rain, and was no longer visible.

We continued to watch the base of the storm, and admire the beautiful structure. Eventually it became a mess, and as apparent on radar, the whole storm had merged with the others, and it was time to call the chase. We headed south, and eventually ended up in Sioux Falls, SD, which is where we stayed the night. Before heading to bed, I checked the models for tomorrow, and nothing really stuck out to me, so I would assess in the morning.