The first chase of the season. And quite possibly, Could have been our last. Definately, a learning moment.
This was one of those days. Snow was still on the ground in many parts of the area and storms were firing from North Eastern Iowa through SW Wisconsin at 50 kts. Plenty of elements to get things going later in the day. So, being itchy to get out, I bit at the setup.
My daughter joined me and we headed E on 94 with a target area somewhere between Menominee and Chippewa Falls. The thinking was an intercept possibly N of Eau Claire if the road network supported it.
We ended up in Chippewa Falls waiting for initiation which occurred just SW of Menominee. Not being patient, We back tracked to Menominee where a chaser convergence was already well underway.
Should have stayed in Chippewa Falls. These storms were moving at 50Kts or greater. Back to E 94 we went. We did watch one cell we were parallel with running S of 94 explode right before our eyes. I wish we could have gotten Time Lapse video.
Instead, we decided to attempt an intercept and exited from 94 at Stanley where there seemed to be a good north/south road we could dive down and get SE of the cell before it crossed 94.
As you can see, Co Rd H was a wonderful choice. Until you see the lack of E/W roads. Brilliant.
By that point we were committed. And so was the cell we were intercepting. Remember, 53Kts...
It was also about this time we realized Radar hadn't updated for like 10 minutes. This thing was going to come over the top of us if we don't drive... fast.
It took no time at all to realize we were not going to get far enough South. We were going to get "Core Baptized" our first trip out for 2011. We determined it would be best to turn around since we were receiving reports of large hail just south of our position from another chaser.
Not only did we get "Cored", we ended up on a course where we went right through the inflow notch.
This cell re-intensified several times along its NE track. It ended up dropping a Tornado approximately 55 minutes later in the town of Merrill Wisconsin
We managed to join up with the rest of the chaser community that had managed to make their way out for one more intercept of the day. It produced nothing of any substance at our location.
Here's a bit of video from our encounter with the inflow notch. Watch the direction of the rain on the pavement shift direction and as it does, Rain stops falling on the vehicle indicating a updraft of some sort.