Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grand Rapids MN 07/18/2013



Probably one of the most disappointing chases to date. Plenty of promise, little delivered.

The setup itself, was a pretty standard one for this time of the year. Plenty of heat, plenty of moisture, CAPE values weren't stellar, but enough to take notice. Shear seemed to be missing with the morning models but caught up later with the midday enough to give the SPC a reason to go moderate on our asses.

I bit. One thing I said I'd never do was go chasing primarily on the thinking of the SPC. Yet, here I was, debating. We were hungry for something. and wouldn't it be nice If I could bag something with a minimum number of chasers on a weekday run especially being just fresh from the El Reno disaster.

So straight North I went. Initiation was already occurring just South of the MN/CAN border along the now diving cold front. Based on that, I targeted Grand Rapids as my intercept. As I continued my way North, I noticed things to be slowing waaaay down in terms of storm motion. I began to start to fear if I was going to see anything at all short of going up to the BWCA.

I arrived in Grand Rapids with my fears confirmed. The front had arrived just at the same time I had with nothing behind it to warrant the trip. Still, the main line was cooking but 100 miles further to my North. I decided I'd had enough driving and I'd sit tight to see if anything would materialize.

The only thing that materialized was an MD (Mesoscale Discussion) from the Storm Prediction Center regarding the Thunderstorm Watch that had been issued for the area about two hours prior.

It said basically:

"Show's over. go home."

More than a few of us were scratching our heads wondering what meteorological anomaly was going to explain our complete lack of storms even with all the ingredients present. I turned tail and headed for home.

About 40 miles south of Grand Rapids, I did manage to grab some stills/video of a storm that did pop up over Grand Rapids. Maybe I left a bit premature, But I can say no one under the cell got the shots I did. I swear when I got out of my vehicle to set up my camera, the million mosquitoes that came out of nowhere had planned to rip me apart and leave my carcass by the side of the road. Good thing for remote control shutters...