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July 16, 2001 - Wheaton, MN Bust

Started the day out taking a quick look at the SPC forecasts before I ran to class. Got back about 2, with a message on my cell phone from Meredith. It looks like the Oklahoman brought severe weather to town with him! Meredith and Bob Conzemius had gotten together and the chase was on. Jamie arrived and we set out at about 3:20. Bob and I both stopped at Sauk Centre to try to grab some data. We did and proceeded for a target of about Graceville, MN. From Sauk Centre, we headed out 28 to Graceville. Stopped once for data, but neither Bob nor I could get descent connections to get any data, so on westward! Just after leaving, Jamie's phone finally got a nice solid connection as we passed the Morris airport. Bad news though, not a single tower in the State of South Dakota, except for a big monster that started around O'Neill, NE. Once out to Graceville, we sat at the local gas station/restaurant and got data and wondered where everything was... Had trouble at first, as Bob's phone didn't like the local tower for some reason, so we used Jamie's phone to grab data.

At about 8, we went in to have some dinner, and hopefully see the towers as we walked out. It took about 45 minutes to get our food, so we were jumping in and out watching for the towers to go up that "had to be there". The sun was just setting as we left the restaurant. Saw a little bit of cloud streaming in from the west, this had to be from the storms firing up! No, it was from a small and struggling cell just southwest of Aberdeen that had been trying and trying for a few hours. While watching all of this, Jamie got a little bored and decided to decorate a satellite picture. There was a nice moisture axis in place through SD, and an area of convergence right around Aberdeen, but it just couldn't get going. I'm sure Bob will go into that more as well.

As we headed home, things were eerily the same as last year. Getting closer to STC, there was getting to be quite a nice lightning display to our north. Last year, that lightning display produced an F2 tornado that went through Staples. Didn't happen this time though. Just some storms.

Got back at about 11:30, and all together a fun day. Clear air bust, but still fun. A good time had by all, and looking to the next chase day!

Trip length: ~350, forgot to reset the trip meter
Cell phone time: 1:54:23, ouch.
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