To our delight, a severe thunderstorm warning was soon issued for our storm. The warning text
indicated the storm was about 12 miles west of I-35, west-soutwest of Albert Lea, and it was
moving eastward at only 15 mph!!! This matched our visual observations, which did not indicate
very rapid movement to this backbuilding storm.
We dropped south and lost visibility in the moderate core with light hail. We also encountered
some road construction that slowed us down a bit. Nevertheless, we soon emerged from the core
expecting to see the updraft base just to our west.
It was not. Instead, with the storm having decided to accelerate to 45 mph, the updraft was
to our east. It was now stern-chase time! To put additional butterflies into our stomachs, NWS
soon issued a tornado warning on our storm, with rapid rotation detected near Lyle, MN. We
tried for an hour or so to make it around the wet RFD to the inflow notch on the east side of
the storm, but with the movement of the storm, and towns to slow us down every few miles, it
was just not possible. Here are some shots of the storm from behind:
New storm to our south. Storm is between Blue Earth and Albert Lea.
Wide view of the rear of the storm as we approached it from the west-southwest.
Rainbow and core of our storm to the northeast. We are under the RFD and behind the shelf cloud on the south flank of the storm.
Suspicious updraft fingers. Some of these rotated slightly, but they were not a significant threat.
2002 | All Storm Chases | TornadoBob Home