Monday, August 10, 2009

Slacking Lately- August 8th chaselog & Wisconsin tornado damage pics

Got off work at 3:00, headed out pretty much right after that. Target was somewhere southwest of the metro with no specific city in mind. Saw Tim Purington sitting down in Jordan, MN which was in my path south on highway 169. Met up with him, we head south for a bit, decided to head back north as the warm front continued to head north. Sat in Saint Louis Park right off 169 until about 8:00 pm watching tower after tower try to go up but hit the cap and fall back down. There was one storm out near Orono that tried for quite a while to get going but watching the VIL and echo tops stay constant at relatively low numbers considering the amount of energy in the atmosphere we didn't think much of it. But after about 30 minutes of it trying to go the VIL started to finally increase again and we knew that this time it had broken the cap. Raced west on highway 7 only to find out that the storm was in the Lake Minnetonka area, which for anyone not familiar with the terrain in this area is basically lakes and trees with a few homes plopped down between trees and obviously not good terrain for chasing, in fact I'd take chasing southwest Wisconsin over this area because atleast in SW WI there are hills which when you're on the top of you can see quite a way, not the case in the southwest Minneapolis metro. Anyways, the storm went tornadic shortly after we headed towards it. We chased it back to the north metro never seeing the tornado and only seeing a funnel for maybe 4 seconds tops. Chased it through the city I live in (New Brighton) with the couplet passing just to the north of my house. Continued to western Wisconsin well after dark. Stopped about 3-4 miles east of Burkhardt with the couplet to our west and tightening. The meso passed right over us, and then went home. No pictures and no video worth posting.

Went back to the Burkhardt area to take a look at the damage on Sunday. Lots of tree damage along with about 6 homes damaged. MPX officially rated the tornado an EF1 which lifted just to the west of our position on Saturday, had the tornado kept going another mile or two we would've gotten hit. I have no problem coming out and admitting we were in a bad spot and I'll even go so far to admit I knew we were in a bad spot while it was happening. Shit happens and you learn from it. Anyways, most of the damage was in the new development of St Joseph township north of county road E and county road I with the damage occuring along Walsh Road and Oakwood Lane. About 5 homes damaged, like I said TONS of tree damage but surprisingly no power lines down. Headed east to another North-South oriented road named Bass Lake Road. Just up the road nearly due east of St Joseph township is another house with major garage damage and lots more tree damage. East of this damage appeared to taper off. A couple of other things of note is just east of Bass Lake Road was a John Deer trailer that looked like it was blown over. I dont know how strong winds have to be to blow one of those over but I'm guessing it has to be pretty strong. Also, St Joseph township is tucked about 1/3 mile in west of county road I however I did see some debris (i.e. a couple of recliner chairs and other household debris) piled up along county I just east of the township. Not a ton, but it was definately a pile. Damage survey concluded that the tornado was 1/4 mile wide and 5 mile long path. It would've been quite a beauty had it not been at night and rain wrapped. Pics below

These were all taken in St Joseph township:

So I know I've been slacking really bad lately in updating the blog. Since I last post my July 13th chaselog (which is mistakenly titled July 14th chaselog) I have chased 4 times and have posted nothing for any of them. But in my defense I haven't gotten a ton of good footage from any of them. But I figured I'd post something about the supercell that went through the Twin Cities on August 8th. So the chaselog:

Tree snapped half way up:

There were a ton of trees that looked like this, unfortunately the memory card was full by that time.

Notice how the garage wall was blown out but not over.

This picture was taken along Bass Lake Road just east of St Joseph township:

I'll try to get the chaselog from July 14th, July 27th, and August 2nd up soon.

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