Day 22 - The Finale

26 June 2010

We woke up in Worthington for our last chase day to the beautiful sight of an upgraded moderate risk.  And to top that, we had woken up in the middle of it. However, we still needed to look at the models to choose the best staging post, which we both decided should be a bit further south, towards Sioux Falls, still in South Dakota and a little over an hour's drive. We stopped at Walmart for the usual morning breakfast of yoghurt, granola and red bull and set out on our way. We were so very happy that the last day may bring us something special. It's fairly unusual for the weather to be this persistently active through to the end of June. Typically May and June are the most active months, but to be blessed with potential chases right up to the last day of our trip had not been expected, let alone a moderate risk issued. Discrete powerful supercells were apparently on the cards. Who could ask for more? We parked up at a recreation park in Sioux Falls. It was baking hot with temperatures reaching 92F. It was cool in the car whilst driving, but at a standstill, waiting around in a park carpark became a bit sticky. I donned a bikini and we waited some more. Our choice of position seemed to be echoed by a number of other chasers who had also situated themselves around Sioux Falls. Cells were starting to fire just north of Yankton - were these the 'discrete powerful supercells' to be? If this were the case, the show was starting fairly early. We watched them on radar for a little while and although they may not be 'the ones' it could be a clue to the whereabouts of initiation, so we headed a little more in that direction, passing through a town called Pumpkin Centre; it didn't look like the inside of a pumpkin though.We idled around the area, parked up here and there, dreamt of ice cream and being cold, changed position a little bit and then suddenly, within the space of 10 minutes a cell had popped up further to the west that already had reached over 40,000ft. Within another 5 minutes it had developed a hail core and had been allocated a stormtrack - only allocated to storms of a certain severity. This really had grown fast and was showing great potential. So we headed off to greet it, choosing a nearby main road as an intercept point. As it approached us, its features were distinguishable, both the outflow areas of precipitation and a nice lowering towards the rear end. Although the track of the storm was north easterly, it was also spreading out in an easterly direction over the road we would need if we wanted to be a little lower on it, and it looked like we did since this was where the storm was at its lowest point. But with a little help from google maps we managed to find an alternative paved farm road that did the job.It was here that the party started! As we drove on down the road we saw a number of other chase vehicles driving up the road the other way. A little disconcerting to be the only car driving a particular direction, especially when all the other cars are those that belong to more experienced chasers than us. It wasn't long before we were very much in the shadow of the cloud and the rain was beginning to get harder. Obviously, the reason why others had decided to wait a little further up the road was to get a better view of the storm. Sometimes clues to tornadic potential are a little more obvious from a distance. So we joined in on the game of tag with the storm, stopping on the roadside to get a few shots until it was time to move on another few hundred metres.  The area was now attracting even more chasers that had initially chosen alternative cells. Fellow chaser and now friend, Tony Laubach was there with the Twistex crew and an acknowledgement came from Reed Timmer who passed by in a somewhat more normal looking car, rather than the monstrosity that is 'The Dominator'! It was great to be part of the convoy.

SPC Day 1 Weather Outlook as at 06:00UTC (01:00 Central Time the night before)

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Sat June 2010

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Sat June 2010

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