Chase Account - 11th May 2004 - S Central South Dakota

Tony Gilbert, Terry Fryer, Sam Jowett and Ali Dibb

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After yesterdays drive from Mankota, Minnesota to Mitchell, South Dakota we found ourselves well positioned to target the convection expected in central S Dakota today.  We decided on a target relatively close to the border - Mission within the Rosebud Indian Reservation.  Once there we thankfully found ourselves with a wireless broadband connection and could see that the first cells had started to initiate to our S in N Nebraska.  Being directly in the path of them and knowing that the shear was most likely to produce tornadoes in the region we were in, we decided to hang fire, allow the convection to build and let the cells come to us.



Tony, Terry and Van


Having moved to the E for a while to get a better view of the cells and allow them to advance towards us, we took the decision to get a bit closer to the action, though all we really saw was some heavy rain and interesting cloud formations.  There were hints of a funnel forming on the gust front (gustnado?) but no obvious signs of strong rotation, possibly because the storms quickly lined up into an MCS during the late afternoon.

Gust Front


As the cell passed over we had little choice but to sit back and enjoy the lightning show as lack of road options and the need to punch S in readiness for tomorrow became all important.  Some pretty heavy rain was present, but despite punching through plenty of precip on our route S as we started our trek down to North Platte, Nebraska, we saw no hail or any sign of significant severe weather.  Still an enjoyable chase day though... the photo's hopefully bring across the drama...
Precip Core

Anvil edge

Daytime Darkness

Some video footage of the gust front funnel.  (Please right click and Save Target As to view locally on your PC) Gust front funnel - 8.5MB