Minnesota Chase - 5/2/2012

Today we had hoped for a little bit better of a setup than the day prior, but come 3pm we were still baking in the sun under a cumulus field, waiting for storms to initiate.  We got through lots of pistachios and a few oranges and listened to a lot of sweet jams as we hung out on Robert's Ave.

Finally we noticed that there was an MD (mesoscale discussion) posted on the SPC website, and eventually we saw a little storm fire to our northeast.  We decided to go for it.

As we got closer to the storm it went tornado warned.  We were very excited to have two tornado warned storms two days in a row.  At least they weren't cap busts!

A gorgeous rainbow on our way to the inflow notch:

Our first glimpse of the low contrast wall cloud:

As we were getting into position in front of the wall cloud for the first time, I noticed a spinup of some dirt or dust.  I mentioned, "it looks like dust or something over there."  Then I looked harder and noticed a tight barrel of rotating dirt at the ground level.  "Dust, dust, dust, dust, DUST!"  I shouted and Skip found a spot to pull over.  Unfortunately by the time we stopped, the spinup stopped as well.  Skip got some shots of it on his dome:

By the time I could get out of the car to shoot, this is all I had:

Jeremy Degenhart and my friend Jon Williamson were chasing in the area and they pulled up behind us at one point.  It is always wonderful to meet chasers I have "known" online for some time, and to see good friends out in the middle of a chase!

And then, a freaking gorgeous gusty shelfy cloud sight:

And another pretty shot to add to my hand-held lightning moments.  /swoon.