June 5, 2018

Statistics

Initial Target
Start
End
Storm Intercepts
Tornadoes
Hail
Wind
Features
Miles
Bismarck, ND
Billings, MT 10:32 AM 6/5/2018
Dickinson, ND 11:43 PM 6/5/2018
None
0
0"
0 mph
None
604

Summary

Marginal chances for warm sector supercells in central North Dakota. Targeted Bismarck, but only elevated, shallow showers developed above stout cap.

Crew and Equipment

Solo chase. Equipment: Sony AX100, Canon 60D, Samsung S7 Edge.

Video

Map

Details


Missouri River
9 miles SW of Baldwin, ND
6:48 PM
Another day chasing scraps in the Northern Plains on an extended June chase trip. We targeted Bismarck, ND for a marginal chance at some supercells knowing the cap would be a problem. And indeed it was. Nothing fired all day.

Cap Busting
9 miles SW of Baldwin, ND
6:50 PM
At least we had a nice place to hang out while we cap busted.

Cap Busting
9 miles SW of Baldwin, ND
6:51 PM
Nick Nolte joined us.

Cap Busting
9 miles SW of Baldwin, ND
7:21 PM
We camped out by the river for hours before elevated showers finally tracked overhead. We hoped in vain that they would expand and root in the boundary layer, or be the focal point for surface based storm initiation, and we followed them east until the bitter end when it was painfully obvious nothing was going to happen. Nick Nolte had meanwhile called the chase and was westbound for the next day's play in Wyoming, which turned out to be the right call.

Just to further add to the bust, an angry old farmer shooed us away from where we were setting up to get some evening time lapse shots. Without a gate, sometimes it's not apparent what's a public use road and what's somebody's private drive.

Conclusion

I don't mind a long distance cap bust. It's part of the game. But when it costs us a great storm or tornado, that's when it really stings. Chasing that far east into North Dakota and that late in the evening put us out of position for what was one of the most photogenic tornadoes of 2018. We saw the play coming together near Laramie. It was long shot, but the signal was definitely there, and because it was a long shot we weren't inclined to get up ridiculously early or drive late into the night to try and make it. Nick Nolte wound up scoring it instead while we played a secondary target that didn't pay out nearly as well.

Lessons Learned


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