Wisconsin Weather

My 2018 Chase Season Re-cap...

Sep 29 2018 7:21 PM CST| 0 Comments | Wisconsin | Storm Chasing

The 2018 Storm Chase season is pretty much done for as far as I know. Or is it??? Some chasers will consider it finished at the end of June or July. All I will say is it really aint over until its over!

Last week on September 20th is a good example of why chasing season shouldn't be considered "over" until there is at least a foot of snow on the ground. Right? I will talk about that in a minute.

So, Overall, I had an okay chase season. Not as productive as the summer of 2017 when I kicked off that chase season with the Chetek EF-3 bearing down on my position on May 16th.

It was a rather boring spring in the upper-midwest. The jetstream apparently launched itself up into Canada in the month of May and there it remained for most of the summer. This allowed hot and muggy conditions to reside across much of the upper-midwest for awhile. As a result, I spent alot of time on the water this summer. Which was awesome!

I finally got my boots wet on June 9th, but had to travel all the to northeastern Iowa to get my first glimpse of a decent system that brought severe weather across much of northern and northeastern Iowa. There were some awesome storms that day! Video link below...


Other than June 9th in Iowa, this summer was not a busy one chase-wise for me.

I did chase a handful of systems that produced mostly outflow dominated storms with some decent looking structures.

June 17th across NW and west-central WI. , June 30th across western WI. , and August 1st in western WI. , just to name a few.

Hunter Anderson and I traveled to eastern Illinois and western Indiana on an impromptu chase on August 6th, and we had one heck of an adventure that day. We were able to capture one of the most insane lightning displays I have ever seen. Video link below...


Then September 20th happened. A system moved into the upper-midwest with very impressive dynamics all around. The Storm Prediction Center highlighted a strong tornado threat across southeastern Minnesota and some of west-central Wisconsin that day. Not to common in the month of September.

So far, there are 16 tornadoes confirmed total. I think there is going to be a few late surveys that will be conducted so that total may go up in the coming days. Survey results in link below...


Most of the tornadoes on September 20th were across southeastern Minnesota and one confirmed weak EF-0 tornado in Ellsworth in Pierce County where I was located.

The tornado in and near Ellsworth left a 1.7 mile path and started less than a mile down the street from where I was positioned that night. If any of you were following my livestream on Wisconsin Weather's Facebook page you know what I am talking about.

Im sure I was caught in some of that ground circulation that was swirling all that light tree debris around me for about 10-15 seconds.

I was confident in my ability to remain safe as that storm moved across Pierce County. I have gotten some reactions from people who saw the livestream video and I can assure you that I knew what I was doing and what I was getting myself into. I also knew I was going to be in a safe position. I would be the last person to plunge myself into a bad situation.

Anyways, I consider September 20th my first tornado intercept for 2018. It came late in the season but I got it done. There wasn't anything glorious about it either. No thrilling video, no stunning photos. Just alot of wind and rain for a few minutes!!!

I strive to be in the right place at the right time. Thats what chasing storms is all about.

You can apply that same principle in all aspects of life.

Now its time to be in the right place at the right time in the woods as I pursue the majestic White-tail deer with archery equipment. Thanks for reading... - Joe

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