June 21, 2014 Winnipeg, MB Local Chase

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As much as I love chasing all across North America, I always looked forward to chasing in my backyard: Manitoba. In this case, however, these storms were literally in my backyard!!

Surface observations at 21z (4:00pm CDT) on June 21st

June 21st was a strange day, we would get two rounds of storms, one with the warm/stationary front near Winnipeg and the second round later in the evening off the cold front/possible lake-breeze off Lake Manitoba. For the first round, my house was my target! So I just sat outside until storms started bubbling. My house was just southeast of the City of Winnipeg in Lorette.

A storm quickly went up about 10 minutes from my place, so I jumped on it. It was dropping some hail, but nothing too impressive. Quarter-size was the biggest stones I got:

The way I chased in Manitoba is I basically put myself under the hail core or under the rotating mesocyclone. This put me in the best spots to spot tornadoes or to report hail size to Environment Canada. Needless to say that ECCC really liked me when I lived there xD

While chasing a lot in the Bear’s Cage can be dangerous, especially in the United States, knowing the terrain very well, your escape routes and being used to the storm motion and characters of the storm around your local area makes it not dangerous at all. When all those factors are new to you, like for example when you chase somewhere you are unfamiliar with, I would not recommend doing this.

Anyways, years of experience doing this helped me towards how I chase today. For one, I don’t lose my cool when sh*t hits the fan and second, I avoid a lot of stupid mistakes while chasing under/close to mesocyclone because I have done most of those mistakes on my own before haha 😛

This storm actually went tornado-warned as a large rotating wall cloud was observed just south-southeast of Lorette. It had been reported, just before I posted the picture above, by another local chaser. I believe Matthieu Desorcy robbed me of this report xD The storm then dropped a funnel and began dying shortly after:

A strange storm for sure! After this moved too far southeast, new storms started developing off either the cold front or lake-breeze (don’t remember what it was) northwest of Winnipeg. The series of pictures below shows the storm development near Stonewall:

The storm actually became quite photogenic as it entered the north side of Winnipeg, prompting a severe thunderstorm warning:

It paralleled the Perimeter Highway on the north side of the city, which was perfect to document the whole life-cycle of the storm:

The storm was close to dying off, but I managed to snap this last picture, which went viral on social media that day:

The storm itself wasn’t very dangerous, but was pretty photogenic. Shortly after that, I went home and had a nice dinner and beer 🙂

Moral of the story, local chases are great!

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