July 27, 1999

I was not really expecting anything interesting to happen today.  It had been quite warm and became overcast in the later part of the afternoon.  Toward dinner time I noticed that things were darkening up and looking like storms could start to develop.  I checked the radar on the Internet and saw that there was in fact some good storm development about 60 miles to the north of town.  

Since I didn't have anything going on,  I decided to head north and see if I could catch up with the storm before it died out.  As I came up over the hill in town,  I saw that the sky was starting to become very dark and greenish toward the north.  The NWS had called in several hams at this point to activate Skywarn for the northern part of St. Louis County and a spotter was following the system toward my area.  At that time they did not expect that it would affect the Duluth area.

I had continued north for about 15 miles when they changed their outlook and started getting concerned about the direction the storm was heading.  The area of concern was the community of Twig, right where I was located at that time.  Since I was in pretty good position,  I decided to head about another 5 miles further north and find someplace to pull off and let the storm come to me. 

While pulled off on a side road adjacent to US53, several friends of mine came rolling up.  We stopped to chat for a few minutes when I noticed a distinct lowering and rotation to the north.   Since my view was a bit obstructed, I drove north another 1/2 mile to another road where the view was better.

The lowering and rotation intensified and I was faced with a decision as to whether to relocate or hang tight where I was.  I stayed put until the storm moved a bit further east, and then moved a bit north to get closer.  The last four images on this page where taken from that location. 

I have never seen a sky boil quite like it did this night, and the whole event came as quite a surprise.  I guess that just shows that it pays to follow a hunch!  I followed this storm until it passed out over Lake Superior.  It produced a very impressive lightning show too.