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Belle Plaine Tornado 6/11/01, Copyright 2001, Erik W. L. Anderson

Click the image above for an enhanced version giving a better view of the tornado.

June 11, 2001 Belle Plaine MN Chase

Erik W. L. Anderson & Andrew Revering

The day started out looking like we could have a significant outbreak of severe weather and tornadoes. Andrew Revering of APR Weather and I were watching the storms encroach upon Minnesota at a fast clip. Andy wondered if it might be to dangerous to chase since it had the potential of being so widespread that one would really have a hard time deciphering what was going on around us.

The storm raced 30-50 mph SE. Just as the storm hit Benson, we checked the radars and Andy thought Benson was being hit by a strong tornado being the Vertically Integrated Liquid was off the charts at 80 and the circulation detected on Radial Velocity was well over 100 mph which was very impressive, especially given the distance from the radar site.

About 3:30, I talked Andy into hitting the road.  I raced down to Burnsville to get my equipment and we left from there.  We headed west on Hwy 13 with the intention of going up to Hutchinson, but then redirected assuming it would far beat us there.  We then went south through Jordan and into Belle Plaine near Excelsior Henderson, where we began to witness a lot of rotation and possible funnel clouds to the southeast and northwest.  Just then, Andy saw dust circulating up directly south of us.  It appeared as though it probably was a tornado (pictured above), but it was so quick we weren't sure.  Our attention was taken away by high winds with bending trees and a large amount of inflow or outflow dust blowing over the highway.  A car slammed to a stop in front of us and others began to pull over.   We eventually got further away and began to follow the storm east but could not keep up.  We saw down trees in Northfield, and through in the towel at Cannon Falls when we heard the storm was already over 20 miles ahead of us by then.  On the way back we saw some nice mammatus in Burnsville, another area that had earlier been hit hard.

Rory Groves was featured on KSTP-5 news with his Willmar chase.

Click here for the 6/9/03 Stuart NE Tornado