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Today was another great day, even though we were just a little late getting to everything we wanted to see. We targeted the area ahead of the advancing cold front, which at the time was developing from northern Minnesota all the way into Kansas. This put our target in the central part of Michigan. This air just in advance of the cold front had a good setup for severe weather, but a very small chance of supercell storms because of the weak wind shear.

We drove back eastward across the upper peninsula of Michigan, and crossed over the Macinac Bridge, which connects the upper and lower parts of the state. When we stopped for a break soon thereafter, we found that the temperatures had risen nearly 20 degrees from where we had left; we’d overtaken the cold front. That didn’t last for long, however, as the front blasted east. We finally caught up with some cells in central Michigan, and made several stops and turnarounds to get a good look at the storms. The storms were forming explosively as the cap finally broke, and it was amazing to watch the giant towers of clouds go up. We have some good video and photographs to show for this effort. The two biggest difficulties were seeing structure through low cloud cover and finding good road options. It was hard to find roads that had visibility of the horizon (stupid trees), and it was also difficult to find roads that didn’t lead to major metropolitan areas (i.e. Detroit).

Finally, our options ran out, and the cold front caught up with us, bringing to us strong winds and heavy rain, and briefly some pea-sized hail. We had planned in advance for this, and took some shelter from the hail at a gas station off the interstate.

In our quest to stay in a different state every night, we drove further south and are now residing at the Red Roof Inn in Toledo, OH. Unfortunately, it looks like our chasing is done for this trip. This cold front will leave a pool of stable air behind it, removing the chance of chase-worthy severe weather for at least a week or two. We can’t afford to stay out that long, so we are going to find some amusement for the next few days as we weave our way back home.

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