We woke up Monday morning to what looks like could be a significant Tornado outbreak over western, SD. SPC initially foretasted a 10% Risk of Tornadoes over the area. We decided to leave North Platte and head north with no particular target in mind, but definitely in South Dakota.
As we approached South Dakota, the Tornado risk was upgraded to a 15%. Now with a risk of strong tornadoes as well and even included North Platte, the town we left just a few hours earlier! Driving as quickly as we could, we arrived in Murdo, SD early in the afternoon. Storm initiation was fast and furious at this point. Storm motion was again south to north as with the day before, and even faster that before. A few healthy storms began to form just to our North, we made the call to head north to Pierre and then west. The road networks in western South Dakota are a bit tricky, often requiring doubling back. The storms to our North had picked up in intensity and were now Tornado warned over Faith, SD. However at the same time, they had picked up significant speed as well. We were way out of position to reach the line of supercells to our North. However, there were supercells to our South as well. all of which were moving north and within our reach. We arrived in Hayes, SD. Once again to a beautiful blue sky! theme of the week we suppose. After watching the storms to our South approach we decided to double back and head toward Miller to intercept a supercell that looked poised to arrive at the same we would.
We were already hearing about a wonderful Tornado in the Faith, SD area from the very storm that was out of reach. As we approached Miller, the storm we were targeting began to look less and less tornadic, but maintained severe characteristics. We decided to watch the storm go by from the side of the road near Miller.
The storm we picked had interesting structure but again little rotation. Significant winds came out of the storm along with intense lightning. The storm continued away from us passing to the north. We decided we were too tired and too out of position to try anything else. We followed the storms path back to Rapid City, SD. Only a few miles away from our position in Miller, we came across an 18-wheeler that had flipped due to the high winds on the storm we were watching!
We arrived in Rapid City, SD and watched all of the storms to our west merge into a massive and destructive Derecho. Late in the evening it arrived in Rapid City and we watched and filmed the Derecho pass over us with 50+ mph winds.