Thanks, exactly what I'm looking for.
My wife makes fun of me for being a weather nerd (a very amateur one at that). I have no background in anything related to weather, just something I've always been interested in. I especially like the lead up to winter storms.
I have been interested in weather my whole life. When I was about 5 we had 4 big storms come through (one of them was this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wisconsin_Derecho
) and I think that got me kickstarted. I saw my first tornado when I was 9.
I've been a storm spotter since 2007. My claim to fame was that I reported the first tornado of this outbreak in 2009:
It was NOT a day tornadoes were expected, as it was in the middle of a huge shield of moderate rain, there was no tornado watch, and I believe there was not even any lightning present. There was however a 2% tornado risk, so there was plenty of spin in the air, and there ended up being 6 small tornadoes across the metro.
Severe weather, tornado, thunderstorm, fire weather, storm report, tornado watch, severe thunderstorm watch, mesoscale discussion, convective outlook products from the Storm Prediction Center.
I was working in South Minneapolis that day, and my boss (whose cube was right next to the window) told me to come and look at the clouds. As I approached the window, what looked like fog was moving really quickly from left to right. I was 5 stories up so I had a great view, and once I surveyed what was going on, a clear as day tornado was visible about 4 blocks to my west right over the intersection of Lake St & Park Ave.
I immediately phoned it in to the NWS and they absolutely did not believe me. They didn't say so, but you could sense the skepticism. After the storm passed I went back to my desk and flipped the radar over to velocity and you could see the smallest hint of rotation right over where I was, so I knew I was right. The storm was moving due north towards downtown Minneapolis.
Ten minutes later no warning had come out, then finally one did. The text said "The public reported a tornado in downtown Minneapolis....". So it was obvious by this point whoever took my call just discarded it. It's too bad too, because I was only about 2 years removed from my training, and everything just clicked in my head. The training had worked perfectly and I knew exactly what I was looking at.
All I had was a crappy 2009 flip phone camera, but here is the picture I got it of it. This is from Lake St. looking NW, so towards about 35W & 26th St. The photo was taken at exactly 2:00 pm.