The West Central Minnesota Mini-Tornado Outbreak of 21 April 2012
Three Tornadoes rated EF0 to EF1...
An interagency damage assessment has determined that at least three distinct tornadoes occurred in an area of west central Minnesota from central Clay County, across Wilkin County, and into southwest Otter Tail County. The outbreak occurred mainly between 12:30 and 2:30 pm CDT on Saturday, 21 April 2012. During this time there were numerous reports of funnels but only a few produced damaging touchdowns.
Our thanks are extended to the Clay, Wilkin, and Otter Tail County Emergency Management Directors for their assistance in verifying the initial reports of damage, checking for any additional damage, and gathering the damage photos for this summary.
Photo: The Wilkin County Tornado near Kent was rated EF0. This tornado touched down briefly at a farmstead located about 5 miles southeast of Kent, or about 9 miles due north of Breckenridge. The tornado tore tin roof panels from an opened face pole shed and broke several tree limbs. This tornado then skipped eastward with one or two additional touchdowns in opened fields as reported by Wilkin County Sheriff’s Deputies. Peak winds are estimated at from 70 to 80 mph. Photo courtesy of Breanna Koval, Wilkin County EM.
Photo: The Otter Tail County Tornado south of Fergus Falls was rated EF1. This tornado touched down briefly at a farm located about 7 miles due south of Fergus Falls, just west of CR25. The tornado tore the doors off of an enclosed pole shed, then popped off the roof panels and uplifted the rafters. (continued)
Photo: In addition, the tornado popped three empty steel grain bins off of their concrete pads and tumbled them around the area. This tornado then skipped eastward to near U.S. Highway 59, west of Dalton. Peak winds are estimated at from 85 to 95 mph. Photos courtesy of Patrick Waletzko, Otter Tail County EM.
SPC Storm Reports Graphic: Note, as many as 7 additional tornadoes and several more funnels were reported along a line which formed ahead of a frontal boundary that extended from west central Minnesota across southwest Minnesota and into northwest Iowa. These areas are covered by NWS offices in Aberdeen SD, Sioux Falls SD, and Chanhassen MN.