PRELIMINARY STORM REPORT FOR THE SPENCER SOUTH DAKOTA TORNADO


A MAJOR TORNADO CAUSED DEVASTATING DAMAGE AT SPENCER SOUTH DAKOTA AT APPROXIMATELY 844 PM CDT SATURDAY EVENING MAY 30 1998. PRELIMINARY STORM DAMAGE SURVEYS WERE CONDUCTED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ON SUNDAY MAY 31 1998. ONSITE AND AERIAL NWS SURVEY TEAMS INDICATE A MULTIPLE VORTEX TORNADO IN THE VICINITY OF SPENCER WITH TWO OTHER TORNADOES TOUCHING DOWN WEST OF SPENCER IN HANSON COUNTY.

THE FIRST TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN AROUND 815 PM CDT PRODUCING A STORM PATH THAT BEGAN ABOUT 4 MILES NORTHWEST OF FULTON AND ENDED NEAR FULTON IN HANSON COUNTY.

A SECOND DAMAGE PATH WAS OBSERVED FROM ABOUT 2 MILES NORTH OF FULTON EXTENDING 5 MILES SOUTHEAST AND ENDING 2 MILES NORTHWEST OF FARMER IN HANSON COUNTY.

THE MULTIPLE VORTEX TORNADO THAT HIT SPENCER SOUTH DAKOTA ORIGINATED NEAR LONG LAKE IN HANSON COUNTY...ABOUT 8 MILES NORTHWEST OF SPENCER. THE STORM INTENSIFIED AS IT MOVED INTO SPENCER AT APPROXIMATELY 844 PM CDT AS TWO STORM CELLS MERGED INTO ONE. WIND SPEEDS...ESTIMATED AT UPWARDS OF 200 MILES AN HOUR...CAUSED THE DEVASTATING DAMAGE IN SPENCER WHERE NEARLY ALL STRUCTURES WERE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED BEYOND REPAIR. SPENCER IS A COMMUNITY OF AROUND 300 RESIDENTS ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF MCCOOK COUNTY.

THE DAMAGE PATH FROM THIS TORNADO EXTENDED SOUTHEAST AWAY FROM SPENCER FOR 13 MILES TO JUST NORTH OF STANLEY CORNER IN SOUTHERN MCCOOK COUNTY. TOTAL PATH LENGTH FROM THIS TORNADO WAS NEARLY 21 MILES LONG. THE TORNADO DAMAGE PATH WIDTH IN SPENCER MEASURED OVER 2100 FEET WIDE...GROWING TO 4700 FEET WIDE ABOUT 2 MILES SOUTHEAST OF SPENCER.

THE NWS ONSITE SURVEY TEAM ALSO CONFIRMED MAJOR TORNADIC DAMAGE TO A RESIDENCE ONE MILE NORTHEAST OF FARMER AND TO TWO HOMES 2.5 MILES EAST OF FARMER IN HANSON COUNTY. THE WIDTH OF THE TORNADO AT THESE LOCATIONS WAS APPROXIMATELY 1500 FEET.

ADDITIONAL DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS WILL BE CONDUCTED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ON MONDAY JUNE 1 1998.

GREG HARMON
METEOROLOGIST IN CHARGE
NWSFO SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA


Information on this HTML Page was officially issued through a Public Information Statement by the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, SD.  The original product header is presented below.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SIOUX FALLS SD
832 PM CDT SUN MAY 31 1998

This HTML page was last modified June 4, 1998.


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