Updated: November 10, 2012 Tornadoes in the Twin Cities Metro Area

An anamolous weather scenario for mid-November set up in Minnesota on Saturday, with record-breaking afternoon temperatures followed by four weak tornado touchdowns in the Twin Cities metro area after sunset.  Below are some pictures of the storms, track maps, and a detailed description of the tornadoes.

 


Tornado #1:    
                                                                  Tornadoes #2 and 3:

The first area of damage that occurred Saturday night was associated with an EF-0 tornado. This tornado had a broken path length of approximately 2.6 miles from near the intersection of McAndrews Road, and County Road 5, east-northeast to near the intersection of Burnsville Parkway, and County Road 11. The worse damage occurred near Knoll Lane and Nicollet Road, northeast to Nicollet Jr High School. Maximum wind speeds were around 80 mph. Other areas along the path of the tornado were mainly confined to sporadic tree damage and power lines downed. 

There were two tornadoes in this region (map) that occurred Saturday night, November 10th. One was near Interstate 494 and Highway 13. The other tornado occurred near Lilydale, between Wachlter and Butler Ave, or paralleling Highway 13. Two areas of straight line wind damage occurred from near Dodd Road and Highway 110, northeast to Robert Street and Sidney Street; and along Highway 13, between Mendota and Lilydale. Both of the tornadoes had a path length of approximately one-half mile.


Tornado #4:

Hundreds of trees were toppled or snapped. Some trees fell on cars, houses and sheds. The tornado touched down in Mahtomedi, just east of the White Bear Lake shore, and it moved northeast into the northeastern part of Grant. The most significant damage was shortly after touchdown, near the intersection of Hazel and Moccasin in far northern Mahtomedi, where strong EF-0 damage was noted.

Other areas to note were near White Bear Lake where a downburst signature caused damage to trees and power lines. The other area was more isolated to the northeast of the tornado track where some trees and branches were blown down, along with damage to a barn.

 
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
818 PM CST WED NOV 14 2012

...FOURTH TORNADO CONFIRMED FROM SATURDAY EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE COMPLETED A DAMAGE SURVEY ON WEDNESDAY
IN THE MAHTOMEDI AND GRANT AREAS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY. ONE MORE
BRIEF TORNADO WAS DETERMINED TO HAVE OCCURRED...BRINGING THE TOTAL
TO FOUR TORNADOES THAT OCCURRED SATURDAY NIGHT.

HERE IS A LISTING OF THE THREE TORNADOES IN DAKOTA COUNTY...ALL
RATED EF-0...PLUS THE TORNADO IN WASHINGTON COUNTY...ALSO RATED
EF-0. THE TORNADO REPORTS ARE FOLLOWED BY AN OVERVIEW OF THE
DOWNBURST DAMAGE.


...TORNADO 1 /BURNSVILLE/...

START LAT/LON: 44.750, -93.300
END LAT/LON: 44.773, -93.253

START LOCATION: JUST NORTHEAST OF THE INTERSECTION OF MCANDREWS RD
AND COUNTY ROAD 5.
END LOCATION: JUST SOUTHWEST OF THE INTERSECTION OF BURNSVILLE
PKWY AND HIGHWAY 11.

STRENGTH RATING: EF-0 WITH 80 MPH WINDS.

START TIME: 1058 PM SAT NOV 10
END TIME: 1101 PM SAT NOV 10

PATH LENGTH: 2.6 MILES
PATH WIDTH: 100 YARDS
INJURIES: 0
FATALITIES: 0

NARRATIVE: AN EF-0 TORNADO SPUN UP JUST NORTHEAST OF THE
INTERSECTION OF COUNTY ROAD 5 AND MCANDREWS RD AND TRACKED NORTHEAST
TO JUST SOUTHWEST OF THE INTERSECTION OF BURNSVILLE PKWY AND HWY 11.
NUMEROUS TREES AND POWER LINES WERE BLOWN DOWN ALONG THE PATH...SOME
FELL ONTO HOUSES. A STOP SIGN WAS BENT ALL THE WAY TO THE GROUND AND
A GRILL LID WAS FLOWN ABOUT 200 YDS NEAR NICOLLET JR HIGH SCHOOL.
MAXIMUM WIND SPEEDS WERE AROUND 80 MPH.


...TORNADO 2 /FAR NORTHERN EAGAN/...

START LAT/LON: 44.851, -93.176
END LAT/LON: 44.858, -93.173

START LOCATION: NEAR SKYLINE DRIVE EAST OF HWY 13.
END LOCATION: LOST SPUR GOLF COURSE JUST SOUTH OF I-494.

STRENGTH RATING: EF-0 WITH 75 MPH WINDS.

START TIME: 1105 PM SAT NOV 10
END TIME: 1106 PM SAT NOV 10

PATH LENGTH: 0.5 MILES
PATH WIDTH: 50 YARDS
INJURIES: 0
FATALITIES: 0

NARRATIVE: A BRIEF EF-0 TORNADO SPUN UP NEAR SKYLINE DRIVE EAST OF
HWY 13 AND TRACKED NNE TO THE LOST SPUR GOLF COURSE JUST SOUTH OF
I-494. NUMEROUS TREES WERE BLOWN DOWN AND EXHIBITED A CONVERGENT
DAMAGE PATTERN. SOME TREES FELL ONTO HOUSES AND POWER LINES. THERE
WAS LITTLE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE FROM THE TORNADO. ESTIMATED WINDS 75
MPH. THE PARENT STORM THEN MOVED NORTHEAST AND PRODUCED WIDESPREAD
DOWNBURST DAMAGE...FROM THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF MENDOTA HEIGHTS TO
THE EAST CENTRAL PART OF MENDOTA HEIGHTS NEAR HIGHWAY 110 AND DODD
ROAD...AND ON TO THE NORTHWESTERN PART OF WEST ST PAUL WHERE IT
MERGED WITH THE OTHER STORM.


...TORNADO 3 /FAR NORTHERN MENDOTA HEIGHTS/...

START LAT/LON: 44.906, -93.125
END LAT/LON: 44.911, -93.116

START LOCATION: 0.2 MILE SOUTHEAST OF HWY 13 AND WACHTLER AVENUE.
END LOCATION: JUST SOUTHEAST OF HWY 13 AND SYLVANDALE ROAD.

STRENGTH RATING: EF-0 WITH 75 MPH WINDS.

START TIME: 1110 PM SAT NOV 10
END TIME: 1111 PM SAT NOV 10

PATH LENGTH: 0.5 MILES
PATH WIDTH: 50 YARDS
INJURIES: 0
FATALITIES: 0

NARRATIVE: A BRIEF EF-0 TORNADO DEVELOPED JUST EAST OF LILYDALE AND
TRACKED NORTHEAST ACROSS A SUBDIVISION. SEVERAL DOZEN LARGE TREES
OR BRANCHES WERE FELLED...WITH SOME LANDING ON HOMES...VEHICLES OR
SHEDS. THE TREES EXHIBITED A DEFINITE CONVERGENT DAMAGE PATTERN.
ESTIMATED WINDS 75 MPH. AFTER THE TORNADO DISSIPATED...WIDESPREAD
DOWNBURST DAMAGE WAS NOTED FROM THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF MENDOTA
HEIGHTS INTO WEST ST PAUL AND BEYOND.


...TORNADO 4 /MAHTOMEDI/...

START LAT/LON: 45.080, -92.960
END LAT/LON: 45.110, -92.883

START LOCATION: 0.4 MILE NORTH OF THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 244
AND QUAIL.
END LOCATION: 2.2 MILES NORTHEAST OF GRANT.

STRENGTH RATING: EF-0 WITH WINDS UP TO 85 MPH.

START TIME: 1121 PM SAT NOV 10
END TIME: 1127 PM SAT NOV 10

PATH LENGTH: 4.3 MILES
PATH WIDTH: 100 YARDS
INJURIES: 0
FATALITIES: 0

NARRATIVE: THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN MAHTOMEDI, 0.4 MILE NORTH
OF THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 244 AND QUAIL, AND JUST EAST OF THE
WHITE BEAR LAKE SHORE. IT MOVED NORTHEAST INTO THE NORTHEASTERN PART
OF GRANT. HUNDREDS OF TREES WERE TOPPLED, SNAPPED OR PUSHED OVER.
SOME TREES FELL ON CARS, HOUSES AND SHEDS. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT
DAMAGE WAS SHORTLY AFTER TOUCHDOWN, NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF HAZEL
AND MOCCASIN IN FAR NORTHERN MAHTOMEDI, WHERE STRONG EF-0 DAMAGE WAS
NOTED.


...OTHER DAMAGE AREAS...

DOWNBURST DAMAGE OCCURRED IN LILYDALE...MENDOTA HEIGHTS...WEST ST
PAUL AND ST PAUL.

THE STORM THAT PRODUCED THE TORNADO IN MENDOTA HEIGHTS HAD TRACKED
ACROSS LILYDALE...WHERE ABOUT A DOZEN TREES WERE DOWN WEST OF
I-35E... AND A FEW MORE TREES EAST OF I-35E. THE TREES WERE
TYPICALLY ORIENTED FROM SOUTHWEST TO NORTHEAST AND THIS WAS LIKELY
DUE TO A REAR FLANK DOWNDRAFT. AS THE STORM INTENSIFIED... THE REAR
FLANK DOWNDRAFT LIKELY WRAPPED AROUND SOME MORE AND IT WAS AT THIS
POINT THAT THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN FAR NORTHERN MENDOTA HEIGHTS.

THERE WERE TWO STORMS THAT CONVERGED UPON WEST ST PAUL. ONE WAS THE
STORM THAT WAS PRODUCING DOWNBURST DAMAGE MOVING NORTHEAST ALONG
DODD ROAD AND WHICH HAD EARLIER PRODUCED THE BURNSVILLE AND EAGAN
TORNADOES. THE OTHER STORM IS THE ONE THAT HAD MOVED ACROSS
LILYDALE INTO FAR NORTHERN MENDOTA HEIGHTS. ONCE THE MENDOTA
HEIGHTS TORNADO DISSIPATED AT 1111 PM... THE STORM EVOLVED INTO A
LARGE DOWNBURST... CAUSING NUMEROUS DOWNED TREES IN THE NORTHEAST
SECTION OF MENDOTA HEIGHTS AND THE NORTHERN PORTION OF WEST ST
PAUL... ESPECIALLY THE NORTHWEST CORNER. THE ENTIRE DAMAGE PATTERN
ACROSS NORTHEASTERN MENDOTA HEIGHTS AND WEST ST PAUL WAS DIRECTED
TOWARD THE EAST... NORTHEAST AND NORTH...AND THERE WAS NO CONCLUSIVE
PROOF THAT IT WAS TORNADIC. INSTEAD IT WAS A VERY STANDARD PATTERN
OF DOWNBURST DAMAGE. WINDS FROM THE DOWNBURST IN NORTHEASTERN
MENDOTA HEIGHTS AND WEST ST PAUL WERE LIKELY AROUND 75 MPH. MANY OF
THE TREES LANDED ON HOMES AND VEHICLES...AND SOME GARAGES WERE
PUSHED OFF THEIR FOUNDATIONS. SOME OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DOWNBURST
DAMAGE WAS IN THE MANY BLOCKS SURROUNDING DODD ROAD AND DELAWARE.

DOWNBURST DAMAGE CONTINUED TO THE NORTHEAST. A SWATH OF SCATTERED
TREES AND BRANCHES WERE DOWN FROM THE WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOOD OF ST
PAUL...NEAR ANNAPOLIS AND SMITH TO HOLMAN FIELD...WHERE A 70 MPH
GUST WAS RECORDED... THEN ACROSS THE RIVER TO MOUNDS PARK AND THEN
TO THE DAYTONS BLUFF NEIGHBORHOOD... NEAR JOHNSON PARKWAY AND
MINNEHAHA. OCCASIONAL DOWNBURST DAMAGE ACTUALLY CONTINUED TO THE
NORTHEAST...ACROSS WASHINGTON COUNTY...INCLUDING MAHTOMEDI...GRANT
AND STILLWATER TOWNSHIP.

OTHER SPORADIC STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE OCCURRED BETWEEN THE
BURNSVILLE AND THE EAGAN TORNADOES....AND ALSO AFTER THE EAGAN
TORNADO HAD DISSIPATED...SPECIFICALLY FROM THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF
MENDOTA HEIGHTS TO THE EAST CENTRAL PART OF MENDOTA HEIGHTS NEAR
HIGHWAY 110 AND DODD ROAD...AND ON TO THE NORTHWESTERN PART OF WEST
ST PAUL WHERE IT MERGED WITH THE OTHER STORM.


...NOVEMBER TORNADO CLIMATOLOGY...

TORNADOES IN NOVEMBER ARE EXCEEDINGLY RARE FOR MINNESOTA. SINCE THE
MODERN TORNADO DATABASE STARTED IN 1950...ONLY ONE TORNADO OCCURRED
IN NOVEMBER...11/1/2000 NEAR PRINSBURG IN KANDIYOHI COUNTY.
HOWEVER...THERE IS EVIDENCE OF TWO OTHERS PRIOR TO 1950...ONE ON
11/2/1938 IN ITASCA AND ST LOUIS COUNTIES...AND ANOTHER ON
11/16/1931 NEAR MAPLE PLAIN OF HENNEPIN COUNTY.


...METEOROLOGY OF THE EVENT...

THE NOVEMBER 10 TORNADOES WERE WEAK AND BRIEF DUE TO A LESS THAN
FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR TORNADO FORMATION. WHILE WIND SHEAR WAS
STRONG... INSTABILITY WAS VERY LOW MAKING THIS EVENT RATHER
ANOMALOUS. WIND SHEAR AND INSTABILITY ARE KEY INGREDIENTS FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE WEATHER.


...CAVEAT...

THE DATA ARE STILL CONSIDERED PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE
BASED ON ANY NEW INFORMATION PROVIDED OR GATHERED.

$$

BORGHOFF/JLT/KRAUSE/RAH



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