Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 33 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, a new, national 24/7 weather channel with studios in Denver and Minneapolis. Founder of Media Logic Group, Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for media at Broadcast Weather, and high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. | Send Paul a question.

Tornado Rips Through Twin Cities

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: May 22, 2011 - 9:54 PM

 

Wild Sunday. SPC has the very latest on the tornadoes that tracked just north/west of Minneapolis between 2:16 and 2:34 pm Sunday. At least report 44 tornadoes had been observed nationwide, with at least 24 fatalities in Joplin, Missouri, where hundreds of injuries were reported.

* The local NWS office has an extensive chronology of the tornadic storm that hit the western and northern suburbs Sunday afternoon, along with damage reports here.

Forest Lake, MN tornado footage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTQeaj3i8RA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNz2c1NEWe0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATc9Ux22pXc

Mpls damage footage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QajdKqbpvzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIt-yR8T_J0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBK9OWq_gWU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqqfnxhYyfs

(thanks to WeatherNation meteorologist Jason Parkin for tracking down these videos).

 

Joplin's Main Hospital. The building didn't blow away, but outer walls were stipped, just about every window blown out - some horrific accounts of hospital patients being blown out of windows. The tornado was reportedly 1/2 to 1 mile wide, and damage reports suggest this may have been a rare EF-4, even an EF-5 at times.

 

There Was Warning

"For nearly 30 years I've said that we don't live in Tornado Alley. We do, however, live in "Tornado Cul-de-sac." Yesterday's tornado, possibly an EF-2 or EF-3, based on its width & initial damage, was a terrible reminder that tornadoes CAN hit urban areas.

The metro tends to be slightly warmer & drier than the suburbs, but a "supercell" T-storm pulls in air from a 20 mile radius. Buildings and a little asphalt isn't a deterrent. Neither are lakes, rivers or hills.

NOAA issued a tornado watch at 12:10 pm Sunday. That meant "watch out", stay alert, keep an eye on the sky, and stay tuned to local media. The more sources of information, the better. Don't rely on sirens; keep the radio & TV turned on, tune in NOAA Weather Radio, sign up for warnings via e-mail and smart phones. You want multiple safety nets!

Based on rotation the local NWS issued a tornado warning 7 minutes before a touchdown at 394/100. A Doppler "couplet" confirmed violent rotation; spotters on the ground tracked the tornado into Fridley.<p>It was the worst metro tornado since 1981, maybe '65. Half a mile wide, winds may have topped 125 mph. Last week I predicted another above-average severe season. It's here."

- Paul Douglas, 9:50 pm Sunday evening.

 

Todd Nelson's StarTribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

 

MONDAY: Showers linger, maybe an isolated afternoon thunderstorm. Cooler and still damp. Winds pick up from the northwest at 10-15 G20. High:71
 
 
MONDAY NIGHT: Linger shower or rumble of thunder early. Skies trying to clear. Lo: 50

 

TUESDAY: More sunshine. A cooler, drier day. High: 68

 

WEDNESDAY: More clouds, chance of rain and thunder across southern Minnesota. Low: 50. High: 68

 

THURSDAY: Mostly dry and more sunshine. Low: 47. High: 67

 
FRIDAY: Sun fades, rain and thunder develops for the ride up north. Low: 48. High:69
 
SATURDAY: Dry start. Showers and storms redevelop in the afternoon. Low: 54. High: 78
 
SUNDAY: Unsettled. Showers and storms possible, mild and more humid. Low: 60. High: 80
 
MEMORIAL DAY MONDAY: Unsettled again, chance of showers and storms. Low: 60s. High: 80s
 
 

 
Tornado Rips Through Metro - Extensive Damage in North Minneapolis 
 
The image above comes from a good friend, Ben Lewis, who happened to catch this tornado in Forest Lake near 35W and Lake Drive. Below is another shot of the same tornado from Ben.
 
 
This tornado was from the same storm that raced through the Twin Cities Metro, which heavily damaged parts of North Minneapolis. Below is the Radar Image captured via GR2 as the storm was moving through the Metro:
 

 
The picture above is also from GR2, this time showing Velocity - or winds within the storm. Green coloring shows winds moving towards the radar (which is located in Chanhassen) and red shows winds moving away from the radar. When the colors show up next to each other, that indicates rotation. When the colors are more vibrant, that indicates the winds are stronger - so the image above shows intense rotation north of I-694 and just west of I-35W almost situated near Fridley.
 
Tornado Videos:
 
 

 
Here are some other tornado videos below:
Here is a tornado video: http://www.twitvid.com/ZW568
Here is a tornado wreckage video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9AYhK43Guo
Here is another tornado video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTQeaj3i8RA
 
 

 
Several Storm Reports
 
Take a look at all those storm reports in the graphic above. Several tornado reports scattered around the Metro is hard to ignore. Early indications are that this is and EF2, maybe EF3 tornado with winds perhaps as high as 150mph or more. The damage path through North Minneapolis is estimated to be around 1/2 mile wide with several hundred homes damages, several injuries and an early report of at least one fatality. More reports to come as the damage continues to be surveyed. Below is a list of the preliminary storm reports relayed by the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities:
 
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
645 PM CDT SUN MAY 22 2011

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

1259 PM     HAIL             2 S WASECA              44.05N 93.50W
05/22/2011  M1.00 INCH       WASECA             MN   911 CALL CENTER

0139 PM     HAIL             4 E FARIBAULT           44.30N 93.19W
05/22/2011  M0.88 INCH       RICE               MN   AMATEUR RADIO

0144 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     NEW GERMANY             44.88N 93.97W
05/22/2011                   CARVER             MN   911 CALL CENTER

0201 PM     HAIL             WANAMINGO               44.31N 92.79W
05/22/2011  M1.50 INCH       GOODHUE            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0216 PM     TORNADO          ST LOUIS PARK           44.95N 93.36W
05/22/2011                   HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            DEBRIS CLOUD HIGHWAY 100 AND 394..SURFACE LEVEL ROTATION

0216 PM     TORNADO          MINNEAPOLIS             44.96N 93.27W
05/22/2011                   HENNEPIN           MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            TREES DOWN 21ST AND THOMAS NORTH

0223 PM     TORNADO          BROOKLYN CENTER         45.07N 93.32W
05/22/2011                   HENNEPIN           MN   911 CALL CENTER

            AT HIGHWAY 694 OVER MISSISSIPPI RIVER

0227 PM     TORNADO          MINNEAPOLIS             44.96N 93.27W
05/22/2011                   HENNEPIN           MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            29TH AND LOGAN NORTH

0230 PM     HAIL             FRIDLEY                 45.08N 93.26W
05/22/2011  M1.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            ALSO WIND DAMAGE TO GARDEN SHEDS AT HIGHWAY 100 AND 694

0234 PM     TORNADO          FRIDLEY                 45.08N 93.26W
05/22/2011                   ANOKA              MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            51ST AND UNIVERSITY AVENUE...ROOF OFF HOUSE

0235 PM     HAIL             5 SE RED WING           44.54N 92.53W
05/22/2011  M1.00 INCH       GOODHUE            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0237 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     ST PAUL                 44.95N 93.10W
05/22/2011                   RAMSEY             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            SOUTH SIDE LAKE COMO

0245 PM     TSTM WND DMG     FRIDLEY                 45.08N 93.26W
05/22/2011                   ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            CENTRAL AVE. AND 73RD ST 6 INCH TREE LIMBS DOWN

0245 PM     TSTM WND DMG     MINNEAPOLIS             44.96N 93.27W
05/22/2011                   HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            FOLLOWUP REPORT...SOUTH OF 12TH AND UPTON EXTENSIVE TREE
            DAMAGE SOME STRUCTURE DAMAGE AS WELL...APPEARS TO BE WIND
            NOT TORNADO DAMAGE

0247 PM     TSTM WND DMG     MINNEAPOLIS             44.96N 93.27W
05/22/2011                   HENNEPIN           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            12 TO 18 INCH TREE LIMBS DOWN IN THEO. WIRTH
            PARK...SPOTTER SAYS POSIBLE TORNADO

0306 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     N HUGO                  45.16N 92.96W
05/22/2011                   WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            WALL CLOUD WITH SIGNIFICANT ROTATION SEEMS TO BE DROPPING
            FUNNELS

0312 PM     HAIL             4 NW ELMWOOD            44.82N 92.21W
05/22/2011  M1.00 INCH       PIERCE             WI   TRAINED SPOTTER

0314 PM     HAIL             3 W ELMWOOD             44.77N 92.22W
05/22/2011  M1.50 INCH       PIERCE             WI   TRAINED SPOTTER

0315 PM     HAIL             ELMWOOD                 44.78N 92.15W
05/22/2011  M1.75 INCH       PIERCE             WI   911 CALL CENTER

            HAD PING PONG TO GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL IN ELMWOOD. ALSO HAD
            GUSTY WINDS...BUT NO REPORTS OF WIND DAMAGE.

0316 PM     TORNADO          S FOREST LAKE           45.28N 92.99W
05/22/2011                   WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            SOUTH OF FOREST LAKE NEAR JCT 35W AND 35E

0319 PM     TORNADO          3 ESE FOREST LAKE       45.26N 92.93W
05/22/2011                   WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0320 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     CENTERVILLE             45.17N 93.05W
05/22/2011                   ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            ROTATING WALL CLOUD 35E AND CR14

0323 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     5 ENE FOREST LAKE       45.30N 92.89W
05/22/2011                   CHISAGO            MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0325 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 E HAM LAKE            45.26N 93.12W
05/22/2011                   ANOKA              MN   STORM CHASER

            1-2 FT DIA TREES DOWN..FLAG POLE SNAPPED IN HALF. TRREES
            BLOWN DOWN IN DIRRERENT DIRECTIONS. NARROW DAMAGE PATH.
            POSSIBLE TORNADO

0325 PM     TORNADO          2 WSW CHISAGO CITY      45.36N 92.93W
05/22/2011                   CHISAGO            MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            CAUGHT ON VIDEO NR CR36 AND IVYWOOD TRAIL

0328 PM     HAIL             4 W MENOMONIE           44.89N 92.00W
05/22/2011  M0.25 INCH       DUNN               WI   911 CALL CENTER

0331 PM     TSTM WND DMG     MINNEAPOLIS             44.96N 93.27W
05/22/2011                   HENNEPIN           MN   AMATEUR RADIO

            TORNADO DAMAGE...ROOFS AND 2ND STORIES MINNING OR DAMAGED
            TO HOUSES AT LOWRY AVE. AND LOGAN

0331 PM     TSTM WND DMG     MINNEAPOLIS             44.96N 93.27W
05/22/2011                   HENNEPIN           MN   911 CALL CENTER

            TORNADO DAMAGE REPORT OF ROOFS AND SECOND STORIES OF
            HOUSES MISSING OR DAMAGED.

0340 PM     TSTM WND DMG     HAM LAKE                45.26N 93.20W
05/22/2011                   ANOKA              MN   911 CALL CENTER

            MEDIUM TO SMALL BRANCHES DOWN...SHINGLES BLOWN OFF ROOFS

0342 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     LINDSTROM               45.39N 92.84W
05/22/2011                   CHISAGO            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0349 PM     TSTM WND DMG     FOREST LAKE             45.28N 92.99W
05/22/2011                   WASHINGTON         MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TORNADO DAMAGE..POLE BARN AND HOUSE WITH EXTENSIVE DAMAGE


0400 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 NW MIKANA             45.61N 91.63W
05/22/2011                   BARRON             WI   911 CALL CENTER

            POSSIBLE TORNDAO. 2 HOMES SUSTAINED ROOF DAMAGE WITH
            NUMEROUS TREES DOWN BETWEEN MIKANA AND BRILL.

0407 PM     HAIL             2 S CHIPPEWA FALLS      44.90N 91.39W
05/22/2011  M1.00 INCH       CHIPPEWA           WI   TRAINED SPOTTER

0445 PM     HAIL             1 S EAU CLAIRE          44.81N 91.49W
05/22/2011  M0.25 INCH       EAU CLAIRE         WI   TRAINED SPOTTER
 

 
Note the last couple of pictures showing very large trees downed by the tornado/strong winds. part of the reason for all the large trees down and uprooted rather than snapped off is because off all the heavy rain as of late, saturating the ground and making the root system weak. Take a look at all the rain, estimated by GR3 below: The red blobs show as much as 3" to (possibly) 5" of rain that fell since Friday - YIKES!
 

  
I want to thank another friend of mine, John Siegrist from New Hope, for sending me this picture of his street flooded out by the heavy rain on Sunday.
 
Looking Ahead
 
The weather will stay fairly active through the week with lingering showers and perhaps an isolated afternoon thunderstorm wrapping around the same, stubborn low on Monday. Tuesday looks brighter and better, but cooler. We'll have to watch another storm sailing south of the area on Wednesday for the potential of more clouds and maybe some rain/thunder, but for now it appears to be across southern Minnesota. Thursday will be quite dry and sunny, but another storm slides in on Friday with a chance of thunderstorms. This upcoming Memorial Weekend looks to stay unsettled with an increase in heat and humidity towards Sunday/Monday. I could see a few strong/severe storms popping up those days, so make sure to pay attention to local forecasts into the weekend if you are planning any camping trips, away from major sources of news/weather reports.
 
Thanks for checking in and have a good week.
 
Meteorologist Todd Nelson
  • 3
  • Comments

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT