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