Damage surveyors from the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities have confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down during a severe weather outbreak in Minnesota on Friday, including a brief twister that moved through a residential area in Crystal.
The Crystal tornado produced 75 mph winds (EF-0) and was on the ground for less than half a mile, touching down near Memory Lane Park at 7:55 p.m. before lifting near Douglas Drive and 44th Avenue. The twister snapped and uprooted trees along its path, which was only 50 yards wide.
Earlier during the outbreak there were tornadoes reported in Kandiyohi, Meeker and McLeod counties.
The first happened in the Spicer/Green Lake area, with the weather service confirming that an EF-0 producing 70 mph winds touched down less than a mile south of Spicer at 5:41 p.m. before tracking east-northeast and ending near Green Lake. Trees and docks were damaged, in addition to a restaurant losing a roof.
A slightly stronger tornado – EF-0 with 85 mph winds – began near the Kandiyohi-Meeker line at 5:53 p.m. and was on the ground for approximately five minutes. It started near 195th St. and 120th Ave. and lifted near the Crow River. This tornado snapped and uprooted trees, though much of its path was inaccessible, the damage report said.
Further to the south and east, two tornadoes touched down in McLeod County.
At 5:45 p.m., a tornado dropped two miles north of Brownton and traveled northeast for 1.75 miles before lifting, but not before the EF-0's 85 mph winds snapped trees, flipped a trailer and caused a metal grain silo to collapse. This tornado had a maximum width of 300 yards.
Just downstream from that tornado, the fifth confirmed twister touched down at 5:50 p.m. about 3.5 miles west of Glencoe. It turned into an EF-1 with 95 mph winds and was on the ground for 2.25 miles, lifting at 6:01 p.m. about three miles northwest of Glencoe. Tree damage was again the primary result, though some outbuildings were also damaged.
The report from the NWS Twin Cities does not mention the likely tornado that caused significant damage in the Elbow Lake area in west-central Minnesota.. All NWS damage surveying is considered preliminary and updates are possible.