The National Weather Service in Grand Forks and Twin Cities has confirmed seven tornadoes that touched down in western Minnesota and North Dakota during last week's storms.
The twisters ranged from EF-0 to EF-2, according to reports. Six of the seven touched down in Minnesota.
According to NWS-GF:
– The first tornado happened in Charlesville, in Minnesota's Grant County. It lasted for about three minutes, ending at 7:10 p.m. near Elbow Lake and had reached estimated winds of 100 mph. The weather service said several trees limbs were broken from the tornado. Two power poles were noted to be cracked and another two were leaning after the storm. This funnel of wind was estimated to be at an EF-1 level.
– The second started and finished in Le Mars, North Dakota, which is located within Richland County. As the first tornado finished up in Charlesville, this EF-1 tornado reached winds of 100 mph and lasted for about three minutes. Several tree limbs were noted to be broken, along with some cracked and leaning power poles.
– A third, more powerful tornado then touched down in Wilkin County at speeds around 115 mph. This EF-2 tornado started at 7:16 p.m. and lasted for nine minutes as it touched down in Tenney, Minnesota and ended in Campbell, Minnesota. Significant damage was recorded; 23 power poles were either cracked or snapped in the damage path. In addition, some garage doors were blown in and some trees were uprooted. Falling trees were to blame for damage to homes in the area, and large grain bins at the Campbell elevator complex were partially caved in as well.
– About six minutes later, a fourth tornado touched down in Battle Lake, Minnesota. The EF-1 twister lasted for three minutes and flipped a single-wide trailer while some trees were snapped or uprooted. Roofing was also blown off a storage unit near the city's airport.
– A fifth, less powerful tornado touched down about six minutes after the one in Battle Lake, this time touching down in West Mason Lake, Minnesota. This EF-0 storm only lasted for one minute in Otter Tail County, with winds reaching a high of 85 mph. Some tree branches were spotted broken down in the area.
– The sixth tornado of the day touched down in Wadena County, starting in Verndale, Minnesota and ending in Sebeka, Minnesota. This last powerful EF-2 tornado had winds up to 115 mph. NWS-GF said the damage consisted of numerous snapped power poles, trees uprooted or snapped, falling trees on houses and cars, and steel roofing and side paneling torn off barns.
– The seventh and final tornado happened in Alexandria, Minnesota, within Douglas County. According to NWS-TC, a fast-moving tornado (traveling at 70 mph) left high-end EF-1 damage on the south shore of Lake Darling. It then tracked northeast across Lake Darling and into southern Lake Carlos. It crossed land again along the southwest shore of Lake Carlos before dissipating. "Most of the damage was uprooted trees, but near the start point there were multiple homes damaged by the tornado as well," the NWS said.
No injuries or deaths were reported in the aftermath. These reports are preliminary, as officials are still investigating the storms.
South Dakota saw five tornadoes touch down last week, with majority of them popping up west of Sioux Falls, the Argus Leader reported.
There was one death not related to tornadoes but to high wind speeds, which caused a grain bin to fall near Lake Lillian, killing 63-year-old Ryan Erickson in Kandiyohi County.
BMTN Note: Weather events in isolation can't always be pinned on climate change, but the broader trend of increasingly severe weather and record-breaking extremes seen in Minnesota and across the globe can be attributed directly to the rapidly warming climate caused by human activity. The IPCC has warned that Earth is "firmly on track toward an unlivable world," and says greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030 in order to limit warming to 1.5C, which would prevent the most catastrophic effects on humankind. You can read more here