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Update: 2 tornadoes touched down in Minnesota Sunday

One of the tornadoes flattened 600 acres of crops.

Two tornadoes touched down in southern Minnesota Sunday night.

The National Weather Service is surveying damage from the strong storms, which brought softball-sized hail, strong winds, and two reports of tornadoes, the National Weather Service's website shows.

The weather service has confirmed that a tornado touched down west of Swan Lake, about 3 miles north of Courtland in Nicollet County, while a second tornado touched down about 4 miles north of Lake Crystal in Blue Earth County.

Details about these tornadoes, including the time they touched down and how big the tornadoes were, will be available later Monday or Tuesday here.

The Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office said the tornado that touched down in the county flattened 600 acres of crops northwest of the County Road 11 and County Road 20 intersection, and also damaged power poles.

No one was injured during Sunday night's severe weather, the weather service notes.

The National Weather Service had issued a tornado watch for Sunday night, which spanned 27 counties in the southern half of the state. Here's what the storms looked like on the radar:

For the story from Sunday evening, read below. 

A large swath of southern Minnesota – including the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Mankato – is under a tornado watch Sunday night.

The National Weather Service issued the watch around 7 p.m., and it's in effect until 1 a.m. Monday.

A watch is less serious than a warning (check out a full explanation here), but still serious. It means dangerous weather could happen, so anyone in the area should pay attention to the forecast in case things turn into the more-dire warning.

More than 30 Minnesota counties are under the watch – see the full list here.

What to expect

The weather service had been forecasting some type of severe weather, namely hail, damaging winds and heavy rains. They also noted a tornado was possible, specifically mentioning in west-central Minnesota.

And now a storm that started between Watertown and Milbank South Dakota is headed south and east, with the potential for severe weather.

Hail could be lime-size, which is 2 inches in diameter, the weather service says. And wind gusts will likely reach 70 mph.

The far southeast corner of the state (the "enhanced" risk area on the map below, which is from earlier Sunday) is most likely to get serious hail/wind.

Though as noted above, anybody in a watch area, no matter if it's a marginal/slight/enhanced risk, should be paying attention in case things become more serious.

You can see all the latest watches, warnings and advisories for the southern part of the state here at, and keep an eye on the National Weather Service Twin Cities Twitter page.

And here's a quick refresh on the difference between a watch and a warning.

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