Contact Us

Worst Central Minnesota Storms in Recent Memory – Jen’s Top Five

Getty Images
The weather in Minnesota never leaves us lacking for something to talk about. The conversation at the dinner table, the water cooler at work and even in the elevator with strangers always seems to turn to what’s going on outside. Being a weather geek, this got me thinking. What are the worst storms that we have ever had in recent memory? Here are my top five.


Getty Images
Getty Images

 

The storm system that caused this outbreak is what is known as a mesoconvective system. That means that the storms are very well organized and can hold together for several hours, and in this case, the system held together for five days. It started June 13 over the western portion of the U.S. That system actually triggered an air impulse in northwestern South Dakota, causing ten inches of rain to fall along with golf ball sized hail in Harding County, and that wasn’t even the worst of it. As the storm tracked to the east, it dropped an astounding 170 tornadoes across the Midwest. Among them was an F5 (the worst kind) in Chandler, Minnesota on June 16. That same storm system spawned three tornadoes in central Minnesota. There was one F3 tornado recorded in Cokato, one F2 confirmed just north of Maple Lake and another in Foley. All told, the storm caused millions of dollars in damage, destroyed countless homes, injured dozens and killed one. That storm finally moved out of our area and dissipated on the east coast June 18.

 

 

Getty Images
Getty Images

 

This day started off like most July days. Hot, sunny and sticky, but by about 5 in the afternoon, the skies had turned very, very ominous. KARE 11 chopper pilot Max Messmer was up in the helicopter getting aerial footage of the Minneapolis Aquatennial Parade, when he and photographer Tom Empey noticed a wall cloud near the Brooklyn Park/Fridley area. The pair decided to check it out, and in an astonishing display of fearlessness, piloting skills and a dash of crazy, Messmer and Empey flew as close as they could to shoot this tornado and flew into the history books in the process. Never before had viewers ever seen anything like this. The storm stalled out over Springbrook Nature Center and flung centuries old trees into the air and tossed them around like toothpicks. Riveted, viewers continued to watch as transformers and power lines exploded. Max stayed on the storm as it tore through the north metro for a half an hour before finally breaking up. This was the first time I really remember having to go to the basement with the family and wait out a storm. I was terrified and looking at the video, I can still recall my dad grabbing the bird cage and ushering us to safety. Amazingly, no injuries or deaths were reported as a result of the tornado and damage was limited to the areas around the Nature Center.

 

Jen Jacobs
Jen Jacobs

 

There were so many severe weather events last summer, it’s hard to pick just one, but the tornado outbreak of June 17 definitely sticks out as one of the most memorable. That day started out sunny, hot and sticky, but the long range forecast models had been predicting a severe weather outbreak for that day as far out as a week! In all 74 tornadoes were recorded across four states. Forty eight of those tornadoes were right here in Minnesota, including the EF-4 tornado that struck Wadena. That twister caused $53 million dollars in damage and injured 20. There were also two tornadoes that touched down in Clear Lake. Both of those were rated EF-0, but still caused extensive tree damage.

 

 

Filed Under: Category: Best of St. Cloud | synd-all | weather

Best of WJON

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wjon.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for The WJON VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive The WJON VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.