Tornadoes in Minnesota:
2006

The remains of the Trading Post at "The Point" in Warroad after the August 5th tornado. Photo credits: Jay Pickthorn of the Grand Forks Herald

There was an increase in tornado activity for the last week of July and the first week of August in Minnesota, pushing the total for 2006 to 13 or 14 tornadoes. Two of the last five or six tornadoes have been rated at F3 or "strong" tornadoes. There were three or possibly four tornadoes in the Warroad area on Saturday evening August 5. One of these was an F3 tornado with winds up to 180 mph that caused extensive damage to a campground and structures in Warroad at "the Point" on Lake of the Woods. Semi trailers were also overturned at Marvin Windows.

Two tornadoes struck Watonwan County on Tuesday evening August 1. One of these was rated at F3 by the National Weather Service and levelled a house.

On Thursday, July 27 three tornadoes struck northwest Minnesota. These were weak tornadoes that mainly damaged trees. The first tornado moved from southern Kittson County to northern Marshall County. The next one moved from northwestern Red Lake County to west central Polk County and the third stayed in southwest Lake County. Another tornado that day struck near Dawson in Lac Qui Parle County. Thus there were four tornadoes in Minnesota on July 27.

There are only four tornado reports from April through June in Minnesota. Four took place in northwest Minnesota. Two were on May 7. One tornado was spotted by an airplane pilot about 15 miles southeast of Thief River Falls in Polk County and another weak tornado caused some light damage two miles southeast of Macintosh also in Polk County. The third tornado was a weak tornado in Norman County on June 24 that lasted only about 10 to 15 seconds. The fourth was a waterspout over Dead lake in Ottertail County during the evening of June 26th.

Listed below are the tornado reports so far in 2006 for Minnesota from the National Weather Service.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN ND/GRAND FORKS
216 PM CDT FRI MAY 12 2006

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
           ..REMARKS..
1017 PM     TORNADO          2 NE MENTOR             47.72N 96.11W 
05/07/2006  F0               POLK           MN   AIRPLANE PILOT  
BRIEF TORNADO VIEWED BY PILOT LOCATED ABOUT 15 SE OF THIEF RIVER FALLS. 
 
1140 PM     TORNADO          2 SE MCINTOSH           47.62N 95.85W 
05/07/2006  F1               POLK           MN   NWS STORM SURVEY

TORNADO TRACKED FOR ABOUT ONE HALF MILE OFF NORTH SIDE OF U.S. HIGHWAY 2 UNTIL 1141 PM. 
SEVERAL TREES WERE SNAPPED  OFF AND A FEW SHINGLES WERE TORN OFF A HOUSE. 
ESTIMATED PEAK WINDS OF 80 MPH.


PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN ND/GRAND FORKS
532 PM CDT FRI JUL 07 2006

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
           ..REMARKS..

0527 PM     TORNADO          4 NE TWIN VALLEY        47.30N 96.20W 
06/24/2006  F0               NORMAN             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER
A BRIEF TOUCHDOWN WAS NOTED IN AN OPEN FIELD SOUTH OF            
HIGHWAY 200. NO DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED AND THE TORNADO            
LIFTED AFTER ABOUT 10-15 SECONDS.


PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN ND/GRAND FORKS
929 PM CDT MON JUN 26 2006

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
           ..REMARKS..
       
0803 PM     TORNADO          4 NE AMOR               46.45N 95.69W 
06/26/2006                   OTTER TAIL         MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 
TORNADO AT DEAD LAKE REPORT OF WATER BEING SUCKED UP.
     

0804 PM     TORNADO          5 NE AMOR               46.46N 95.67W 
06/26/2006                   OTTER TAIL         MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 


PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
823 PM CDT THU JUL 27 2006

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0722 PM     TORNADO          4 W DAWSON              44.93N 96.13W 
07/27/2006                   LAC QUI PARLE      MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            LARGE TORNADO SIGHTED BY BOTH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CITIZEN
            4 MILES WEST OF DAWSON. LARGE AMOUNT OF CROPS FLATTENED 4
            MILES WEST OF DAWSON AND JUST NORTH OF THAT POINT. 

July 27th Tornado near Dawson Confirmed
...JULY 27 TORNADO CONFIRMED NEAR DAWSON...

DAMAGE TO A GROVE OF TREES...PHOTOS...AND EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS HAVE
ALL LED TO THE CONCLUSION THAT A TORNADO DID TOUCH DOWN JUST WEST
OF DAWSON THURSDAY EVENING JULY 27.  THE TIME WAS APPROXIMATELY 726
PM.

THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN TWO MILES WEST-NORTHWEST OF DAWSON...
CROSSED HIGHWAY 212...AND DISSIPATED ONE AND ONE HALF MILES WEST OF
DAWSON. THE PATH LENGTH WAS ONE HALF MILE...AND ITS MAXIMUM WIDTH WAS
100 FEET. THE TORNADO WILL BE RATED F0.

IN ADDITION TO THE TREE DAMAGE...A FEW SHINGLES AND PLANKS WERE TORN
OFF A BARN...ALONG WITH A LITTLE BIT OF SIDING OFF A HOUSE.

THE STORM WAS ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE HAIL...VERY HEAVY RAIN...AND
DAMAGING DOWNBURST WIND.  THE DOWNBURST WIND WAS IN AN AREA FROM ONE
TO THREE MILES NORTH OF THE TORNADO TRACK...AND SOME FARMS HAD
SCATTERED TREES DOWN...ALONG WITH SHED AND MINOR HOUSE DAMAGE.

FOR SOME AROUND DAWSON...THE HAIL WAS DEVASTATING.  SOME FARMERS
DESCRIBED THAT THEY WERE HIT WITH LARGE HAIL FOR 35 MINUTES...
DECIMATING CROPS.  AT TIMES THE HAIL WAS AS BIG AS GOLF BALLS.
THE HAIL SWATH WAS ABOUT TWO MILES WIDE...FROM JUST SOUTHEAST OF
MADISON...TO THE WEST SIDE OF DAWSON...THEN TO ABOUT FIVE MILES
SOUTHEAST OF DAWSON.

THANKS TO THE MANY TRAINED SPOTTERS WHO WERE WATCHING THE STORM AND
PROVIDED REPORTS...INCLUDING LAW ENFORCEMENT...FIRE DEPARTMENT
VOLUNTEERS...AND HAM RADIO OPERATORS.

THIS WAS THE FIRST TORNADO THIS YEAR IN THE 51 COUNTIES OF
THE CHANHASSEN NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AREA. OF COURSE... THERE
HAD ALREADY BEEN OTHER TORNADOES THIS YEAR ELSEWHERE IN MINNESOTA
AND WISCONSIN.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA/GRAND FORKS
959 PM CST FRI JUL 28 2006
...THREE TORNADO TRACKS DETERMINED FROM THURSDAYS STORMS...

A STORM DAMAGE SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED ALONG A ROUTE FROM HALLOCK TO WINGER 
MINNESOTA ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON...ROUGHLY FOLLOWING THE LINE OF MOST INTENSE
 ACTIVITY FROM THURSDAYS STORMS. A TOTAL OF THREE DISTINCT BUT BRIEF TORNADO 
TRACKS WERE DETERMINED ALONG THIS ROUTE.
TORNADO ONE...FROM SOUTHERN KITTSON COUNTY INTO NORTHERN MARSHALL COUNTY. 
THE STORM SURVEY CONFIRMED THAT A FUNNEL CLOUD BEGAN TO DEVELOP UNDER A 
PERSISTENT ROTATING WALL CLOUD FORMATION AND WAS VIEWED BY A FARMER IN HIS 
FIELD SOUTHEAST OF KENNEDY. A SKYWARN STORM SPOTTER OBSERVED THAT THE WALL 
CLOUD APPEARED TO TURN TO THE RIGHT OF ITS ORIGINAL SOUTHEAST PATH AND TOWARDS 
A MORE SOUTHERLY DIRECTION AT THAT POINT. A TORNADO TOUCHDOWN INITIATED AROUND 
502 PM ABOUT 3 MILES EAST OF DONALDSON... IN A FIELD JUST NORTH OF HIGHWAY 11...
AND TRAVELED FOR ABOUT 3.5 MILES BEFORE IT ENDED IN MARSHALL COUNTY. TORNADIC 
WINDS SNAPPED SEVERAL MATURE COTTONWOOD TREES AT A HOMESTEAD AND SWIRLED TREE 
BRANCHES AROUND THE YARD. SMALLER TREE BRANCHES WERE LOFTED OVER A MILE TO THE 
SOUTH BY THE TORNADO AND CROPS WERE SWIRLED BY THE WINDS. THE TORNADO CONTINUED 
SOUTH BY SOUTH-SOUTHEAST AND CROSSED INTO MARSHALL COUNTY ABOUT 5 MILES ESE OF 
DONALDSON AND LIFTED ABOUT 5 MILES NNE OF STEPHEN AROUND 512 PM. THE TORNADO 
WAS RATED AS F1 ...WITH PEAK WINDS ESTIMATED AT 80 MPH.

TORNADO TWO...FROM NORTHWESTERN RED LAKE COUNTY INTO WEST CENTRAL POLK COUNTY. 
A PERSISTENT WALL CLOUD WITH DEVELOPING FUNNEL WAS FIRST OBSERVED AND REPORTED 
TO THE NWS BY AN AMATEUR RADIO /SKYWARN/ STORM SPOTTER...AS IT WAS MOVING TO 
THE SOUTH-SOUTHEAST. A TORNADO TOUCHDOWN OCCURRED ABOUT 1.2 MILES EAST OF EAST 
OF HUOT AROUND 646 PM...AND THE TORNADO TRACKED SOUTH FOR A MILE...CROSSED INTO 
POLK COUNTY AND CONTINUED INTERMITTENTLY FOR ANOTHER 1.5 MILES TO THE SOUTH. 
THE TORNADO ENDED ABOUT 2.5 MILES NE OF GENTILLY AROUND 654 PM. THE TORNADO 
SWIRLED SWATHES OF GRAIN AND FLIPPED A SHED DOOR UP ONTO THE SHED ROOF. IT 
ALSO BROKE OFF NUMEROUS LARGE TREE BRANCHES IN SHELTERBELTS ALONG ITS PATH. 
THE TORNADO WAS RATED AS F0...WITH PEAK WINDS ESTIMATED AT 65 MPH.

TORNADO THREE...ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTHWEST RED LAKE COUNTY. A ROTATING WALL 
CLOUD AND FUNNEL WAS ORIGINALLY REPORTED TO THE NWS AND TRACKED BY TWO TRAINED 
SKYWARN SPOTTERS WHOSE VIEW OF THE SURFACE AREA WAS OBSCURED BY TREES. A STORM 
SURVEY CONFIRMED AN INTERMITTENT SURFACE TRACK FOR ABOUT 2.5 MILES WHICH BEGAN 
ABOUT 4 MILES SE OF RED LAKE FALLS AROUND 657 PM AND ENDED ABOUT 6 MILES SOUTH 
OF RED LAKE FALLS BY AROUND 708 PM. NUMEROUS LARGE TREE BRANCHES WERE BROKEN OFF 
IN SHELTER BELTS ALONG THE ROUTE AND LARGE HAY BALES PARTIALLY SHREDDED OR WERE 
TUMBLED. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AS F0...WITH PEAK WINDS ESTIMATED AT 70 MPH.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1140 PM CDT WED AUG 2 2006

...DAMAGE SURVEY FROM WATONWAN COUNTY...

TWO TORNADOES STRUCK WATONWAN COUNTY TUESDAY EVENING AUGUST 1.

THE FIRST TORNADO WAS RATED AS F3. IT TOUCHED DOWN ABOUT 715 PM...
5.5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF BUTTERFIELD...JUST EAST OF THE
WATONWAN/COTTONWOOD COUNTY LINE.  IT MOVED NORTHEAST AND PRODUCED
SOME DAMAGE AT ONE FARMSTEAD...INCLUDING SCATTERED DOWNED TREES AND
THE PARTIAL REMOVAL OF ROOFS OFF TWO LARGE SHEDS.

THE TORNADO THEN MOVED ACROSS CORN AND BEAN FIELDS... BEFORE
REACHING ANOTHER FARMSTEAD...AND DEVASTATING IT.  THIS WAS WHERE THE
F3 DAMAGE OCCURED.  A HOUSE WAS LEVELLED...BUT IT HAD BARELY BEEN
ATTACHED TO THE FOUNDATION.  A 60 FOOT CONCRETE BASE SILO WAS
TOPPLED AND ROLLED... BUT IT HAD JUST BEEN RESTING ON THE GROUND AND
WAS NOT ANCHORED. VIRTUALLY ALL BARNS...SHEDS AND OUTBUILDINGS WERE
COMPLETELY DESTROYED. A PICKUP TRUCK AND TRAILER WERE ROLLED BUT NO
VEHICLES WERE SENT AIRBORNE. THERE JUST WAS NOT ENOUGH TO SUGGEST
THAT IT MIGHT BE MORE THAN AN F3...AND SO THIS TORNADO WILL BE GIVEN
AN F3 RATING.  THREE MEN AVOIDED INJURY WHEN THEY TOOK COVER UNDER A
STAIRWELL IN THE BASEMENT.

SHORTLY AFTER HITTING THIS FARMSTEAD...THE TORNADO ROPED OUT AND
DISSIPATED AT ABOUT 722 PM...ABOUT 5 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF
BUTTERFIELD. THE MAXIMUM WIDTH WAS 1/4 MILE...AND PATH LENGTH WAS
1.5 MILES.  THE FIRST TORNADO WARNING FOR WATONWAN COUNTY WAS ISSUED
AT 703 PM...VALID UNTIL 745 PM.  DUE TO THE ONGOING THREAT FARTHER
EAST...THIS TORNADO WARNING WAS REISSUED AT 739 PM...VALID UNTIL 830
PM.

THE SECOND TORNADO IN WATONWAN COUNTY WAS RATED AN F1.  IT TOUCHED
DOWN ABOUT 743 PM... 4 MILES SOUTH OF ST. JAMES.  WITHIN 1/4 MILE OF
TOUCHDOWN... IT MOVED ACROSS A FARMSTEAD JUST NORTH OF COUNTY ROADS
10 AND 27. NEARLY EMPTY GRAIN BINS WERE DENTED... SHEDS WERE
DEMOLISHED... A HOUSE LOST ITS GARAGE AND PARTIALLY LOST ITS ROOF...
A 32 FOOT CAMPER WAS ROLLED... AND A LARGE VEHICLE WAS PUSHED A
COUPLE HUNDRED FEET.  A COUPLE AVOIDED INJURY AT THIS LOCATION BY
TAKING SHELTER IN THE BASEMENT AFTER HEARING THE WARNING.

AFTER ABOUT ONE MILE...ANOTHER FARMSTEAD WAS HIT...DESTROYING MORE
MACHINE SHEDS AND REMOVING THE ROOF OFF A BARN. WHEN IT WAS NOT
HITTING STRUCTURES...IT WAS TEARING THROUGH CORN AND BEAN FIELDS.

PERHAPS THE MOST NOTEWORTHY ASPECT OF THIS TORNADO WAS ITS ERRATIC
PATH.  IT FIRST MOVED EAST FOR 1/4 MILE... THEN SOUTHEAST ABOUT 1/2
MILE... THEN NORTHEAST FOR ANOTHER 3/4 MILE... THEN EAST AGAIN FOR
ANOTHER 1/4 MILE...AND FINALLY IT TOOK A SHARP TURN TOWARD THE NORTH
FOR 1/4 MILE.  THE TOTAL PATH LENGTH WAS TWO MILES. ITS MAXIMUM
WIDTH WAS 100 YARDS.  THE SECOND TORNADO WARNING FOR WATONWAN COUNTY
WAS ISSUED AT

LASTLY...THERE WAS A FUNNEL CLOUD ONE MILE NORTHWEST OF LEWISVILLE
AT ABOUT 803 PM. NUMEROUS TRAINED SPOTTERS... LAW ENFORCEMENT
OFFICERS...AND CHASERS WERE WATCHING THIS FUNNEL...AND NOBODY EVER
SAW ANY TOUCHDOWN. NOR WAS THERE ANY DAMAGE.

ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES LISTED IN THIS STATEMENT...THESE ARE
APPROXIMATIONS.  SPECIFIC TIMES WILL BE DETERMINED BY COMPARING
VIDEO TAPES...AMATEUR RADIO INFORMATION AND 911 LOGS.
FURTHERMORE... PREVIOUS REPORTS OF A TORNADO IN WATONWAN COUNTY AT
703 PM TURN OUT TO HAVE BEEN IN COTTONWOOD COUNTY.

MANY THANKS MUST BE GIVEN TO EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE REPORTING OF
THIS EVENT. ZERO INJURIES IS AMAZING. SPOTTERS REPORTED WHAT THEY
WERE SEEING. LAW ENFORCEMENT DISPATCHERS FREQUENTLY RELAYED REPORTS.
AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS ACTED AS SPOTTERS AND THEN IMMEDIATELY
COMMUNICATED OR RELAYED REPORTS TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
RADIO AND TELEVISION STATIONS GAVE PEOPLE GREAT INFORMATION THAT
PERSUADED CITIZENS TO TAKE COVER.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA/GRAND FORKS ND 
1055 PM CDT SUN AUG 6 2006

...STRONGEST WARROAD AREA TORNADO RATED F3...

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM DAMAGE ASSESSMENT TEAM COMPLETED A 
SURVEY OF THE WARROAD COMMUNITY AND AFFECTED RURAL AREAS ACROSS  
EASTERN ROSEAU AND WESTERN LAKE OF THE WOODS COUNTIES. GROUND 
TRACKS...PHOTOGRAPHIC AND VIDEO EVIDENCE...AND EYEWITNESS REPORTS 
INDICATE THAT AT LEAST THREE /POSSIBLY FOUR/ DISTINCT TORNADOES 
OCCURRED ALONG AN APPROXIMATE 19 MILE ARCHING PATH BEGINNING ABOUT 8 
WNW OF WARROAD AROUND 641 PM...THROUGH THE COMMUNITY OF WARROAD 
AROUND 704 TO 712 PM...TO ABOUT 3 NNE OF ROOSEVELT AROUND 740 PM. 
ALL THESE TORNADOES WERE GENERATED BY THE SAME PARENT SUPERCELL 
THUNDERSTORM WHICH ALSO SPREAD HEAVY RAINS AND HAIL UP TO SOFTBALL 
SIZE FORM THE ROSEAU PORT OF ENTRY AT MN HWY 310 PAST THE COMMUNITY 
OF BAUDETTE AND MN HWY 72. 

THE LARGEST AND MOST DAMAGING TORNADO WAS RATED AS AN F3...WITH 
MAXIMUM WINDS OF 160-180 MPH...A LENGTH OF AROUND 3 MILES AND A 
WIDTH RANGING FROM 300 TO 500 YARDS. THIS TORNADO LIKELY TOUCHED 
DOWN IN A WOODED AREA TO THE WEST NORTHWEST OF THE MARVIN WINDOWS 
FACTORY AT THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF THE CITY. THE TORNADO QUICKLY 
INTENSIFIED AS IT TORE THROUGH A SHELTER BELT AND ACROSS A FIELD 
HITTING THE NORTH END OF THE MARVIN FACTORY COMPLEX WITH WINDS 
ACCELERATING FROM 140 TO 160 MILES AN HOUR...REACHING A WIDTH OF 300 
YARDS. THERE THE WINDS TIPPED NUMEROUS TRUCK TRAILERS...TUMBLED AN 
AUTOMOBILE...SNAPPED POWER POLES AND TORE OFF BUILDING ROOFING AND 
SHEATHING MATERIALS. 

AS THIS TORNADO MOVED SOUTHEASTWARD ALONG THE NORTH EDGE OF THE 
COMMUNITY IT SNAPPED AND UPROOTED TREES...SHREDDED TWO GARAGES/SHOPS 
AND LIFTED ROOFS ON A FEW HOUSES. FROM THIS POINT ONWARD THE CORE 
OF THE TORNADO STAYED JUST NORTH OF THE MAIN RESIDENTIAL AREA OF 
NORTH WARROAD. THE TORNADO RIPPED INTO THE LAKEVIEW RECREATIONAL 
PARK AND CAMPGROUNDS WITH PEAK WINDS OF 160-180 MPH AND A WIDTH OF 
500 YARDS. NUMEROUS CAMPER/TRAILERS WERE TUMBLED THROUGH THE AIR AND 
SHATTERED. A CONCRETE BLOCK SWIMMING POOL ENTRANCE STRUCTURE WAS 
DESTROYED ALONG WITH NUMEROUS TREES...PICNIC SHELTERS AND A LOG 
CABIN/GIFT SHOP. DEBRIS...INCLUDING CAMPER/TRAILERS...LARGE METAL 
DUMPSTERS AND PORTIONS OF PARK STRUCTURES WAS FLUNG INTO MUSKEG BAY 
/ON THE LAKE OF THE WOODS/...WHERE THIS TORNADO APPARENTLY 
DISSIPATED. 

REPORTEDLY THERE WERE NO SIGNIFICANT INJURIES OR FATALITIES SINCE 
THE CAMPGROUND HAD BEEN LARGELY EVACUATED BY THE WARROAD POLICE 
DEPARTMENT IN ADVANCE OF THE TORNADO.

ADDITIONAL TORNADO DAMAGE TRACKS WEST AND SOUTHEAST OF WARROAD ARE 
STILL BEING ANALYZED...AND WILL LIKELY BE CONFIRMED ONCE CIVIL AIR 
PATROL OVERFLIGHT PICTURES ARE ANALYZED AND COMPARED WITH GROUND 
EVIDENCE. THE ADDITIONAL TORNADO DAMAGE OUTSIDE OF THE MAIN TORNADO 
CORRIDOR INDICATED ABOVE APPEARS TO BE AT THE F1 OR F0 DAMAGE SCALE. 

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URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/tornado2006.htm
Last modified: August 8, 2006