First tornado outbreak of 2011 strikes Minnesota

We just dodged a big tornado bullet in the Twin Cities metro Tuesday evening, but other areas are not so lucky.

The season’s first big severe weather outbreak produced our first tornadoes of the year in Minnesota and hail as large as tennis balls. It may not have been a “super outbreak” but it was enough to produce the first tornado watches, warnings and touchdowns of the year in Minnesota.

Initial reports indicate that the first tornado of the year touched down in St. Michael at around 7:58pm Tuesday evening. Trained spotters reported debris and roof damage is reported to at least one home.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1 earl 1 5t CROOOOOW 10 DAR 1 1 TORS.PNG

Radars lit up with “discrete tornadic supercells” Tuesday evening.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1 earl 1 5t CROOOOOW 10 DAR 1 1 MILACA tor.gif

Tornadic supercells swilrling north of the metro late Tuesday evening. Note the hook shaped storm near Milaca, and the purple triangle indicating a “tornado vortex signature.”

Hail as large as tennis balls pounded St. Louis Park near Louisiana and I-394. Numerous reports of golf ball and egg sized hail pelted the metro from Chanhassen through Eden Prairie and Edina right into downtown Minneapolis. Hail of this size can blow out windshields and dent cars. We will no doubt have roof and auto damage reports from hail in the metro from Tuesday night’s storms.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1 earl 1 5t CROOOOOW 10 DAR 1 1 hail.jpg

2″ diameter hail from NWS in Chanhassen!

The storms that moved through Minneapolis & Target Field were hailers and showed strong rotation. Rotating wall clouds and funnel clouds were sighted. Had the storms been just slightly better organized, there would have been tornado touchdowns in Minneapolis sand the heart of the Twin Cities Tuesday night.

We got very, very lucky.

Here are some select severe storm reports from the wild weather night Tuesday evening. A more complete list from the Twin Cities NWS here.

MPX: Milaca [Mille Lacs Co, MN] law enforcement reports FLASH FLOOD at 09:15 PM CDT — standing water on roads causing vehicles to hydro plane.

MPX: 2 E Pease [Mille Lacs Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of egg size (M2.00 INCH) at 09:15 PM CDT —

MPX: 1 W St Michael [Wright Co, MN] amateur radio reports TORNADO at 07:58 PM CDT — time estimated. roof of a home damaged on 42nd st ne.

MPX: St Louis Park [Hennepin Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of tennis ball size (M2.50 INCH) at 08:30 PM CDT —

MPX: 1 Ene Eden Prairie [Hennepin Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of golf ball size (M1.75 INCH) at 08:03 PM CDT —

MPX: St Francis [Anoka Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of golf ball size (M1.75 INCH) at 09:00 PM CDT —

MPX: 5 Wsw Minneapolis [Hennepin Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of golf ball size (M1.75 INCH) at 08:28 PM CDT —

MPX: Milaca [Mille Lacs Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of nickel size (M0.88 INCH) at 08:58 PM CDT —

MPX: 1 Nw Minneapolis [Hennepin Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of egg size (M2.00 INCH) at 08:39 PM CDT —

MPX: Minneapolis [Hennepin Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of golf ball size (M1.75 INCH) at 08:50 PM CDT — target field

MPX: Golden Valley [Hennepin Co, MN] public reports HAIL of tennis ball size (M2.50 INCH) at 08:28 PM CDT — at intersection of 394 and louisiana ave.

MPX: Hopkins [Hennepin Co, MN] amateur radio reports FUNNEL CLOUD at 08:30 PM CDT — highway 169 and excelsior looking north moving northeast

MPX: 1 Ssw Eden Prairie [Hennepin Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of half dollar size (E1.25 INCH) at 08:05 PM CDT —

MPX: Minneapolis [Hennepin Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of golf ball size (M1.75 INCH) at 08:29 PM CDT — reported at corner of franklin and lyndale.

MPX: Eden Prairie [Hennepin Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of quarter size (M1.00 INCH) at 08:13 PM CDT —

MPX expires Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott [MN]

MPX: Elk River [Sherburne Co, MN] trained spotter reports HAIL of golf ball size (M1.75 INCH) at 08:24 PM CDT —

A Break Wednesday?

The first low pressure wave and front moved through Tuesday evening. A second wave may move north late Wednesday night into Thursday, but there are some signs we could catch a break in between.

Here’s the SPC convective outlook for Wednesday.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1 earl 1 5t CROOOOOW 10 DAR 1 1 SVR WED.PNG

Stay tuned as we fine tune the forecast early Wednesday.

PH