MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials confirmed a tornado near Princeton and Zimmerman just before 5:50 p.m. Monday evening, making it the earliest recorded in state history.

A second tornado possibly struck near Clarks Grove, north of Albert Lea. The National Weather Service will be out Tuesday measuring the strength and size of both likely tornadoes.

Law enforcement in the Zimmerman and Princeton areas confirmed there were power lines down, trees down and some damage to homes.

According to Connexus Energy, about 2,300 people in Zimmerman and Baldwin Township lost power due to Monday night’s severe weather. Connexus said power should be restored early Tuesday morning.

In Big Lake, at least one home was severely damaged in the storm when strong winds threw a trailer into the house. The winds also dropped several boats into the home’s yard.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Several parts of Southeastern Minnesota are under Severe Thunderstorm warnings until late Tuesday afternoon. Residents of the Cokato area confirmed ping pong-sized to grapefruit-sized hail, with extremely strong winds.


Late Monday night, the severe weather moved out of the state and began barreling across Wisconsin. Only scattered light rain showers remained in the Twin Cities and north metro.

Before Monday, the earliest tornado on record happened on March 18, 1968 near Truman. On March 19, 2012, we had a tornado in the Waseca and Le Sueur counties.

On Tuesday, the windy conditions are expected to linger. As the week continues, temperatures will fall to more wintry conditions. By Friday, there’s a chance of snow.

Comments (4)
  1. It does not have to be that warm to have tornadoes. As long as there is turning of the winds (wind shear) The Minneapolis tornado that occurred a few years ago in May did not occur on a real warm day. Our severe weather season does usually begin in May, so this is early, but Northern Illinois got tornadoes last week.

  2. The NWS has confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down near Clarks Grove and was on the ground for over 12 minutes just moments after this one.