MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The National Weather Service has released preliminary data on the eight-confirmed tornadoes that struck central and south-central Minnesota Wednesday.
The tornadoes hit between 4:52 p.m. and 8:08 p.m., with all but one being rated EF-0. These weak tornadoes had wind speeds that peaked between 55 and 80 miles per hour.
The first two tornadoes were in Nicollet. One hit at 4:46 p.m. and lasted about six minutes, covering 1.5 miles. It started south of Nicollet and moved northwest, damaging a farm, a garage and a grove of trees.
The other hit at 5:04 p.m. and lasted five minutes, covering more than a half mile. It mostly damaged trees and crops.
The third tornado, which hit Gaylord, was the strongest of the day, rated EF-1 with a peak wind speed of 105 miles per hour. It began at 5:35 p.m. and lasted about 12 minutes. Its path was 3.1 miles long. The multi-vortex tornado directly hit a farmstead and caused significant damage to outbuildings and trees.
Two weak tornadoes then hit Winthrop between 6:26 p.m. and 6:33, each lasting within a minute. Both traveled within a quarter mile, causing damage to corn fields, trees and an old barn.
The sixth tornado hit New Prague about a half-hour later. It lasted about three minutes, traveling a half mile and reaching speeds of 60 miles per hour. It caused minor tree damage.
The seventh-confirmed tornado struck Prior Lake at 7:46 p.m. and lasted three minutes. It reached speeds of 70 miles per hour, traveling just over a mile — just missing Mystic Lake Casino. It uprooted trees, blew over tents and fences, and spun a fish house.
And Wednesday’s eight and final tornado was also the quickest of the day, hitting Lester Prairie at 8:08 and lasting less than a minute. It traveled about 30 yards, reaching a peak wind speed of 70 miles per hour. It uprooted some trees and damaged several tree limbs.
No injuries were reported Wednesday.