Deadly Tornadoes: June 17, 2010

tornado photo

tornado near Buffalo, Wright County
photo credit: Dave Wierstad

On June 17, a powerful storm system plowing through Minnesota spawned numerous tornadoes, damaging thunderstorm winds, hail, and flooding rains. Three people were killed by the tornadoes, many injuries were reported, and property damage was extensive. The fatalities occurred at three widely dispersed locations; Mentor in Polk County, near Almora in Otter Tail County, and near Albert Lea in Freeborn County. A large number of homes in Wadena of Wadena County were damaged or destroyed.

The tornado outbreak was notable for the number of tornadoes produced and the geographic extent of the event. Preliminary reports indicated that numerous tornadoes were observed over an area that stretched from Marshall County in northwestern Minnesota to Freeborn County along the Iowa border. The greatest number of tornadoes reported in a single day in Minnesota is 27 on June 16, 1992. It should be emphasized that modern technology, communication, scientific knowledge, and population density leads to improved evaluations of tornado episodes. It is entirely possible that Minnesota tornado outbreaks in the past produced a greater number of tornadoes than the 1992 event.

Multiple tornado fatalities in a single day are fortunately rare, especially in modern times. The last time more than one person was killed by tornadoes during a single day was March 29, 1998 when tornadoes devastated Comfrey and St. Peter in south central Minnesota.


click map for preliminary storm reports


National Weather Service Tornado Summaries

Media Reports

Rainfall Totals

Minnesota Tornado History

For more information contact: climate@umn.edu