Severe thunderstorms developed in eastern South Dakota during the afternoon of Friday, July 17, and pushed eastward in Minnesota through the evening, crossing the Twin Cities shortly after midnight on July 18. The National Weather Service confirmed a nocturnal EF-1 tornado, near Watertown in Carver County. In addition to the tornado, straight-line winds and strong winds well after the storms passed, combined to knocked down numerous trees and limbs, causing an estimated 225,000 Xcel Energy customers to lose power.
The images and information below were provided by the National Weather Service.
...UPDATE TO NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 07/17/2015 TORNADO EVENT... ...EF-1 TORNADO OCCURRED WEST OF WATERTOWN IN CARVER COUNTY MINNESOTA... BASED ON LOCAL MEDIA HELICOPTER FOOTAGE...THE BEGINNING POINT HAS BEEN PUSHED WEST 3/4 MILE TO WEEKS AVENUE. ALSO...THE ENDING POINT WAS PUSHED NORTH SLIGHTLY TO ACCOUNT FOR STRONGER WINDS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE TORNADO AT TIME OF DISSIPATION. DAMAGE THERE WAS PRIMARILY TO THE SOUTH OF THE CENTER OF THE TRACK BECAUSE STRAIGHT LINE WINDS OFFSET THE NORTHERN SIDE OF THE TORNADO/S INFLUENCE. THIS WAS ALSO THE CASE AT THE BEGINNING POINT WHEN THE TORNADO WAS FAIRLY WEAK. A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS TRACKED EAST ACROSS MOST OF CENTRAL MINNESOTA DURING THE LATE EVENING OF JULY 17TH. A TORNADO DEVELOPED ON THE LEADING EDGE OF THIS LINE AND IMPACTED PORTIONS OF NORTHERN CARVER COUNTY. NWS DUAL POL RADAR OBSERVED TORNADIC DEBRIS...AND A DAMAGE SURVEY CONFIRMED A 5.2 MILE LONG TORNADO. RATING: EF-1 ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 105 MPH PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 5.2 MILES PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 500 YARDS FATALITIES: 0 INJURIES: 0 START DATE: JULY 17 2015 START TIME: 1156 PM CDT START LOCATION: WEEKS AVENUE JUST SOUTH OF 32ND STREET... 3NNW HOLLYWOOD START LAT/LON: 44.9450/-93.9889 END DATE: JULY 18 2015 END TIME: 1202 AM CDT END LOCATION: NORTH OF ROSE AVENUE AND COUNTY 122... 2WSW WATERTOWN END LAT/LON: 44.9550/-93.8848 SURVEY SUMMARY: TORNADO SPUN UP 3 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST OF HOLLYWOOD AND CONTINUED GENERALLY EAST NORTHEAST TO 2 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF WATERTOWN. THE MOST DAMAGE OCCURRED AS THE TORNADO CROSSED VEGA AVENUE WHERE NUMEROUS TREES WERE SNAPPED AND SOME MINOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE WAS FOUND. THERE...A HOME WEATHER STATION RECORDED A 99 MPH WIND BEFORE IT BLEW OFF THE HOUSE. THE WEATHER STATION REPORT...IN ADDITION TO THE DEGREE OF TREE DAMAGE...SUPPORTS AN ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED OF 105 MPH.
Last modified: July 20, 2015