Tornado of March 31, 2014

Tornado Touchdown Location

Map of Tornado Touchdown Location
Courtesy: National Weather Service

Tornado season got off to an early start this year with the first confirmed tornado sighting in St. Leo.  A weak tornado was confirmed on Monday March 31st.  A few farmsteads sustained damaged.  There were no injuries or fatalities.

 

The tornado spawned ahead of an intense low pressure centered over extereme southeastern South Dakota.  A strong, narrow line of storms formed quickly over the Minnesota/South Dakota border around the 3 pm hour and moved north-northeast.  The tornado itself spawned around the 4 o'clock hour.

 

Tornadoes have occurred in March in the past, but are rare.  Below is some interesting tornado statistics fort he month of March.

  • Before today, only 20 March tornadoes have occurred in Minnesota during the modern era (since 1950).
  • The earliest known March tornado in MN was 3-18-1968 about 10 miles SE of St. James in Watonwan County.  It was an F2.
  • 14 of the 20 MN March tornadoes were on 3-29-98.  Comfrey, St. Peter, Le Center, and Lonsdale were all hit in addition to nearby rural areas.  A terrible day with 2 deaths.
  • The most recent march tornado in MN before today was 3-19-2012 near Elysian.  Rated EF-0.  On ground 6.5 in Waseca & Le Sueur Counties.
  • At the time the tornado warning was released, the same county was also under a blizzard warning.

Here is a video of the tornado taken between the towns of Minneota and St. Leo, courtesy of the Lyon County Office of Emergency Management.

Here is a video of the damage surveyed.

 

Tornado reports courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center:

Tornado Reports
Time LocationCountyStateLatLonComments
2048 3 N MINNEOTALYONMN44619597STRUCTURAL DAMAGE
2108 3 SE ST LEOYELLOW MEDICINEMN44699601STRUCTURAL DAMAGE REPORTED WITH PROBABLE TORNADO SOUTHEAST OF ST LEO. TIME ESTIMATED.
2110 2 ESE ST LEOYELLOW MEDICINEMN44719602DAMAGE REPORTED ... EXTENT UNKNOWN. TIME ESTIMATED.

 

Last modified: May 12, 2014

 

by Brandon Fudali, Climatology Volunteer
For more information contact: [email protected]