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National Weather Service Confirms Third Minnesota Tornado

Bricelyn tornado damage at Pihls Campground- NWS photograph
Bricelyn tornado damage at Pihls Campground- NWS photograph

Minneapolis (KROC AM News) – There were THREE tornadoes that touched down in Minnesota earlier this month.

The National Weather Service earlier confirmed two tornadoes dropped out of the sky on March 6th. That was the earliest date in Minnesota history that a tornado was recorded. The previous record was March 18, 1968.

At the time, the Weather Service reported the first one touched down in the Clarks Grove/Geneva area in Freeborn County at 5:38 p.m. One minute later, another twister touched down in the Zimmerman area in Sherburne County.

The Weather Service is now reporting a third tornado touched down at 5:04 p.m. near the town of Bricelyn in Faribault County.

All three tornadoes were rated EF-1 with wind speeds of 90-110 mph. The Bricelyn tornado was the weakest but may have caused the most damage of the three. No injuries were reported.

Here is a summary of the three tornadoes from the Twin Cities NWS office:

An EF-1 tornado developed just northwest of Bricelyn in Faribault County, MN and traveled 9.6 miles before lifting west of the Freeborn County line.  Peak winds were estimated at 90 mph. The tornado destroyed a garage, barn and a few sheds. Power poles were snapped. Windows were blown in and roof damage also occurred. The most concentrated area of damage was at Pihl’s Campground on Rice Lake, six miles south of Wells.

An EF-1 tornado started in Freeborn County, MN and traveled 12.3 miles through the towns of Clarks Grove and Geneva before lifting in southern Steele County.  Peak winds were estimated at 100 to 110 mph which caused damage to homes, buildings, and trees.

An EF-1 tornado touched down about 5 miles west of Zimmerman and traveled northeast 8.9 miles, dissipating before reaching Highway 169.  The storm also produced non-tornadic scattered tree damage due to strong inflow into the storm in a few locations, including on the east side of Highway 169, just south of Princeton.  

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