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Updated: 05/24/2013 12:36 PM
Created: 05/24/2013 12:33 PM | Print |  Email
By: Cassie Hart

INFO: Minnesota Tornado Facts

Minnesota Tornado Facts: 1950 to 2010

Average tornadoes per year: 27
Monthly Average:

  • May: 4
  • June: 10 (37%) percent of tornadoes per year in Minnesota
  • July: 7 (25%)
  • August: 3 (12%)
  • September: 1
  • April and sometimes March and October: 1


  • 2010 had 113 twisters hit that year
  • 71 tornadoes happened in June 2010
  • 48 twisters hit on June 17, 2010


Some Notable Minnesota Tornadoes:

  • The tornado which struck Rochester on August 21, 1883, (at 6:36 p.m.) killed 37 and injured many others. This was a large factor in the subsequent development of the Mayo Clinic.
  • On April 14, 1886 (4 p.m.) the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history razed parts of St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, leaving 72 dead and 213 injured. 11 members of a wedding party were killed including the groom. The bride eventually remarried.
  • August 21, was again a tornado day, in 1918 (9:20 p.m.), this time at Tyler, killing 36 people.
  • Less than a year later, June 22, 1919, (4:45 p.m.) 59 lives were lost when the second deadliest killer tornado in Minnesota history roared through Fergus Falls.
  • More than 220 people were injured and nine killed in the Champlin area on June 18, 1939 (2 p.m.).
  • On August 17, 1946, about an hour apart, tornadoes slashed through the cities of Mankato and North Mankato (5:40 p.m.) leaving 11 dead and 60 injured, and Wells (6:50 p.m.) where some 200 persons were injured.
  • Part of a larger outbreak on May 10, 1953, three tornadoes it southeast Minnesota killing seven and injuring 19.
  • The Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN tornado of June 20, 1957 (6:40 p.m.) left 10 dead and more than 100 injured in its wake.
  • The most damaging series of tornadoes in Minnesota slashed across west and north sections of the Twin Cities Metro area (between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.) on May 6, 1965. 14 persons were killed and 685 injured with damage in excess of 50 million dollars.
  • April 30, 1967. On this day eight tornadoes struck south central MN including three that were rated F4. 13 people were killed and 65 were injured. A four block wide swath was cut in the town of Waseca.
  • Tracy was in the path of a destructive tornado on June 13, 1968, (7:02 p.m.) which killed 9 and injured 125 people.
  • The maxi-tornado which struck the Outing area on August 6, 1969, (4:02 p.m.) left 12 dead and 70 injured.
  • A memorable tornado in Minnesota with one death and 83 injuries, tore across the Twin Cities from Edina to Roseville on June 14, 1981.
  • The greatest March tornado outbreak in Minnesota history was March 29, 1998. Two people died in a family of 13 tornadoes that stuck St. Peter and Comfrey especially hard.
  • A tornado struck Granite Falls on July 25, 2000 and caused one death and 15 injuries.
  • There were two deaths due to tornadoes in 2006. One was an elderly man died at Lake Emily near Kasota on August 24, 2006. The second was when a ten year old girl died in Rogers on September 16, 2006.
  • A two year old boy was killed in Hugo of Washington on May 25, 2008 when he was blown out of the first floor of his home by a tornado.
  • A major tornado outbreak occurred in Minnesota on June 17, 2010. 48 tornadoes were reported, with three of these tornadoes reaching EF4 (166-200 mph) on the Enhanced Fujita Intensity Scale. Three fatalities were attributed to the tornadoes at 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 last fatality due to a tornado in Minnesota was on May 22, 2011 when a man lost his life when a tree fell on his vehicle in Minneapolis.

*Source Minnesota Climatology Working Group

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