Storm History

Historic December Tornado of 12/15/2021

Just four days after a snowstorm that dumped approximately 10 inches of snow on the Goodhue County area, a most unusual day developed in Minnesota weather history. It began by the issuance of the first ever Moderate Risk level issued by the NWS Storm Prediction Center for the month of December in Minnesota.

A low pressure system of historic strength led to a variety of high-end weather impacts. Unprecedented December severe weather unfolded over portions of Minnesota that Wednesday evening. A serial derecho moving at 60-80 mph tracked from Kansas to Wisconsin, resulting in over 560 reports of damaging wind and over 60 tornadoes. A total of 64 “significant severe” wind gusts (75+ mph) were reported, breaking the daily record of 53 set on August 10, 2020.

Before the thunderstorms, strong southerly winds led to record high temperatures at many sites across the Upper Midwest. Temperatures warmed into the mid to upper 50s across much of central Minnesota and western Wisconsin and even exceeded 60 degrees across southern Minnesota. The warm temperatures melted what was left of the snowpack from the December 10 winter storm, which led to widespread dense fog through much of the morning and afternoon.

After the damaging thunderstorms, strong gradient winds and widespread wind gusts in excess of 50 mph developed for several hours late Wednesday night and into the overnight hours.

Locally, in Goodhue County, there were two tornadoes occurring during this line of storms both happening at approximately 7:49pm. The first tornado spun up south of Kenyon around County 11 Blvd and 50th Ave and continued northeast. It destroyed a few farm buildings and snapped several trees near 480th street. Debris was lofted west across 66th Ave. This tornado traveled 4.4 miles and was rated at an EF-1 (with estimated peak winds of 95mph).

The second tornado spun up near the Goodhue/Dodge County border near 170th Ave and tracked northeast 3.9 miles. It snapped pine trees, destroyed the top half of a barn, and lofted debris westward into a field.  It ended around 100th Ave south of County 54 Blvd. This tornado was also rated an EF-1 (with estimated peak winds of 100mph).

For more information about this storm please link HERE.

Tornado outbreak of 9/20/2018

Widespread damage due to downbursts and tornadoes occurred Thursday, September 20 from south central Minnesota into west central Wisconsin. Some downbursts exceeded 100 mph. There were 27 tornadoes (one in Iowa, 25 in Minnesota, one that crossed from Minnesota into Wisconsin, and one in Wisconsin).  Two were rated EF2 with winds of 125 and 130 mph, 15 were rated EF1 with winds of 86-110 mph, and ten were rated EF0 with winds up to 85 mph. With 25 tornadoes in a matter of hours, this was Minnesota’s third most prolific tornado day (48 on June 17, 2010 and 27 on June 16, 1992, though both of those days had a number of much stronger tornadoes). Seven tornadoes touched inside Goodhue County during this storm event (labeled boldface below graphic).

Tornado tracks from 9/20/2018 outbreak.

1.) Superior, IA tornado: EF1
2.) Granada, MN tornado: EF1
3.) Garden City, MN tornado: EF0
4.) near Skyline, MN tornado: EF0
5.) Lake Elysian, MN tornado: EF1
6.) Janesville, MN (east) tornado: EF0
7.) near Waldorf, MN tornado: EF1
8.) Waterville, MN tornado: EF1
9.) Waseca-Medford, MN tornado: EF1
10.) Morristown, MN tornado: EF2
11.) Roberds Lake, MN (southeast side) tornado: EF1
12.) Owatonna, MN tornado: EF1
13.) Faribault Airport, MN tornado: EF2
14.) Roberds Lake, MN (north side) tornado: EF1
15.) Medford Northeast, MN tornado: EF1
16.) Faribault Northeast, MN tornado: EF1
17.) Rice County Southeast, MN tornado: EF1
18.) Dundas, MN (south) tornado: EF1
19.) Dundas, MN tornado: EF0
20.) Stanton, MN tornado: EF1
21.) Wanamingo, MN tornado: EF0
22.) Cannon Falls, MN (south) tornado: EF1
23.) Cannon Falls, MN (north) tornado: EF0
24.) New Trier, MN tornado: EF0
25.) Zumbrota, MN tornado: EF0
26.) Prairie Island, MN to Diamond Bluff, WI tornado: EF0
27.) Ellsworth, WI tornado: EF0

For more information about this storm please link HERE.

Tornado events on 8/27/2018

On August 27, 2018 a line of storms moved across eastern Minnesota into Wisconsin. These storms caused widespread wind damage and produced two EF-0 tornadoes in Rice and Goodhue Counties. These tornadoes were short-lived and formed out of a mesovortex-like feature. Downburst wind damage was also found along the path of the mesovortex. Portions of the city of Red Wing had extensive wind damage with the Red Wing Regional Airport automated station measuring a wind gust of 82 mph.

Showing tornado tracks near Nerstrand and Vasa on 8/27/2018.

Stats on graphic current as of 1/19/2022.

Most information shown on this page was sourced from the National Weather Service and can be found by searching