Tornadoes Hit Northwestern Iowa and Southwestern Minnesota Friday Evening

Video of Rushmore Tornado via NWS Sioux Falls from Amy Christenson

Friday afternoon/evening, a quick moving low pressure system skated through eastern portions of the KDLT forecast area. In its wake, towns like Melvin, Iowa, and Rushmore, Minnesota, are left cleaning up after tornadoes formed and quickly moved southeast with the system. The strongest tornado has been recorded as an EF-2 with winds topping at 125 miles per hour!

Here is a loop, with storm reports, of the last 24 hours; as you can see, the quick moving low pressure system skated through southwestern Minnesota. On the southwestern edge of the low, along the cold front, that’s where a particularly stronger cell was located. That cell was able to produce a total of four tornadoes, starting near the Rushmore, MN, area with the final tornado being recorded near Melvin, Iowa.

Radar loop between 3pm and 10pm Friday night; red boxes indicate tornado warning

Rotation Couplet south of Rushmore, MN

Below, provided by the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, are photos from their storm survey as well as more information including the tornado touchdowns in chronological order, top wind speeds, path and time from when each tornado touched down/lifted up. If you have any photos of either the tornado or damage, please send them to either ourselves or to the Sioux Falls National Weather Service. If you’re able to provide an approximate time and location, that would help them for record keeping. And, as always, please never yourself in harms way to get a photo; we here at KDLT have your safety in mind always and never want you to risk your life or put yourself in danger to take a photo or video of severe weather.

First Tornado To Touchdown near Rushmore, MN, via NWS Sioux Falls


Second Tornado To Touchdown near Rushmore, MN, via NWS Sioux Falls


Third Tornado To Touchdown near Bigelow, MN, via NWS Sioux Falls


Fourth Tornado To Touchdown near Melvin, IA, via NWS Sioux Falls



Storm damage photos begin below, beginning with damage from Rushmore, MN.









All taken and provided by the National Weather Service Sioux Falls as they did their storm damage survey.







Here are photos of the storm damage from Melvin, IA. Aerial photos as well as drone photos were provided through the help of the Dickinson County EMA.


We want to thank the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls for allowing us to use these photos.

Blaise Keller
KDLT Morning Meteorologist
Twitter – @blaisekellerr

Categories: Weather, Weather Blog