A significant tornado crossed through parts of Stearns and Sherburne Counties in Minnesota on July 22, 1967. This tornado is officially listed in the SPC Tornado Database with a rating of F2. Grazulis has a rating of F3.
It was called the most damaging Minnesota tornado to date, but Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes questions that statement. He believes this was a “complex combination of tornadoes and microbursts” and that much of the damage was due to the strong microbursts.
This was a bit of a challenging event to determine the exact path of this tornado and what counties and towns should be included. A 2-year-old boy lost his life west of Marshall and several farms were leveled. Per Grazulis, “damage reached near-F5 intensity near the end of the path.”
During the early morning hours of July 5, 1978, a family of tornadoes moved through parts of Norman, Mahnomen, Polk and Clearwater Counties in Minnesota. Officially, the SPC Database lists a rating of F2. Thomas Grazulis though has a rating of F3. It was a devastating event that covered 55-60 miles or more (there are discrepancies on the path length). Four fatalities were reported and 40+ injuries.
“It looked like we were driving into a dump site, or a burned out slum, or what I would imagine a bombed out city would have looked like after World War II.” – These are the words of Steve Ulmen. He was 22 and a senior member of the Mankato Civil Air Patrol squadron when an F5 hit Tracy, MN on June 13, 1968.
16 tornadoes occurred on this day in 1998. 2 in Wisconsin (both rated F0) and 14 in the state of Minnesota. This was the largest March occurrence of tornadoes in the state of Minnesota on record. Per the NWS Twin Cities, prior to 1998, there were only 7 tornadoes known to have hit the state in March.