SPC Stats

Path length: 5 miles

Width:  600 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  0

Rating:  EF4

County:  Richland, ND/Wilkin, MN

Photo of the Tornado. (NWS Grand Forks)

When a violent or destructive tornado occurs in the United States, they usually garner the most attention from the media and storm chasers alike. However, there have been many significant (F2/EF-2+) tornado events in the United States that have gone completely unnoticed or forgotten. This has been especially common in the Northern Plains region of the United States. Per the SPC database, since 1950, a total of 13 tornadoes have been rated as F4/EF-4 in the state of North Dakota and 26 in the state of Minnesota.

In 2010, the two states saw a combined total number of five EF-4 tornadoes. While four of these occurred on June 17, 2010, there was another one that spanned both states just two months later. This summary looks at that other tornado, an EF-4 that occurred near the towns of Tyler in Richland County, North Dakota, and near Doran in Wilkin County, Minnesota on August 7. This was one of 11 tornadoes reported on August 7.

The tornado began at 6:25 PM CDT. It initially developed 10 miles south of the city of Wahpeton, North Dakota, near the town of Tyler. It began moving east afterward and produced EF-3 damage here. Seven farm buildings were completely destroyed, and significant tree damage was noted. It continued moving east before entering Minnesota. The tornado was on the ground for 2.5 miles in Richland County and produced a maximum of EF-3 damage in the county.

The tornado reached EF-4 intensity as it entered Wilkin County, Minnesota. It destroyed seven more farm buildings, bringing the total number of destroyed farm buildings from this tornado to 14. A sugar beet field was heavily scoured, with sugar beets pulled out of the ground. A Ford pickup truck near one of the destroyed farm buildings was picked up and tossed into the scoured field. Its engine block was found nearly two-thirds of a mile away from where the truck landed.

The tornado started to weaken as it turned toward the north, finally dissipating around 6:47 PM CDT. The path in Wilkin County was 2.5 miles. This brought the total path length of the tornado to 5 miles and it lasted 22 minutes.

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 46.22 / -96.63   End:  46.1544 / -96.5169      

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Map from NWS Grand Forks.

Radar via NWS Grand Forks

Photos via NWS Grand Forks Summary

Farm building that was swept away, and a heavily damage house.
A destroyed farm building. Ground scouring is visible in the back round.
Engine from the Ford Truck that was deposited in a heavily scoured field.
The remains of the Ford Truck, dropped into a field.

Photos of the Tornado via Facebook

Photo of the Tornado via Flickr

Midwest-Tornadoes

Damage Photos from Facebook

Youtube Videos

Discrepancies:

We gathered the information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, and the NWS Grand Forks summary and found the following discrepancies:

Coordinates:

  • SPC/NCDC lists the same Coordinates, which show a gap when the tornado crosses the state border.
  • The Grand Forks summary fixes this error by showing one continuous track.

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