Mower dodges tornadoes, high winds hit area

Published 10:48 am Monday, April 16, 2012

Mower County got some lucky weather this weekend.

While much of the Midwest was rocked by devastating severe weather, southern Minnesota emerged practically unscathed by storms.

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes went through Iowa Saturday night, while the Twin Cities area experienced more severe weather Sunday as storm systems spun to the north.

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“Thank goodness it took the turn it did,” said Wayne Madson, Mower County Emergency Management Director.

Madson and local law enforcement heard few stories of downed trees or storm damage as severe weather systems passed through the area this weekend. The National Weather Service did not hear of any hail or severe storms in the area, either.

“Everything was sub-severe,” said Brad Adams, NWS-La Crosse meteorologist.

That didn’t stop storm spotters from canvassing Mower County over the weekend. Madson said emergency volunteers were watching for storms to develop.

“For this type of event, it’s kind of like everybody knows what part to play,” he said.

The National Weather Service says two tornadoes were spotted Sunday in McLeod County and another twister was seen in Lyon County. But those counties report no damage or injuries.

NWS Meteorologist Jacob Beitlich in Chanhassen says the potential for major storms was there, but “the ingredients didn’t all come together at the right time.”

An estimated 2 inches of rain was reported 10 miles north of Montevideo. Hail measuring 1 inch was reported in Glencoe.

Much of southern and central Minnesota was under a tornado watch until 11 p.m. Sunday.

The weather switched from hot to cool in some parts of the state overnight. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for most of northeastern Minnesota through Monday morning, and issued a winter weather advisory for the remainder of the northeast region. Grand Rapids in northern Minnesota, where about 6 inches of snow had fallen, canceled classes Monday.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.