National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Saturday, October 9th and Wednesday, October 13th (a school day) both featured several tornadoes across eastern South Dakota and west-central Minnesota, which is a fairly rare occurrence for this area in October. See the Historical Perspective tab below for additional details. 

On October 9th, a late-season quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) produced severe weather and heavy rain. As the storm moved to the east-northeast across the area, it produced straight-line winds of 60 to 75 mph, along with 5 tornadoes (3 in SD and 2 in west central MN) across our forecast area. While most of these tornadoes were only briefly on the ground, one tornado near Dumont, MN traveled for around a mile and crossed through two farms, producing tree and building damage (rated EF-0). 

Then on October 13th, a strong low pressure system, which brought over a foot of snow to some locations in the Black Hills, produced 9 tornadoes (4 in SD and 5 in west central MN) across our forecast area. These tornadoes were associated with a line of low-topped thunderstorms that developed along an occluded front that was lifting north into a highly sheared and sufficiently unstable environment (sunshine broke out for a time following an extended period of steady morning rainfall). The tornadoes largely occurred between 3:00 and 4:30 pm in Roberts County, South Dakota and Big Stone and Traverse Counties in Minnesota. While most of these tornadoes did little to no damage, two tornadoes to the east and north of Wheaton, MN produced tree and building damage at a couple farms (both rated EF-1). 

We want to thank the storm spotters, emergency managers, and public for their reports both during and after these events.  Your information helps us document the extent of these rare October tornado events. 

Tornado near Goodwill, SD, a little after 3PM on October 13th, 2021 (Photo by Alex Resel)
Tornado between Summit and Sisseton, SD, a little after 3 PM on October 13th, 2021 (Photo by Alex Resel)
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