National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A small, but intense Supercell formed along a warm front that was stretched across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa on Friday afternoon, June 11, 2004. It initially developed near Charles City, IA and then tracked northeast into Howard County, Iowa. From that point on it began to produce a series of tornadoes as it moved north toward the state line.

No other damage could be found as the storm tracked north until it approached the Riceville, IA area where it dropped another brief touchdown. A few sheds and buildings on the east side of Riceville were damaged, with mainly tin blown off roofs and siding torn off. This damage was rated F0 and the approximate time was 5:35 p.m.

A much more significant tornado formed around 5:50 p.m. about 4 miles north of Riceville or 4 miles southwest of Le Roy, Minnesota, just east of the Mitchell-Howard County line. The tornado formed in open fields near County Road A23 just east of Addison Avenue, which is the Mitchell-Howard County line. It hit several homes and farms (F2 damage) as it tracked straight north toward the Minnesota-Iowa state line, only feet from the county line.

One home lost the roof and all outbuildings, while another home right on the state line was completely destroyed. The tornado was approx. 150 yards wide at times and apparently reached low end F3 damage intensity right on the state line around 6:00 p.m. The tornado then started to weaken but did heavy damage to a grain company (Koch Industries)(F2 damage) about 2 miles west of Le Roy and continued north crossing Highway 56 just before 6:15 p.m.. The tornado lifted approximately 4 miles northwest of Le Roy in open fields.

There were also brief tornado touch downs (all rated F0) near Dexter and Le Roy, Minnesota, as well as areas along the Mower-Fillmore County line west of Spring Valley.

Tornado map from June 11, 2004
tornado image Image Image
Tornado in extreme northwest Howard County, IA.
(Photo by James and Holly Bass)
Tornado southwest of Le Roy, MN.
(Photo by Kurt Grover)
Another shot of tornado.
(Photo by Jordan Gilgenbach and Lindsay Viker)
nws logo Media use of NWS Web News Stories is encouraged!
Please acknowledge the NWS as the source of any news information accessed from this site.
nws logo