National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Stormy and Rainy in the East; Hot in the West

A cold front will combine with Bertha remnants to produce strong to severe storms with damaging winds, large hail, potential for a tornado, and locally heavy rain. Excessive heat continues in the Desert Southwest and spreads into the Great Basin. Critical fire weather threats also continue in the Great Basin with dry thunderstorms in the Four Corners region. Read More >

Video image capture of the tornado near Lake Hanska, about 15 miles southwest of New Ulm. Courtesy of Roy Janni 

 

Overview

Multiple tornadoes tracked along a warm front in southern Minnesota during the late afternoon and early evening of March 29, 1998. With a total of 14 tornadoes, it was the largest March occurrence of tornadoes in Minnesota. In fact, prior to 1998, there were only 7 tornadoes known to have hit Minnesota in March.  There was extreme and widespread damage to trees, homes, schools, and businesses.  Massive hail accompanied the storm, with golf ball to baseball size hail common.  The largest hail stone fell in Courtland and was 4.5 inches in diameter.  The tornadoes tracked along a warm front draped across southern Minnesota. Sadly, two people were killed by the tornadoes: an 85 year old man near Lake Hanska, Louis Mosenden, and a 6 year old boy, Dustin Schneider, near St. Peter.