National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Event Summary  

Seven tornadoes and several funnel clouds occurred Wednesday evening, May 19, 2021 across south central Minnesota into the southern Twin Cities metro area.  Six tornadoes were rated EF0 and one was rated EF1.  Five funnel clouds were also observed: two west of Owatonna, one west of Meriden, one near Belle Plaine, and one northeast of Glencoe.  None of the funnels could be documented to have made ground contact, despite being observed by numerous spotters, chasers, officials, and citizens.  None of the photos or videos showed ground circulation under the funnel clouds, nor were there any damage reports in those areas.

The tornadoes and funnel clouds developed from low-topped supercells that were along a warm front across southern Minnesota.  This was a marginal CAPE, marginal wind shear environment with low cloud bases. A strengthening low-level jet led to an increase in low-level wind shear. This combined to produce a few low-topped supercells that were efficient tornado and funnel producers.

Click here to view a preliminary meteorological recap of the event.