Courtesy Mark RyanAn oddball surprise storm caught the city of Minneapolis and other parts of the Twin Cities metro area completely off guard yesterday.
Courtesy Mark RyanThe National Weather Center was ambushed as well, and no warning of the tempest was issued.
Courtesy Mark RyanNothing's been officially confirmed but Minneapolis residents reported sighting cloud rotation, tornadoes, and hearing the roar of wind as a storm swept through downtown and South Minneapolis.
Courtesy Mark RyanHundreds of the city's trees were knocked down by the storm. I was at the Science Museum for a meeting when the warning sirens sounded so on the way home I drove into the affected area to see for myself.
Courtesy Mark RyanI just happened to have a pocket camera with me (I just bought it over the weekend) so I took some photos of the damage in one small area of South Minneapolis near the intersection of Portland Avenue South and East 43rd Street (I used to live near the neighborhood). Because the storm came on without any warning and much of it under the cover of heavy downpour, the weather service's usual storm spotters weren't in place to report on conditions or damage. Investigators are on site today to determine if the culprit was a small tornado (or tornadoes) or straight line winds. The last tornado to go through Minneapolis was back on June 14, 1981. I remember that one well.
Courtesy Mark Ryan