Tricounty News

Tornados hit Midwest, several killed

Weather: Last week we discussed the devastation of the typhoon in the Philippines that killed thousands. That nation is still trying to clean up and recover bodies. This week, however, we have to talk of terrible weather closer to home over the weekend.

On Sunday afternoon, parts of the Midwest were hit with a tornado outbreak that killed at least eight people as of Monday, Nov. 18. This storm moved across 12 states and some 48 twisters popped up in its path.

The National Weather Service was well out in front of this storm. They had earlier in the day put out a high risk assessment for the threat of tornadoes. This typically happens only on average about three times a year for the likely threat of a great tornado outbreak across a large area.

In one community, in Washington, Ill., just west of Chicago, the mayor estimated “that 250 to 500 homes had been damaged or destroyed.” Not surprising, the residents would not be allowed to return anytime soon.

Many people have asked me if this is normal for tornadoes to hit in November? The fall is actually a time when the atmosphere is in that transitional phase between warm air to the south and colder air arriving from Canada. However, we generally think of more of this activity in September and October rather than mid-November.

By the way, this is the fourth-largest outbreak reported during the month of November.

For Minnesota, temperatures should be about 10 degrees above average for Wednesday. Colder air will return by Thursday and Friday. Highs by Saturday appear to be hard pressed to reach the lower teens for daytime highs.

Stay warm over the weekend.

Weather history: On this date in 1996 “heavy snowfall accumulations of four to eight inches occurred over much of Central Minnesota.”

Weather fact: If the sun is close to the horizon and “feathery cirrus clouds sit high in the sky, ‘ghost’ images of the sun will sometimes materialize on either side of it, giving the appearance of three suns shining in the sky.” These “ghostly suns are actually brightly colored spots of light created when the sun’s rays are refracted by tiny ice crystals in the high clouds.”

MN AT A GLANCE:

Moorhead Low 28 High 39

Duluth Low 30  High 42

Central Minn. Low 34 High 45

Twin Cities Low 34 High 49

Rochester Low 34 High 45

Marshall Low 36 High 49

Wednesday: Variable cloudiness. High 45 Low 19 Wind: WSW/NW 10-15 mph Prec. None

Monday’s sunrise: 7:28 a.m.

Monday’s sunset: 4:46 p.m.

Normal High: 32

Normal Low: 18

It looks mild for the midweek, but colder air will return by the weekend. High pressure will keep things dry through Sunday along with breezy conditions at times.

Thursday: More clouds than sun. High 25 Low 16 Winds: N 5-10 mph Prec. None

Friday: Partly cloudy. High 32 Low 9 Winds: SW/NW 10-15>20 mph Prec. None

Saturday: Mostly sunny and cold. High 12 Low 3 Winds: NW 10-15 mph Prec. None

Sunday: Partly cloudy. High 20 Low 14 Winds: WSW/S 5-15 mph Prec. None