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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published November 13 2012

Weather Talk: Two Twin Cities storms classified as tornadoes

Two weak tornadoes touched down in the Twin Cities metro area Saturday night.

The first, in Burnsville, had a patch length of 2.6 miles and a peak wind estimated at 80 mph. The tornado was 100 yards wide at its widest. The second tornado was only on the ground a half-mile in an area north of Eagan with a 50- yard path and a peak wind of 75 mph. Both storms were rated EF0 by the National Weather Service.

There was storm damage to other parts of the Twin Cities area due to straight-line winds associated with the parent storm. November tornadoes are rare in Minnesota. Prior to Saturday, there are just three reports on record: in 1931, 1938 and 2000. (There was also a tornado south of Bismarck that same day in 2000.)

In years past, it is quite possible these tornadoes Saturday night would not have been classified as tornadoes without the benefit of Doppler radar and aggressive post-storm assessment by the National Weather Service.

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