Weather Flashback

January 2021 - Gary Tornado (August 28, 2016)


This twin funnel, lightning illuminated tornado impacted portions of northwest Minnesota for about an hour during the evening of August 28, 2016. The tornado was spawned by a highly electrified, supercell thunderstorm that developed in the vicinity of a warm front in western Polk County (about 20-30 miles east of where a tornado occurred the day before in North Dakota). This supercell slowly propagated south and east toward Gary, Minnesota, spawning at least one earlier tornado near Greenview before unleashing this larger and longer lived tornado after sunset. When I captured this scene, I was less than one mile away from the tornado in precipitation free air; just ahead of the storm's wet match like smelling, rear flank downdraft. This surge of odorous downdraft air featured heavy rain and occasional hail, and impinged on hot, still air near the surface along the storm's southern flank. More information about this storm event can be found: here. 

Plate 1. Gary Tornado. Captured on August 28, 2016 at 9:11pm CDT. Looking northeast from 47.44°, -96.36°.