Well, that was interesting. We are having turbulent weather here in Minnesota. The current low pressure system passing across the US is sitting on us like a bullet on a bull’s eye. Almost every line of storm activity is breaking into small blobs which in turn are spinning up wall clouds and twisters, mostly small, mostly only on radar, mostly not touching down.
Except the one that is currently bearing down on Coon Lake Beach and Forest Lake. It was spotted on a traffic cam earlier, seen by some spotters, damaged a shopping mall, and hit the small airport we have down the road from here. But what happened here, at our house, was kinda cool.
A large cloud which I believe contained the tornado to our east sat over head dropping one or two inch an hour rain (but no hail). However the wind velocity was zero. The leaves on nearby trees were quivering lightly from being rained on. I heard the freight train but the air did not move.
Then, just as the sound of the tornado going by faded into the distance, with the wind still at zero, leaves started to fall. I could see them way up in the air, two or three times higher than the tops of the perfectly still trees all around me, and the leaves fell, spinning or wavering a bit, but not much, straight down to the ground. And, when they hit the ground I could see that every one of the green falling items was a small fragment of a leaf or other vegetation. Debris carried high into the air, spread out from the tornado, and gently dropped on it.
As I write this I’m hearing that dozens of homes in one area have been damaged, people are using their own axes and chain saws to cut through trees sitting on people’s houses to rescue those trapped inside. No reports of injuries from that locality right now. I don’t know where the heck the breathless reporter was calling in from … oh, wait, North Minneapolis. People are trapped in their homes and cars. We’ll keep an eye on that.
UPDATE: They’re showing traffic cam film of a twister on the ground in Forest Lake now, a few miles away from the camera, which in turn is in the sun.