SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Our team of meteorologists tracked the storms as they gained strength and moved into the Sioux Falls area. Meteorologist Brian Karstens continues our team coverage and takes a look back at how the situation unfolded.
Tornadoes at 11:30 at night are rare in KELOLAND, but as last night proved, not impossible. The evening was busy as an intense cluster of thunderstorms developed west of Sioux Falls.
Several tornado warnings were issued leading up to the storm’s arrival in Sioux Falls. The situation had several key features.
We had two circulations that migrates toward the city from the southwest. A closer look reveals the rotation over the Avera Heart Hospital. You can also see the rotation near 41st and Kiawanis.
Another marker shows up southwest of 69th and Minnesota. These couplets were likely enhanced as they interacted with a feeder band of storms prior to their arrival in Sioux Falls.
You can see that band of thunderstorms as shown here ahead of the main line coming in from the west. The storms strengthened over the Sioux Falls metro and a bow echo structure grew as the system tracked to the east. Bow echoes are notorious for damaging straightline wind, which accounts for some of the damage.
However, the more intense streaks of damage have the hallmark signature of tornado damage. The city is no stranger to storm damage, but a strike from a tornado is rare. The last tornado in the city happened 30 years ago, but had a much smaller impact.