SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Thankfully, the occurrence of tornadoes in Sioux Falls have been few and far between over the history of the city. But the evening of September 10th, 2019 changed all of that in a way many of us will never forget.
The evening began with a series of severe thunderstorm and tornado warning west of Sioux Falls. A line of intense storms approached the city after 11 p.m. It was not a traditional tornado event. None of these storms were supercells. Instead, we were watching a solid line of storms approaching from the west with embedded areas of rotation with the threat for brief, but intense tornadoes.
We were very fortunate that the areas of rotation in Lincoln County triggered a tornado warning for parts of Sioux Falls when it did. Finding tornadoes in a scenario like this is like finding needles in a haystack and warning lead time is usually reduced.
We also were reminded of how powerful straight-line winds can be. The individual tornado paths were small, so much of the damage was actually connected to the severe thunderstorm winds over 80 mph.
This entire event reminded us that being proactive and weather aware is so important when severe weather enters the forecast.