This morning the National Weather Service confirmed that the state of Minnesota had experienced its earliest tornado ever. A touchdown near Zimmerman in Sherburne County occurred about 6:15PM Monday. The earliest Minnesota had experienced a tornado before was March 18, 1968, near St. James.

Officials were expected to make a decision sometime today as to whether a tornado officially caused the damage suffered in Clarks Grove around 5:30PM last night. The storm toppled a grain elevator and inflicted damage on a number of homes and property. More than 400 utility customers lost power last night, but most of it was restored before sunrise. Meanwhile people are encouraged to stay away from Clarks Grove while the cleanup continues.

I experienced downed branches and pea sized hail outside Geneva. There was also a report of a top wind gust of 62 mph near Pierz and hail measuring at 4 inches was reported in the Cokato area.

Next month will mark the 50th anniversary of one of the deadliest tornado days in Minnesota history. A day that claimed lives in Steele, Waseca, and Freeborn counties and also in the state of Iowa.

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