Confirmed EF-1 tornado in Winona County produces minor damage

Confirmed EF-1 tornado in Winona County produces minor damage

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) - The National Weather Service in La Crosse has confirmed that a small tornado that touched down in Winona County.

Officials said the tornado touched down about five miles northwest of Rushford in the Town of Hart and moved just south of interstate ninety at around 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Experts said the tornado registered as an EF-1 on the Fujita Scale with winds as high as 90 miles per hour. 

Officials at the National Weather Service say the tornado wasn't strong enough to produce a lot of damage. 

"A majority of tornados are rated EF-0 or EF-1," said Dan Baumgardt, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service in La Crosse. "That's a majority of them and they do very little damage and are really not a big risk to life."

Most of the impacts included crop damage, fallen trees and roof damage to buildings.     

However, National Weather Service officials said they always prepare for the worst when a Tornado forms. 

"Forecasters are trained on assessing tornado risk from radar information and from spotter information and then we also look at the atmospheric environment around the storm," Baumgardt said.  "We use those three ingredients to build a probability of what the risk is to the public and then once we hit a certain threshold and where we feel that a tornado may form we issue the tornado warning." 

Officials said strong tornadoes are extremely rare and require specific conditions at the right time to form.    

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