In 2007 the Fujita Scale was replaced by the Enhanced Fujita scale. The new scale is very similar to the original, it also grades tornadoes from EF0 to EF5, but slightly re-categorizes tornadoes reflecting the latest knowledge of damage caused by different wind speeds.
Here are some historical tornadoes that hit the Twin Cities, or close by in Minnesota.
North Minneapolis Tornado, May 22, 2011Three tornadoes touched down in the Twin Cities on May 22, with the most severe hitting North Minneapolis. The North Minneapolis tornado damaged and destroyed hundreds of homes, mostly from large trees uprooted and falling on houses and cars. One person was killed, a second person died during the clean-up efforts, and over 30 were injured. The North Minneapolis tornado was estimated to be EF1 or EF2 in strength.
The Minneapolis Tornado, August 19, 2009Several tornadoes touched down in the Twin Cities early one Wednesday afternoon, the largest of which damaged a church, the Electric Fetus record store, the Minneapolis Convention center and several other buildings just south of downtown Minneapolis.
The Hugo Tornado, May 25, 2008
At around 5 p.m., a tornado ranked EF-3 touched down in Lino Lakes, a north-east suburb of St. Paul, and cut through the town of Hugo. The tornado destroyed 50 houses, killed a two-year-old boy and seriously injured eight more people in Hugo. The tornado hit on Memorial Day weekend, possibly saving many other people who were out of town when the tornado hit.
The Rogers Tornado, September 16, 2006
This tornado that hit the Twin Cities metro area struck northern Hennepin County in the late evening. The F2 tornado struck at around 10 p.m. and destroyed over 300 buildings and homes.
One ten-year-old girl was killed when her home collapsed.
The Har Mar Tornado, Sunday June 14, 1981
The Har Mar Tornado, an F3 tornado, is also known as the Edina Tornado, after the place where it first touched down. After touching down at 3.49 p.m. the tornado moved northeast through Minneapolis and Roseville, leaving 15 miles of devastation behind it. The worst damage was in the Har Mar mall area.
One man was killed in the tornado itself, 83 were injured, and another man died in the cleanup effort.
The Twin Cities Tornado Outbreak, May 6, 1965
It's sometimes claimed tornadoes can't, or don't, hit metropolitan areas. It's not true. A tornado outbreak of six tornadoes caused $51 million of damage and killed 14 people when they passed within miles of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Four of the tornadoes were rated F4, the other two were F3 and F2.
The St. Paul and Minneapolis Tornado, August 21, 1904
Another tornado that hit the metro area, this time causing damage to both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. 14 people were killed, and the High Bridge in St. Paul suffered significant damage.
The Sauk Rapids Tornado, April 14, 1886The deadliest tornado in Minnesota history ripped through Sauk Rapids, St. Cloud, and Rice, just north of the Twin Cities. The town of Sauk Rapids was almost entirely destroyed, and 72 people were killed. Witnesses say the Mississippi river was temporarily sucked dry as the tornado crossed it.
The Rochester Tornado, August 21, 1883
An estimated F5 tornado hit Rochester directly, killing at least 37 people, injuring hundreds and devastating the town. At the time Rochester did not have a hospital to treat the injured, so Doctor William Mayo and his two sons, together with Sisters of St. Francis, had to treat the victims in a makeshift emergency room. After the tornado, the doctors and the Sisters joined forces to create what became the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
The Fort Snelling Tornado, April 19, 1820
The first recorded tornado in Minnesota history was at Fort Snelling, the year after primitive weather recording equipment was installed at the fort. No deaths or injuries were recorded.