Meteorologists say it's not a question of if, but of when a powerful tornado—much stronger than the storm that hit North Minneapolis last year—will rip through the Twin Cities. Would nursing homes, shopping malls, schools and stadiums be prepared? With severe weather season upon us, MPR News and KARE 11 teamed up to answer that question. We found plenty of preparation, but experts say even with planning, it's impossible to protect everyone. And while the experts say the delivery of warnings needs to be more effective, people often ignore them anyway. In addition, experts disagree on what you should do if you are caught out on the road in a tornado. New research shows that staying in your car may be your best choice when a tornado strikes, a departure from previous advice.
Scroll down in the right column or choose a specific time to see the storm advance over the metro, watch the storm form, and learn how key locations are prepared to protect the public.
NOAA Storm Prediction Center issues "moderate risk" for severe storms centered on the Twin Cities. Wording highlights the chance for "Significant tornadoes" capable of major damage.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center issues a tornado watch for most of southern Minnesota including the Twin Cities metro area until 9 p.m.
Strong thunderstorms develop along the Minnesota River near Mankato, moving northeast at 30 mph.
Severe thunderstorm warnings are issued for the southwest metro, including Scott and Carver counties.
A rotating wall cloud and funnel is spotted by law enforcement and the public over Shakopee, Minn., moving northeast at 20 mph. Tornado warnings are issued for Scott and Hennepin counties until 7:30 p.m. Sirens sounded in Scott and Hennepin counties.
Tornado warnings and emergency sirens are the triggers for the locations in the path of our hypothetical tornado to implement their emergency action plans.
Game time is 7:10pm.
No further tornado touchdowns are reported. An EF4 tornado has wind speeds of 166-200 mph, leaving major structural damage in its path from Eden Prairie through Edina, into Minneapolis.
Warnings and watches are lifted.
Storm track created by MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner and KARE 11 News chief meteorologist Belinda Jensen.
Huttner and Jensen talk about the storm scenario on The Daily Circuit.
Huttner writes about the weather daily on MPR's Updraft blog.