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John Wheeler: Our region’s largest tornado outbreak revisited – InForum

John Wheeler: Our region’s largest tornado outbreak revisited – InForum

John Wheeler: Our region’s largest tornado outbreak revisited – InForum

FARGO — Twelve people died in the Fargo tornado on June 20, 1957. In Fergus Falls, 57 people were killed by the twin tornadoes of June 22, 1919. Thirteen died in the Fridley (Twin Cities) tornado outbreak on May 6, 1965 But the largest tornado outbreak recorded in this region was on June 17, 2010. There were 76 tornadoes that day; 22 in North Dakota, 48 in Minnesota and three each in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Minnesota’s 48 is a record number of tornadoes in a single day. Rare and powerful EF4 tornadoes touched down near Thompson, North Dakota and near Parker’s Prairie, Wadena and Albert Lea in Minnesota. Three people were killed, all in the state of Minnesota. This remains the second largest tornado outbreak on record in the US for the summer months. Most high-number, violent tornado outbreaks have historically occurred further south and during the spring.

John Wheeler

John Wheeler is chief meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has held since May 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South in Louisiana and Alabama and cites his family’s move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate . Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked for about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY.