Rumor Mill Turns After Severe Weather Keeps Breaking Up Near St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD - Severe weather rumors are circulating in Central Minnesota communities after a couple recent storm systems have weakened over the St. Cloud metro.
Does it seem like severe weather always misses St. Cloud? Two popular theories have sprung up from listeners that have reached our newsroom/office....
- The granite formations in our area have something to do with breaking up storms.
- The St. Cloud metro has a lot of buildings, which prevent wind and storms from picking up strength.
In regards to buildings (theory #2), St. Cloud State University meteorology professor Bob Weisman says tornadoes are just as likely to hit our area. The idea that storms miss major cities is a popular tornado myth.
"While we may have had storms go around us to some extent this past year, it was only five years ago where there was a massive outbreak of severe storms, including a tornado, on the north side of St. Cloud."
Weisman adds that in the past four years, cities the size of St. Cloud like Moore Oklahoma and Joplin Missouri have been directly hit by major tornadoes.
The "granite formation theory" also falls flat with meteorologists. This likely runs close with the popular tornado myth that tornadoes don't strike mountains or high rock formations. Todd Krause with the National Weather Service says ground features have little impact on storms that are 40,000 to 50,000 feet high.
"There are any number of examples of tornadoes moving across whatever the geographical feature is," Krause says.
Weisman agrees that granite has little to do with storms, adding that the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history also struck Sauk Rapids in 1886, 72 people were killed.
"A severe weather event isn't going to have much relation to what's underground."
Rumors started gaining traction after severe weather on Saturday weakened as it reached Central Minnesota. A couple weeks back, several tornado warnings were issued for St. Cloud: but no funnel clouds were spotted. The storms kept mostly to the north in Crow Wing County.