A Tornado Just Hit Faribault.

The National Weather Service did its job tonight extraordinarily well. The Rice County Emergency Management and Dispatch sounded the alert sirens quickly. Our Skywarn social media posts went out immediately. These sources gave everybody in Rice County at least 15 if not 20 minutes of warning before the tornadoes came through.

Things are a mess around here. Bethany and I are OK, and our part of town had more tree damage than anything. This is the only damage I had.. a single piece of front fascia hanging down. It is absolutely nothing compared to several families dealing with losing their homes or businesses tonight.

West of Faribault is like a scene out of “Twister”. Corrugated metal hung up high in trees. Roofs of sheds laying in unharvested fields. Halves of silos gone completely. Trees through people’s living rooms. Horse trailers laying on their roof in the ditch. Recreational Vehicles tipped over like Hot Wheels at LeMieux’s Resort.

North of Faribault, not many hangars are left without major damage at our Airport. MetCon has structural damage to their building. The freeway, closed down because of vehicles tipped over and debris littering the roadway.

I’ve never seen this kind of devastation around the Faribault area. This is going to be talked about for a long time.

A Tour of the National Weather Service Office in Chanhassen

As Rice County Skywarn is a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, we got the opportunity to tour the National Weather Service in Chanhassen today! We talked to the meteorologists that forecast our weather and do such a good job updating the public over social media, without sensationalism. At 6 p.m., we watched a weather balloon launch with a radiosonde which measures temperature, humidity, and pressure all the way up to 100,000 feet. The data is used to create the models we use each day to predict the weather. The staff was so accommodating, informative, and polite! Afterwards, we stopped by Lion’s Tap for supper. It was a great afternoon away from the office!