Area thrashed by heavy storm

Heavy rain, hail and a tornado swept the southwest part of North Dakota Tuesday evening.

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor

The National Weather Service confirmed the touchdown of an EF-1 tornado south of the city of Mott on Tuesday, June 21. Meteorologist Ken Simosko of the NWS in Bismarck said that the wind speeds were between 86 to 110 mph.

“We have confirmed that it was the EF-1 tornado south of Mott,” Simosko said.

Hail was reported all around southwest North Dakota. (Photo by Tricia Roth)
Hail was reported all around southwest North Dakota.
(Photo by Tricia Roth)

Multiple factors go into determining the presence and severity of a tornado. Along with witness accounts, storm surveyors look at structures in the area and weigh them against damage indicators the NWS has in their procedures.

“It take a certain amount of force from the wind to do certain amount of damage,” Simosko said. “It’s those indicators based on the damage they use to asses and determine, you know, what force is needed by the wind to do that damage.”

Surveyors also look at the debris patterns of the damage. If debris is scattered in generally the same direction, it is most likely determined that it was a straight wind that caused the damage.

“If everything is blown in one direction usually it’s a straight-line wind,” Simosko said.

But if the debris is scattered in different directions, usually in a counter clockwise direction according to Simosko, then it’s a tornado.

According to news reports, a house southwest of Mott suffered significant damage, including the destruction of the roof.

Hail was also reported in Hettinger and Adams counties.

“There was quite a bit of hail,” Simosko said.

Sized ranged from as small as 1.75 inches in diameter in Mott, to a report of hail with a diameter of 3 inches in Adams County one mile southwest of Hettinger. “That was the largest, I do believe,” Siosko said. Hail with a 2.5 inch diameter was reported in Regent at 8:41 p.m., according to Simosko.

Regent was also under a flash flood warning as heavy rains passed through the area. The NWS issued a warning after the area had already suffered through three inches of precipitation.

“There was flooding occurring in and around the city of Regent,” Simosko said.

Storm surveyors were still on the scene interviewing witnesses when The Herald went to print.

Share this post