On This Date In Twin Cities History - November 16, 1931

On this date in 1931 temperatures hit the upper 60s and low 70s across parts of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities. Dewpoints climbed into the 50s with strong southwest winds gusting between 25-30 mph.

By sunset dark clouds, lightning and thunder were crossing over the central and eastern portions of Minnesota. Around 9:30 PM that evening a tornado touched down in Hennepin County near Maple Plain destroying several barns and outbuildings in the rural area as it moved northeast for about 5 miles.

There happened to be a Weather Bureau Volunteer Observer in Maple Plain at the time (George W. Richards) who described the event: “A tornado swept 3/4 mile south and east of this station at 9:35pm moving from SW to NE and NNE. …a few hundred feet wide and four or five miles in length. The tornado demolished and damaged several barns, machine sheds and windmills. One half mile of Great Northern Railway telegraph poles laid flat.”  Mr. Richards noted it was 66 degrees at 9pm before the tornado hit and wound up with 2.33 inches of rain, both impressive for mid-November.

To date, this remains the latest day on the calendar for a tornado to occur in Minnesota.