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Weather Talk: Rain-wrapped tornadoes often difficult to detect

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News Fargo, 58102
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The National Weather Service found evidence of a tornado within the widespread straight-line wind damage left behind after Monday night’s storm.

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The damage path is approximately 28 miles long through Polk and Red Lake counties in Minnesota and was discovered by the nature of the damage: Debris was lifted higher and thrown farther in a manner usually associated with tornadoes.  No one actually saw the tornado because it was entirely wrapped in heavy rain and was surrounded by a large area of very strong nontornado wind. 

Rain-wrapped tornadoes are not common in the northern Plains but are more common in the South, where more humid environments often produce more widespread rain around tornadoes. 

Rain-wrapped tornadoes are often difficult to detect except by Doppler radar, and the National Weather Service did have a tornado warning in effect at the time. This illustrates the need for people to take all tornado warnings seriously. Fortunately, there were no injuries Monday night.    

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com, or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108 Read the blog at http://www.stormtrack.areavoices.com  

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