Southeast SD under severe thunderstorm watch after tornadoes hit Sioux Falls area

Multiple tornado warnings were issued south of Sioux Falls, but the risk for severe weather remains even after the system passed.

The National Weather Service's map of watches and warnings, current as of 6:02 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Areas shaded in magenta are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 9 p.m.
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Many counties in southeastern South Dakota are under weather watches and warnings Saturday evening, even after a system produced multiple tornado warnings earlier in the day.

A long line of storms have developed throughout the day, resulting in multiple bursts of rain in Mitchell and scattered thunderstorms across southeastern South Dakota.

Mitchell got its first shot of rain early in the morning, followed by brief showers shortly before 2 p.m.

As the storms moved east, their severity picked up, producing tornadoes with wind gusts of up to 70 mph and lime-sized hail between Lennox and Shindler.

Reports of damage to trees and roadways began pouring in after the tornado warning in Turner and Lincoln County expired at 5 p.m. — the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office even warned the public to stay inside and away from downed power lines.


Though the main threat lies to the south and east of Mitchell, the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Bon Homme, Hutchinson and McCook Counties, among others, until 9 p.m. as storm systems continue to develop in northern Nebraska.

The National Weather Service has not issued a tornado watch for the area, but tornadic activity cannot be ruled out.

Andrew Kalin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, said that southeastern South Dakota's typical tornado season runs from mid-May to mid-June, but that the broader severe weather season runs until mid-September.

Kalin suggested always having a reliable way to receive information when the weather turns threatening, and to always be prepared for tornadic activity.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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