Nebraska's first tornado for 2013 reported

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Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 4:00 pm

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — The state's first tornado of the year hit in a rural area of western Nebraska, but officials do not believe the twister struck any buildings or caused any injuries.

The National Weather Service confirmed Saturday that Friday evening's tornado was the first for the state in 2013. The tornado was spotted about three miles west of Sutherland, then moved east toward Hershey, weather service meteorologist Cory Martin told the North Platte Telegraph.

The tornado accompanied a severe thunderstorm that dropped heavy rain and hail on the area. Martin said hail an inch in diameter was reported near Lake Maloney. The storm also came with 60 mph wind gusts.

The fast-moving thunderstorm produced less than a third of an inch of rain, Martin said.

"It's a start for us, but it really doesn't do much to help the drought," he said. "It's a step in the right direction."

Damage was limited because the tornado struck in an area that consists mostly of rolling grassland and fields.

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