PHOTOS: Storms bring hail, wind, flooding to Twin Cities - KMSP-TV

PHOTOS: Storms bring hail, wind, flooding to Twin Cities

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Clear skies with ample sunshine, heat and humidity destabilized the atmosphere on Tuesday afternoon, and storms developed along and south of a warm front moving southeast along Interstate 94 from Fargo toward the metro.


Storms, some severe, began to develop after 3:30 p.m. and continued to develop in the afternoon hours and evening, particularly in western Minnesota.


Storms began between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. before moving east and southeast through the metro area in the evening hours and on into western Wisconsin. Several counties were put under a severe thunderstorm watch until 2 a.m., but those alerts were removed shortly before midnight.


Key threats include large hail exceeding one inch and winds gusting over 60 mph.


A chance of isolated tornados threatened 29 Minnesota counties, including those in the metro.


The storms moved into the south metro at about 8 p.m., and within an hour, Xcel Energy reported 35, 172 customers were without power in the west metro.

In the eastern metro area, an additional 3,006 customers were left in the dark at that time.

All told, 70,500 customers lost power on Tuesday night. Power was restored to 61,200 by 1 p.m. on Wednesday, and the rest were expected to have electricity again by 11 p.m.


Southbound Highway 77 was closed near the Mall of America just before 9 p.m. after a trained spotter in Bloomington saw a pine tree uprooted by winds.


Several other areas of the metro reported flash flooding that forced drivers to find alternate routes amid heavy downpours.


Just after 4 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for central Stevens County that remained in effect until 4:30 p.m.

Tornado warnings were also issued for Pope and Kandiyohi counties as the storm continued to progress. The tornado warning for Kandiyohi County remained in effect until 5:45 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m., new tornado warnings were issued for southwest Pine County in east-central Minnesota and another was issued for southwest Burnett County in northwestern Minnesota. Both lasted until 7 p.m.


At about 4:50 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for northwestern Kandiyohi County, southeastern Pope County, west central Stearns County and northeastern Swift County. The warning was extended for Meeker and Pine counties through 6:30 p.m.

According to the NWS, the storm was located 12 miles of Glenwood, Minn., and was moving east at 40 miles per hour. Radar indicated the storm was capable of producing tennis ball-sized hail and 70 mph wind gusts.

The warning cautioned that people and animals could be injured by the storm, and that hail could damage to rooftops, siding, windows and vehicles. Considerable tree damage was expected, as well as damage to mobile homes, roofs and outbuildings.

The severe storm warning was also within a tornado watch area. Although a tornado was not believed to be immediately likely, residents were warned that they can form quickly.

A severe thunderstorm warning was also issued in Traverse County until 6 p.m.

At 7 p.m., a severe thunderstorm located 10 miles north of Waconia and moving east at 45 mph sparked a new series of warnings for Hennepin and northern Carver counties that remained in effect until 7:45 p.m.

That storm was capable of producing ping-pong ball-sized hail and 60 mph wind gusts. Much of the metro area -- including Minneapolis, Excelsior, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, Bloomington and Mound -- was in the storm's path.

Anyone on or around area lakes, particularly Lake Minnetonka, was urged to seek shelter away from the water due to the risk of waves swamping vessels.

At 7:12 p.m., the National Weather Service also issued a thunderstorm warning for northeastern Meeker County and southeastern Stearns County that remained active through 8 p.m.

That storm was located 9 miles east of Paynesville and traveled east at 40 mph, producing quarter-sized hail and 60 mph wind gusts.

At 8:17 p.m., a severe thunderstorm located 7 miles southwest of River Falls moving east at 45 mph was producing ping-pong ball-sized hail and wind gusts of 60 mph, prompting a new warning for the extreme northeastern portion of Goodhue County in Minnesota and Pierce County in west central Wisconsin. That warning remained in effect until 9:15 p.m.

Although the severe weather seemed to quiet down after nightfall, at least one severe thunderstorm warning was issued in western Wisconsin which lasted through 11:45 p.m. The declaration was made at 11:20 because the storm had not lost its hail-generating potential, with ice stones an inch in diameter reported in Trempealeau, La Crosse and Winona counties. Cloud-to-ground lightning was also observed.


At about 2:30 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch covering 29 Minnesota counties, including the metro area. The watch will remain in effect through 9 p.m. for the following counties:

- Anoka
- Benton
- Carver
- Chippewa
- Chisago
- Dakota
- Douglas
- Hennepin
- Isanti
- Kanabec
- Kandiyohi
- Lac Qui Parle
- McLeod
- Meeker
- Mille Lacs
- Morrison
- Pope
- Ramsey
- Renville
- Scott
- Sherburne
- Sibley
- Stearns
- Stevens
- Swift
- Todd
- Washington
- Wright
- Yellow Medicine

Three Wisconsin counties were also affected by the tornado watch. Those are:

- Pierce
- Polk
- St. Croix


With National Night Out celebrations taking place, attendees of outdoor parties needed to keep an eye on the forecast. FOX 9 News provides a list of active watches and warnings online here:


For updated forecast information and to receive weather alerts on the go, download the free FOX 9 Weather app. Links are provided below.



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