Another night of severe weather forecast for MinnesotaMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — More severe weather was forecast for Minnesota for Friday night and early Saturday, following on the heels of damaging winds and heavy rain that uprooted trees and knocked out power to more than 133,000 Xcel Energy customers.
By: STEVE KARNOWSKI,Associated Press, Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — More severe weather was forecast for Minnesota for Friday night and early Saturday, following on the heels of damaging winds and heavy rain that uprooted trees and knocked out power to more than 133,000 Xcel Energy customers.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for roughly the southwest quarter of Minnesota through 10 p.m. Friday, extending as far east as the outer Minneapolis suburbs. Flash flood watches crisscross much of Minnesota because of the high potential for more heavy rain across already-soaked areas.
Forecasters expected the second round of severe weather to track a little south of the area struck by storms early Friday, but many locations hit in the earlier round including the Twin Cities are likely to get a repeat, said Rick Hiltbrand, a meteorologist with the weather service in Chanhassen.
"Just a very dangerous night ahead because of the flash flooding and severe weather potential. ... People need to heed the warnings," he said.
The weather service said the line of storms that raced southeastward across Minnesota and western Wisconsin early Friday had a bow-shaped signature on radar, often known as a "bow echo." These storm complexes are often capable of producing very strong straight-line winds across a large area — and they did.
Winds were measured at 85 mph about 1:30 a.m. in the western Minnesota city of Benson, which the weather service said was equivalent to a low-end EF0 tornado. Winds in the 50-60 mph range were common from western and central Minnesota into the Twin Cities area.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy said about 46,000 of its customers from central Minnesota into western Wisconsin were still without power by 2 p.m. Friday, down from a peak of more than 133,000.
With the high winds came heavy rain, as much as 5.6 inches at Morris in western Minnesota. The torrential flooding caused widespread temporary street flooding. Meteorologist Chris Franks said streets flooded in Morris, Glenwood and Starbuck because storm drains just couldn't handle the volume.
Lightning was blamed for a fire that destroyed a home in Minnetonka and one unit of a duplex in Eden Prairie.