Skip to main content

National Weather Service confirms 2 derechos ripped through Minnesota, Wisconsin

Wisconsin was hit the hardest.
storm damage

Damaging from severe winds in Wisconsin. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed that two derechos ripped through parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan on Friday.

The first derecho, which was involved with Friday's severe weather outbreak, began in east-central Minnesota, producing damaging winds and baseball-sized hail before racing southeast through Wisconsin, across Lake Michigan and eventually dying out 490 miles later in Michigan. 

A second derecho erupted in central South Dakota late Friday night and blew through southern Minnesota and into Wisconsin and Michigan. The line of nasty storms lasted an incredible 860 miles. 

derecho

What the heck is a derecho? It's essentially a long-lived line of destructive severe storms. Here's the official description from the NWS: 

"A derecho (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho") is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to the strength of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term "straight-line wind damage" sometimes is used to describe derecho damage. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho."

Here's an awesome view of the satellite imagery of the first derecho. 

The Friday night derecho also produced a couple of confirmed tornadoes in Polk and Barron counties in western Wisconsin. 

The first tornado touched down about three miles northwest of Turtle Lake, with the second twister dropping three miles east/northeast of Turtle Lake. 

Sign up for our BREAKING WEATHER newsletters

Storm damage assessments revealed that the severe straight-line winds reached a maximum of around 90 mph, with a weather station in Polk County (Cushing, Wisconsin) recording a sustained 73 mph wind for five consecutive minutes. 

Further east into Wisconsin, the storm became even more powerful. Here's the description from the NWS in Green Bay. 

"Many tens of thousands of trees were snapped or uprooted, resulting in damage to dozens of homes and cottages. The path of the most extreme damage may have been 15 miles wide, and more than 25 miles long. Winds were probably over 100 mph in this area."

The radar replay is impressive, and somehow, the bulk of both derechos almost went around the immediate Twin Cities metro area, although heavy rain and a few reports of trees down from high winds were reported on Saturday. 

Next Up

police tape

3 at trauma centers in critical condition after rural MN attack

Two victims and the alleged attacker are in critical condition.

grinch neighbor

Neighborhood 'grinch' sends letter to Burnsville family over holiday lights

A Burnsville family's holiday decorations were the subject of an anonymous complaint.

image

Anthropologie shutters Grand Avenue store, opening planned for Rosedale Center

The popular holiday shopping weekend marked the last for customers of the Grand Avenue store.

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.

ambulance

Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Related

tornado damage

New details on suspected tornadoes that ripped through Minnesota

Bone Lake in Minnesota and Bone Lake in Wisconsin were hit hard.

storm, severe weather, derecho

Rare moderate risk – level 4 of 5 – for severe storms in MN, WI

"Have a way to receive warnings and be prepared to seek shelter quickly with these fast moving storms," says the NWS.

flooding on Interstate 90

Torrential rains cause major flooding in MN, SD, IA, WI

The heavy rain shut down Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota on Thursday.

tornado damage

NWS confirms 4 tornadoes hit eastern Minnesota on Saturday

Two twisters struck around 1 a.m. Saturday, with the other two hitting later Saturday night.

Screen Shot 2019-07-19 at 8.39.54 AM

Tornado watch issued for large area of MN, including Twin Cities

Damaging winds, very large hail and strong tornadoes are all possible.

Screen Shot 2019-09-03 at 12.59.54 PM

NWS confirms tornado hit near Watertown, Minnetrista

The tornado touched down just east of Watertown.

Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 6.30.30 AM

Unexpected tornado rips through southwest Minnesota

Severe storms were not anticipated on Thursday.