National Weather Service confirms 2 derechos ripped through Minnesota, Wisconsin

Wisconsin was hit the hardest.
Publish date:
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. 


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

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher Basketball

Maryland hands Gophers first home loss of season

The 17th-ranked Gophers fell to the Terrapins 63-49 on Saturday afternoon.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.

Iron Tap snowmobile delivery

This MN restaurant will deliver to your ice house... on a snowmobile

Just in case you work up an appetite fishing on Lake Waconia.

Klobuchar and Trump

Klobuchar reacts to report Trump plotted against his attorney general

The NYT story alleges further tactics to overturn the election.


tornado damage

New details on suspected tornadoes that ripped through Minnesota

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

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 2019-09-03 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.

Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 9.08.36 AM

Tornado touched down in Rochester, damage survey confirms

With winds up to 107 mph, it was a strong EF-1 tornado.

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.

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.

NWS confirms tornado was on the ground for 11 miles

The tornado went through Atwater and Grove City, Minnesota.