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Hazardous Heat Expanding into the Central and Eastern U.S.; Severe Thunderstorms in the Midwest into the Upper Great Lakes

Hazardous heat will expand into the Central and Eastern U.S. this week. Extremely dangerous heat, particularly for urban areas of the Southeast and East Coast, is forecast Monday through midweek. Many daily record highs are possible. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected over parts of the Midwest into the Upper Great Lakes Region Monday, with damaging winds as the primary threat. Read More >


Roads, bridges and culverts were flooded and some washed out as four days of stormy weather and heavy rains in mid-June (14th-17th) caused record flooding across northwestern Wisconsin and adjacent areas of east central Minnesota. The hardest hit areas were the Wisconsin counties of Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Iron and Burnett where Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency.  

Northwest Wisconsin took the brunt of the rain which resulted in the widespread flooding. Record crests occurred on some rivers in Wisconsin including: the Nemadji River at Superior, Whittlesy Creek at Ashland, White River at Ashland and the St. Croix River at Danbury. See the hydrographs below for specific crest information.

See the map below for a closer look at rainfall totals in the flood region.

Thursday, June 14th

Late Thursday evening, the 14th of June, numerous thunderstorms moved across the Northland. These storms would set the stage for more flooding in the next few days. Two to 4 inches of rain fell across parts of northwestern Wisconsin. The most rain fell over Iron and Price Counties. It is this rain that helped cause the flooding in Houghton, MI. The NWS cooperative weather observer near Butternut had 1.06 inches of rain overnight while Hurley had 3.50 inches. Some roads and culverts were flooded. Some of the storms came with large hail. Half dollar size hail fell near New Post in Sawyer County, quarter-size hail fell near Ashland and Drummond while golfball size hail fell 7 miles east northeast of Butternut. 

Friday, June 15th

The deluge of rain began during the day of Friday, June 15th. This first round of storms brought large hail, damaging winds and torrential rain from east central Minnesota, across the Twin Ports and across northwest Wisconsin. Most of the hail reported was nickle size and smaller, however golf ball size hail fell in Carlton, MN. Trees and power lines were blown down in Duluth. Flash flooding occurred near Hurley when 2 feet of water covered U. S. Highway 2 at the intersection of County Road D. Far northern tier counties of Wisconsin received the brunt of the rain with amounts ranging from 2 inches to over 3".  

Saturday/Saturday night June 16-17th

More thunderstorms developed the evening of the 16th and lasted overnight. Downburst winds caused significant damage on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation. Shingles and facia were torn from the Headstart building on Trepania Road. Homes were damaged by fallen trees in the Hunter Township. Oak trees were uprooted. Another downburst brought down 30 large oak trees northwest of Spooner on Tanglewood Drive. Tehre was also major tree damage near Spooner where a homeowner reported 30 large oak trees were blown over or snapped. This damage was in a small area of about 500 feet wide and less than a quarter mile wide and was likely due to a microburst, which is an intense thunderstorm downdraft. Winds could have reached 80 to 90 miles an hour. 

The extreme rainfall with this batch of storms was widespread across northeast Minnestoa and northwest Wisconsin. Some specific 24 hour rainfall amounts include 2.70" in Ashland, WI, 2.11" in Hayward, 3.01" at Bruno, MN, 2.05 in Brainerd, 2.51 at Island Lake and 2" at Kabetogama. 

Sunday, June 17th

More rain fell on Sunday, June 17th. 2" fell at Hayward, WI, 1.84" at Ashand1.35 at Hurley. Duluth, MN had 1", Brainerd 1.21" and 1.92" fell at Wright in Aitkin County. 





Measured rainfall, June 15-17, 2018



Please DO NOT try to cross flooded roads!
Do not drive around barriers!

Most flooding deaths occur in vehicles. 



Image Image Image

State Highway 35 at Pattison State Park
Photo from Wis DoT

U. S. Highway 2 in Superior 
flooded by Nemadji River
NWS Photo
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center/U. S. Highway 2
Airfox Photography
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