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Icy Roads...Strong Winds Today

Freezing rain has left much of the region with icy roads. The potential continues for freezing drizzle or snow today. Strong winds will continue into the afternoon hours. Read More >

Overview

An upper-level low pressure system was moving into Saskatchewan Friday with a trough of low pressure south into western North Dakota Friday afternoon. A very warm, moist, unstable airmass was in place ahead of this system with dew points in the mid 60s to lower 70s and maximum surface temperatures in the mid 80s to lower 90s. This created an unstable atmosphere and despite weak surface based forcing, isolated strong to severe thunderstorms formed during the day and became quite numerous in the mid to late afternoon.

Of the several clusters of storms which formed, one of the strongest developed to the east of Grand Forks near Fosston MN, moving east-southeast through Bagley and Bemidji, to well past Cass Lake MN. Winds from these storms ranged in the 60-95 mph range and caused considerable tree damage along with some minor structural damage. Other scattered storms formed near the Upper and Lower Red Lakes in Beltrami County Minnesota and one of these produced a brief tornado west of Kelliher MN, which damaged a buildings on a number of farmsteads. Another weak tornado was observed for a brief period in Clay County, just south of Glyndon MN.

In North Dakota, severe thunderstorms affected areas between Carrington and Cooperstown early in the afternoon, where large hail and high winds caused extensive crop damage. Late that evening and overnight, a band of storms first produced hail in areas south and west of Leeds ND and a brief funnel cloud northwest of Minnewauken.  Eventually, isolated episodes of large hail and/or strong winds spread from Enderlin ND across the southern Red River Valley into the Pelican Rapids MN area.

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