Bow echo hammers Minnesota. More than 75,000 without power at storm's peak.

Numerous wind damage, large hail, flooding reports

Bow echo
Bow echo rolls through Twin Cities Wednesday evening.
NOAA via Weather Underground

Well, that was interesting.

A complex of severe storms raced across central and southern Minnesota Wednesday night. The storms began in southwest Minnesota, then morphed into what meteorologists call a classic “bow echo.” These bow-shaped systems on radar are notorious for producing damaging winds. And this one raced right through the Twin Cities between about 8 and 9 pm Wednesday evening. (image above)

Storm reports

The system produces several preliminary tornado reports. Numerous high wind reports between 60 and 80 mph rolled into the Weather Lab Wednesday evening.

Here are some select storm reports.

  • Gaylord [Sibley Co, MN] EMERGENCY MNGR reports TSTM WND DMG at 11 May, 7:35 PM CDT -- 10 TREE SNAPPED ONTO POWER LINE, POWER OUT.

  • 1 NNW Morristown [Rice Co, MN] EMERGENCY MNGR reports TSTM WND GST of M79 MPH at 11 May, 8:01 PM CDT -- HWY 13 AND CO RD 7.

  • 1 SW Hutchinson [Mcleod Co, MN] EMERGENCY MNGR reports TSTM WND DMG at 11 May, 8:05 PM CDT -- 12-14 INCH TREE SNAPPED AT TRUNK DALE ST. AND S. GRADE RD. SW.

  • 1 WNW Shakopee [Carver Co, MN] PUBLIC reports TSTM WND GST of M77 MPH at 11 May, 8:07 PM CDT -- MEASURED AT HOME ASOS STATION.

  • Minneapolis - Flying Cloud,MN (FCM) ASOS reports gust of 58 knots (66.8 mph) from SW @ 0107Z

  • 2 SE Shakopee [Scott Co, MN] TRAINED SPOTTER reports HAIL of ping pong ball size (M1.50 INCH) at 11 May, 8:10 PM CDT -- TIME ESTIMATED BY RADAR.

  • Hopkins [Hennepin Co, MN] MESONET reports TSTM WND GST of M64 MPH at 11 May, 8:13 PM CDT --

  • 3 ENE Richfield [Hennepin Co, MN] ASOS reports TSTM WND GST of M61 MPH at 11 May, 8:20 PM CDT -- MSP INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

  • Robbinsdale [Hennepin Co, MN] TRAINED SPOTTER reports TSTM WND DMG at 11 May, 8:20 PM CDT -- TREES AND BRANCHES DOWN ON THE NORTH SIDE OF CRYSTAL LAKE. SOME WERE BLOCKING ROADS. POWER ALSO OUT.

  • 3 WNW Anoka [Hennepin Co, MN] PUBLIC reports TSTM WND GST of M64 MPH at 11 May, 8:24 PM CDT -- MEDIA REPORT.

  • 1 SSE Brooklyn Park [Hennepin Co, MN] TRAINED SPOTTER reports TSTM WND DMG at 11 May, 8:25 PM CDT -- LARGE TREE BRANCES DOWN.

  • Roseville [Ramsey Co, MN] TRAINED SPOTTER reports TSTM WND GST of M61 MPH at 11 May, 8:27 PM CDT --

  • Minneapolis [Hennepin Co, MN] EMERGENCY MNGR reports FLASH FLOOD at 11 May, 9:00 PM CDT -- CARS STALLED OR PARTIALLY SUBMERGED IN MINNEAPOLIS (50TH AND NICOLLET; 28TH AND LYNDALE; 38TH AVE; 42ND ST. E). ALSO 78TH ST W AND GLEASON IN EDINA.

As of this post, Xcel Energy reports more than 75,000 customers without power across southern Minnesota including the Twin Cities area.

Xcel Energy outage map 2
Xcel Energy outage map.
Xcel Energy

Heat and storms Thursday

Thursday likely brings our first 90-degree day to much of southern Minnesota.

Forecast high temperatures Thursday
Forecast high temperatures Thursday.
NOAA

There is also the potential for another round of storms. Or two. NOAA’s NAM 3 km model paints yet another possible severe bowing storm racing through southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities in the late morning and midday hours. It may be the outlier, but worth watching.

Most forecast models bring another line of severe storms from the Dakotas east into Minnesota Thursday evening.

Here’s NOAA’s NAM 3 km resolution model suggesting two storm waves crossing southern Minnesota between 10 am Thursday and midnight Friday.

NOAA NAM 3 km model Thu
NOAA NAM 3 km model between 10 am Thursday and midnight Friday.
NOAA via tropical tidbits

There is an enhanced risk for severe storms across much of Minnesota Thursday.

Severe weather risk areas Thursday
Severe weather risk areas Thursday.
NOAA

Stay tuned.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.